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Karl Rove's memoir: Fighting with Sheryl Crow, dissing Al Franken, wacky times at White House

Karl Rove performs his "MC Rove" routine at the 2007 Radio and Television Correspondents Association dinner. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

With the upcoming release of his memoir, "Courage and Consequence," we finally get Karl Rove's behind-the-scenes look at the Bush administration's handling of Iraq, the Valerie Plame scandal and Hurricane Katrina. Yeah, fine, whatever -- what about Rove the man?

He's still an enigma. He speaks fondly of his wife Darby throughout -- dedicating the book to her, along with their son and his parents -- but never mentions their recent divorce. Regarding rumors that his beloved dad was gay, he says has no idea whether he was and doesn't care. Also, he claims not to know why President Bush gave him the nickname "Turd Blossom."

But the book -- set for release Tuesday, though The Post obtained copies early -- does pull back the curtain on some wacky times at the White House. Like when National Economic Council Director Al Hubbard left his keys in the BMW in the parking lot -- and Rove, just for kicks, moved it without telling him! Or the time at Buckingham Palace when he realized he had packed only one sock -- well, long story, maybe you had to be there.

Rove comes alive, though, talking about those infamous black-tie antics that landed him in this column more than once. Like the time at the 2007 White House Correspondents' Association dinner when Laurie David and Sheryl Crow confronted him about global warming. In Rove's account, he gamely joined the debate, and claims he was winning, with the point that China was a larger greenhouse-gas offender than the United States.

Rove writes that the singer poked him aggressively as she pontificated. Like any guy, "I have always harbored a fantasy of being touched in an inappropriate way by an attractive female celebrity. But this wasn't exactly what I had in mind." It devolved from there -- Crow saying, "You work for me!" and Rove saying he works for the American people, and Crow retorting, "I am the American people."

At another dinner, he reports, the future junior senator from Minnesota walked up to him and said, "I'm Al Franken. I hate you. You hate me." Rove writes that he told the "Saturday Night Live" star he didn't know him so couldn't hate him. "When Franken realized his line didn't inflame me, he scampered off to use it on former deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz -- who told the obnoxious comedian to go f*** himself."

By The Reliable Source  |  March 4, 2010; 1:04 AM ET
Categories:  Politics , White House Correspondents' Association Dinner  
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Over 4,000 killed in action in Iraq for nothing. Over 30,000 wounded in action, many missing arms, legs, and eyes. About $1 trillion wasted.

You can go into any bookstore and quickly find a dozen books by reputable authors describing how Bush and his administration intentionally LIED us into the Iraq war.

The traitors Rove, Bush, Cheney, and their helpers should all be in Leavenworth.

Posted by: losthorizon10 | March 4, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

All that from a book called "Courage and Consequence"? I need to buy a dictionary.
I am sure it belongs in the "w" Bush library right next to the Superman Bizarro World volume

Posted by: hock1 | March 4, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

wacky? That's all this stuff is to you guys - entertainment? Yeah - really wacky.

Posted by: hohandy1 | March 4, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

How nice that these white-collar Eichmanns now can make tons of money with their enchanting recollection of amusing events...ah well, at least they expose themselves as the psychopaths they are.

Posted by: chwurr | March 4, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Go buy a Sheryl Crow album rather than channel money to Mr. Rove.

Posted by: hfed | March 4, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

The Bush/Cheney reign was nothing but LIES... we know it now; we knew it then.


Posted by: EdSantaFe | March 4, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

it's pretty sad that Rove is so delusional that he actually expects this book to clear things up. all it is is self-grandizing propaganda and flimsy excuses for acts that resulted in death and destruction. More of the same cr$p, Bush never made mistakes like every other human, thay just misread the situation, or didn't anticipate the depth of the problem... can't even own a pair long enough to ADMIT there were GRAVE errors in judgement and policy. what a putz!!!

Posted by: katem1 | March 4, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

What you will get from Rove is a firm, traditional take on the moral and ethical questions that underlay the decisions made by President Bush, an unusually keen mind, common sense and genuine humility. These qualities will make him seem like an alien being to many on the left.

Posted by: Roytex | March 4, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Where does the title, "Courage and Consequence" stem from? It didn't take any courage on his part to start the war in Iraq and he certainly isn't paying any consequences. What he mistakes for courage is simply arrogance.

