Sometimes even Karl Rove wants to travel to a simpler time. With the release of his new book slated to drop this Monday, Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight, Rove is making the 2000 presidential election an issue again by admitting to some of his worst mistakes as the ‘Architect’ of Bush’s win, and accusing a former Gore staffer (and, perhaps unintentionally, a major media ally) of putting into motion the news story that may have led to the Florida recount.
Perhaps the biggest reveal comes when Rove candidly admits that the biggest mistake of the first George W. Bush presidential campaign was allowing the story of the former president’s 1976 Maine DUI arrest break five days before the election. Not that it was Rove’s fault entirely: in the book he accuses Gore campaign press secretary Chris Lehane of being responsible for releasing it. Lehane, for those of you who need a refresher, was raised in Maine and had ties to both local politicians and lawyers, including Tom Connolly, who is generally accepted as the main tipster to release the story to the media. The unlikely news accomplice? A then up-and-coming cable news outlet called Fox News, who broke the story and, according to Rove, cost Bush five states that could have canceled out the electoral college value of Florida. The excerpt via Politico:
“Before the news broke, we were up … in Maine … Bush went on to lose Maine … If Bush did drop 2 percent nationally in the vote because of the DUI revelation, then it probably cost him four additional states that he lost by less than 1 percent — New Mexico, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Oregon. Had he won them, … [it] would have allowed him to win the White House without Florida. … Of the things I would redo in the 2000 election, making a timely announcement about Bush’s DUI would top the list.”
Rove is expected to continue his one-man “I love the 00s” tour next Monday on Today, where he is slated to discuss the Iraq War and charges of the Hussein regime having weapons of mass destruction, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and President Bush’s true intelligence with Matt Lauer:
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