Directed by Joseph Mealey & Michael Shoob
Based on the book by James C. Moore & Wayne Slater
This is a documentary about how Karl Rove became President George W. Bush's Senior Advisor and chief political strategist. It shows his political beginnings in the Young Republicans, his political campaign work in Texas and his involvement with George W. Bush over the years. The film is made up of archival footage and interviews that are a mixture of reporters from Texas, victims of Rove's alleged political activities and Republicans who worked with him. He was given an opportunity to present his version of the events, but declined.
Rove's first big splash on the Texas political scene came when he worked for the 1986 gubernatorial campaign of William Clements, Jr. At one point during the campaign the polls were tied. In a fax Rove sent to the authors of the book, he disputes this point, claiming that if they do research, the public polls will show there was always a comfortable lead for Clements. The filmmakers do the suggested research and find a Gallup poll commissioned by four TV stations and The Houston Post had the candidates dead even at 46%. Around that time, Rove claimed to have found an electronic bug hidden in his office. He implied that only Governor White's staff would have had any use for bugging his office. The police and FBI investigated. The bug's battery was so small that it needed to be changed every few hours and it hadn't been in the device long before Rove found it. Near the election and with Clements in a sizeable lead, a Republican judge halted the investigation. John Weaver was the co-chairman of the Clements campaign and would only agree to be interviewed as long as Rove's name wasn't mentioned. In regards to the bug incident, he stated, "I don't think Mark White had anything to do with it." That doesn't leave to many other suspects.
A circumstancial pattern forms when other campaigns Rove has worked on are examined. Somehow, when Rove's candidate needs a boost, an opponent is attacked with a whisper campaign; rumors and innuendos emerge that have nothing to do with the issues of a campaign, yet have a strong, visceral influence on voters. For example, when George Bush runs for governor in 1994, the idea that Governor Ann Richards might be a lesbian starts to circulate because she is appointing openly gay people. When George Bush is running for the Republican nomination for President in 2000 in the South Carolina primary, John McCain's military service is attacked and people question how stable he is due to being a P.O.W. for all those years. The worst slur dealt with McCain having a black love child, possibly from a prostitute. The truth is that the McCains adopted a Bangladesh child from Mother Theresa.