Posted by: dchristy56 | March 4, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Don't buy this book. Rove is a pig.

Posted by: TooManyPeople | March 4, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

The world would be a better place if Karl Rove never existed... wow, that man is ugly.

Wonderful to hear about his divorce.

Posted by: kenk3 | March 4, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Always consider the SEWERce!

Good Old T_rd Blossom!

Put Lipstick on a Pig, you still gotta Pig!

Posted by: rtreff | March 4, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

"Wacky?" "Wacky?"
Jesus wept! You're talking about a duo, Bush and Rove, who trashed the economy; ruined America's face in the world for at least a generation, tried to privatize our government and make it accountable only to the corporations and, incidentally, fought two wars both badly and needlessly, killing thousands.
And you come up with "wacky"?
In a sane and moral world, these two and their hangers-on would be shunned, clothed in sackcloth and ashes, and forced to repent through the rest of their (hopefully miserable) days. "Wacky?" Bah!

Posted by: kstack | March 4, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Ah, Karl Roves' new book.....a PURE work of FICTION. I wonder when "Avatar" creator/director James Cameron will be making THIS one into a movie????

Posted by: Bigrcube | March 4, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

You can be sure that there is a good reason why that moron w named him t. blossom. Quite appropriate for this evil, gay man.

Posted by: davidsawh | March 4, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Roytex posts:

"What you will get from Rove is a firm, traditional take on the moral and ethical questions that underlay the decisions made by President Bush, an unusually keen mind,
common sense and genuine humility. These qualities will make him seem like an alien being to many on the left."

This post by Roytex is stunning to me. I must say that this view is completely alien to me, so the poster is correct on this point. The fact that there are people who view Karl Rove's actions as "moral and ethical" underscores the divide between the left and the right. We used to be able to agree that invading a country for no clear reason was immoral or, at the very least, not in the country's best interests. Now it seems that as long as there is enough flag waving and prayer breakfasts, anything goes. I too, as a left leaning citizen, would like us to return to a moral and ethical standard in how our government acts. I guess we (the left and the right) just have radically different definitions of what those words really mean.

Posted by: dchristy56 | March 4, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Scott McClellan, Bush's press secretary and official mouthpiece, was there too and he claims Bush lied.

Posted by: patrick3 | March 4, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

"But the top White House officials who knew the truth — including Rove, Libby, and possibly Vice President Cheney — allowed me, even encouraged me, to repeat a lie."
-- Scott McClellan, former Bush administration press secretary, 2008

Posted by: patrick3 | March 4, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Lies from the consumate liar himself. The only value is to understand that the opposite of virtually every word he says is what is actually true.

Posted by: John1263 | March 4, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Rove is unfortunately exactly what he apprears to be... he is a marketer. He doesn't market products, he markets the guy he worked for and he markets the policy decisions made by his former employer.

Let's not confuse Rove for a guy who really devoted his energies then (or now) in crafting policies and making tough decisions on behalf of the American public. While I am sure he is not some sort of monster who wishes ill on society, he is a guy who constantly calculated how decisions would be perceived over how they would actually turn out.

This is what got him to power... he was good at it and he crafted an image of himself and those around him of strength and fortitude. I'll grant him "guts" but strength and fortitude require more than creating perception.

Posted by: Rickster623 | March 4, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Finally a book that will make palin look like she is honest.

Posted by: John1263 | March 4, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

I juat wish this administration were as
MORAL and ETHICAL as the BUSH administration!

Posted by: samuellenn | March 4, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

WOW the terrorist is opening his mouth now!!!!!

Posted by: simonbm | March 4, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Rove is going to DC to marry his long time gay lover

Posted by: simonbm | March 4, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

As disappointed as I was with GW's second term, it is starting to look better and better with each passing day of the Obama administration.

Posted by: deacon777 | March 4, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Hussein's overthrow was planned well before 9/11.

1. Bush's first Treasury Secretary, Paul O'Neill, is quoted in Pulitzer winner Suskind's book -The Price of Power- that a lively and prolonged discussion on a Saddam overthrow took place in the administration's FIRST National Security Council meeting. That gathering took place seven months before the towers fell.
2. The War-Criminal-In-Chief physically rousted his then terrorism czar, Richard Clarke, in front of several witnesses the moment after Clarke told Bush the Iraqi leader likely had nothing to do with the attacks. Clarke was told to find a Hussein - 9/11 connection.

Rove, and the rest of the Bush Cabal, are war criminals.

Posted by: tojby_2000 | March 4, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Those pudgy boys, . . . aren't they a hoot?

Sorry Karl, you are implicated in War Crimes. Yup, . . just like the African dictators, like Hitler and Stalin, D'Aubisson and Reza Pahlevi. Your cowardly heart is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, some of them conservatives, in Iraq.

War Crimes, Karl. The World does not forget.

Posted by: gkam | March 4, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

well simonbm you should really like CARL!

Posted by: samuellenn | March 4, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Karl Rove is the epitome of the philosophy of amorality, or to put it another way, the total lack of a moral compass. In a nutshell, this philosophy entails the right to say and do anything (including lying, cheating, slandering, and bullying) to achieve your ultimate objective. It is the ultimate expression of "the ends justify the means". Of course, once the gap between the lies being told, and the truth gets too large, the strategy backfires, and the perpetrator gets exiled, in this case to FOX News, to preach to the choir, as no one but the "true believers" will listen to them anymore. Rove's legacy lives on in the current GOP, as seen by the claims of health-care "death panels" and the claim that there were no terrorist attacks during G.W. Bush's terms as president. Oh, and a huge part of this strategy is to count on the American public to be big enough rubes to not notice they're being lied to.

Posted by: bienefes | March 4, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Radovan Karadzic is spinning a story of self defense even now. Karl and his gangsters should be next. I'd like to hear the Rove spin just once more to see if anybody at all buys his version of reality.

Posted by: rowens1 | March 4, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

So, having had the 'courage' to send others to war (Rove never served), he now bravely faces the 'consequence' of a book deal, speaking fees and a regular gig on Fox. Oohh, what a hero!

Posted by: spauldij1 | March 4, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

The picture at the top goes perfectly with this link.

Posted by: James10 | March 4, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I will grant Rove this, he is a talented spinmeister. This book is undoubtedly more of the same; fictionalizing and upgrading the disastrous Bush presidency, rewriting history through the eyes of this clever psychopath. I hope no one buys the book.

Rove belongs in prison for the rest of his life. He has the blood of over 1.3 million Iraqis on his hands. Only a psychopath could live with themself after doing the things Rove has done.

Posted by: greeenmtns | March 4, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Dick Tuck, a Democratic political operative from the 1970s, would at least admit what he did. Lee Atwater, one of the people who taught Rove his trade, later tried to apologise to his victims. This guy needs to come clean, but since he seems to think that anything is OK as long as you don't get caught--if you can define not getting caught as having to revise you testimony several times before a grand jury as not getting caught--then he probably doesn't think he has done anything wrong.
The problem that I have is that a large segment of the media seem to think that there is something to admire about this bastard.

Posted by: ThomasFiore | March 4, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Dick Tuck, a Democratic political operative from the 1970s, would at least admit what he did. Lee Atwater, one of the people who taught Rove his trade, later tried to apologise to his victims. ...

Posted by: ThomasFiore

Atwater was on his death bed. He knows full well knew of Atwater's regrets so don't expect anything sooner from Rove. Rove probably thinks Atwater was being a wuss because the cancer made him weak.

Posted by: James10 | March 4, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I'm a liberal Democrat. I don't hate Bush and Rove because of that. I hate them because my parents taught me that lying was simply wrong. They also taught me that starting a war was wrong, although when a nation had been attacked it had every right and even a duty to oppose the attacker. They also taught me that people had a moral obligation to help each other in times of trouble. There are good reasons to hate Bush and Rove, and although I won't read the book, I suspect it would provide more.

Posted by: jlhare1 | March 4, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Who is more popular Rove or Cheney?

Posted by: Emmetrope | March 4, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Rover rolls over. I'd rather even read the gassings of the ice princess about how she felt a victim than the "revelations" of Carl "doggy" Rove.
Would anyone expect any insight into anything that matters? Stead of that, a smug laugh or two about the car-keys prank.

CB in Hamburg

Posted by: chrisbrown12 | March 4, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

"Courage and Consequence". Sounds kind of like "Fair and Balanced". I just love how the right is always considerate enough to let us know that they represent everything good and wholesome about our country. While they keep up the 24/7 attacks on the Dems, they keep up the 24/7 patting themselves on the back for all of the unselfish service they've given to America. But Rove is one of the great propagandists in American history, a dirty trickster who learned from the master Donald Segretti, Nixon's personal pond scum. Unfortunately, Rove didn't go to jail like Segretti. That was when America still had a semblance of a conscience. Now instead of jail time we just give the scoundrels book deals, and pay them big money to tell more lies. We just can't help but move backwards in this country.

Posted by: curtb | March 4, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Why would anyone believe anything this pathological liar says?

Posted by: jckdoors | March 4, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: middlejm1 | March 4, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Rove must believe the BS that spews from his mouth, otherwise, how could he live with himself?

Carl, like it or not, you have an awful lot of blood on your hands. The blood of innocents. Have you seen the photos of the resulting carnage? The innocent civilians that tried in vain to escape the destruction? Let me help you recall:

One very memorable photograph from the invasion of Iraq is of the corpses of a Father and Daughter who were obviously trying to escape. This guy was running with his young Daughter in his arms. Unfortunately, he apparently slipped and from the waist up the two of them were smashed flat by the tread of a tank. Tragic.

Carl, your actions helped this tragedy to transpire. Invading Iraq was a mistake. They did not attack us on 9/11, we controlled the airspace over Iraq since the first gulf war and had that dictatorial regime contained. Forget about all the policy implications, the budget implication, the international relations implication, or the historical implication of the Iraq debacle – the human toll of this war built on a lie is just simply …. criminal.

Posted by: Braticuspunk | March 4, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Karl Rove the "cow sh*t flower of death"

Doctors in the Iraqi city of Fallujah are reporting a high level of birth defects, with some blaming weapons used by the US after the Iraq invasion.

The city witnessed fierce fighting in 2004 as US forces carried out a major offensive against insurgents.
Now, the level of heart defects among newborn babies is said to be 13 times higher than in Europe.

The US military says it is not aware of any official reports showing an increase in birth defects in the area.

BBC world affairs editor John Simpson visited a new, US-funded hospital in Fallujah where paediatrician Samira al-Ani told him that she was seeing as many as two or three cases a day, mainly cardiac defects.

Disturbing tale of birth defects

Our correspondent also saw children in the city who were suffering from paralysis or brain damage - and a photograph of one baby who was born with three heads.

He adds that he heard many times that officials in Fallujah had warned women that they should not have children.

Doctors and parents believe the problem is the highly sophisticated weapons the US troops used in Fallujah six years ago.

British-based Iraqi researcher Malik Hamdan told the BBC's World Today programme that doctors in Fallujah were witnessing a "massive unprecedented number" of heart defects, and an increase in the number of nervous system defects.

She said that one doctor in the city had compared data about birth defects from before 2003 - when she saw about one case every two months - with the situation now, when, she saw cases every day.
Ms Hamdan said that based on data from January this year, the rate of congenital heart defects was 95 per 1,000 births - 13 times the rate found in Europe.

"I've seen footage of babies born with an eye in the middle of the forehead, the nose on the forehead," she added.

A spokesman for the US military, Michael Kilpatrick, said it always took public health concerns "very seriously".

"No studies to date have indicated environmental issues resulting in specific health issues," he said.

"Unexploded ordinance, including improvised explosive devices, are a recognised hazard," he added.

Posted by: coiaorguk | March 4, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Partial list of the self-important, indignant, intellectually and morally inferior people named in this piece:
Karl Rove
Sheryl Crow
Al Franken

And some of you idiots clearly think there is a difference between them, that some are inherently good/right while the others are inherently bad/wrong. I just hope I'm never dependent on any of you for anything as complicated as, say, toasting bread.

Posted by: noybizz | March 4, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: coonchuck1 | March 4, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I think "Turd Blossom", says all about Rove that needs to be said.

Posted by: TRACIETHEDOLPHIN | March 4, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: samuellenn | March 4, 2010 9:32 AM

I juat wish this administration were as
MORAL and ETHICAL as the BUSH administration!

Why would we want to go backwards to that? Barack Obama couild never be as morally and ethically bankrupt as that crowd. It is doubtful in all of American history if there has ever been such a consumate incarnation of evil in public life as Dick Cheney, republican or democrat.

Also, in that culture of liars, Karen Hughes was the CONSUMATE liar. Even thinking about them makes my skin crawl.

Posted by: SoCali | March 4, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

There is nothing "wacky" about any of those goons. They are war criminals who are responsible for the second largest crash of the financial system in this country and made money off of all of it. They oversaw the death of thousands in New Orleans. They are a troop of vile, avaricious, immoral, ignorant and puny little monsters. In my family that's called evil. Ymmv.

Posted by: cometzbb | March 4, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget about Mr. Rove's "wacky" idea to make the US Department of Justice a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Republican Party, so that Democrats could be prosecuted at whim.

Back in the days of the Great Red Scare, we were all petrified that the insidious and subversive Communist Party would try something like that in this country, just as they did in Russia, China and Cuba. So what exactly is the difference when the Republican Party does it?

And it was all Mr. Rove's "wacky" idea. I think some people with similarly wacky ideas spent long periods in Federal prison, if they weren't card-carrying Republicans.

Posted by: zenwick | March 4, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

This guy does not have any Courage and we all are paying the Consequences

Posted by: cordobes17 | March 4, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

And, btw, the moral apathy of your editors in allowing the word wacky to be used in context with that illegal regime is just freaking bizarre. How far up are your heads?

Posted by: cometzbb | March 4, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I agree with dchristy56's comments earlier that we really have a big political divide in this country if some on the Right think that Rove and Co. are high moral paragons.
Samuel Johnson's quip that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel comes to mind.

The fact remains that we invaded a foreign country with the slimmest of evidence. It is disingenuous to argue that the intelligence agencies of our allies were in agreement, since they took their cue from whatever the CIA was positing. There was more concrete and substantial intelligence prior to 9/11/2001 that a signifigant attack by Al Qaeda was imminent, yet the previous administration didn't act on it. They had their own agenda mapped out to attack Iraq even before GWB was inaugarated. We know that on the day of 9/11/01 that Rumsfeld and Cheney were first asking if these attacks were from Sadaam and they did not initially consider Bin Laden. And they used the post 9/11 fear and uncertainity to cajole Congress for invasion. And how ineptly they ran their two wars! Those of you who say that Bush's strategy in Iraq is now validated are ignoring the fact that if it wasn't for the 2006 elections when the Democrats achieved a slim majority in Congress, there wouldn't have been a "surge". Do you really believe GWB's pronouncement the day after that election that it was a coincidence that he was firing Rumsfeld?

We also know that Rove advised Bush then that the Republican Party could politically benefit by playing the terrorism card. And Islamic terrorism has been good for the GOP when you look back at the history of terroristic attacks since 1980. Some of the worst (e.g.Beirut in 1983, Pan Am 101 in 1988, 9/11/01)occured on their watch yet they were never held accountable.

I have to admit that reading this stuff about Rove is an effective emetic.

Posted by: dldbug | March 4, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

COURAGE in Karl? It’s like probing honor in Bin-Laden!

There is not an iota of Courage in Karl Rove.

Posted by: JHigginss | March 4, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Rove should do the world a favor and take his Mom's lead...

Posted by: dhill4 | March 4, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

You would think that the stinking mess Karl and W left generations of Americans yet unborn to try and clean up would shame the repulsive mutant into lying low and keeping his mouth shut. The thought of Brain trying to portray himself as a cuddly fun-loving scamp and a courageous champion of conservatism makes me want to puke. You wrote "wacky" (worst use of the word ever)- you must have meant "wack job".

Posted by: landsaend | March 4, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

"What you will get from Rove is a firm, traditional take on the moral and ethical questions that underlay the decisions made by President Bush, an unusually keen mind, common sense and genuine humility. These qualities will make him seem like an alien being to many on the left."
This quote is exactly why at the end of the Shrub's presidency 25% of people still supported him. Some people will never change their minds no matter the veracity of information to the contrary.

Posted by: citizen625 | March 8, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

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