Friday, November 14, 2008

Reading Between the Lines

Each Sunday in the NY Times Magazine, there's a first-person Q&A with all sorts of people in the news. It's done by Deborah Solomon and consists of a short transcript of questions to the subject and
 his or her answers. This week, Karl Rove is in the spotlight. 

I'm not fan of Rove's -- in fact, I'd say he's up there with some of the worst people to ever inhabit Washington and that's a long, long, long list. But however you feel about him, it's hard to not come away from even this brief interview and not get what he's about.

Pretty chilling, if you ask me.

The entire article is on the New York Times website, but here is a taste. (The questions are in bold; Rove's answers follow on the next line).

Do you see the election results as a repudiation of your politics? 
Our new president-elect won one and a half points more than George W. Bush won in 2004, and he did so, in great respect, by adopting the methods of the Bush campaign and conducting a vast army of persuasion to identify and get out the vote.
But what about your great dream of creating a permanent Republican governing majority in Washington? 
I never said permanent. Durable.
Do you have any advice for him? You already criticized Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s new chief of staff, as a sharply partisan choice.
I raised a question as to whether this would be the best use of Rahm Emanuel’s talents. If you’re trying to work through a big legislative priority, it is sort of hard if you have a guy who has a reputation as a tough, hard, take-no-prisoners, head-in-your-face, scream-and-shout, send-them-a-dead-fish partisan.
Do you like Joe Biden
I think he has an odd combination of longevity and long-windedness that passes for wisdom in Washington. 
Do you regret anything that happened in the White House during your tenure?
Do you have any advice for [President Bush] at this point?
With all due respect, I don’t need you to transmit what I want to say to my friend of 35 years.
Remember, attack politics are out. It’s a new age of civilized discourse. 
You’re the one who hurt my feelings by saying you didn’t trust me.
Did I say that? 
Yes, you did. I’ve got it on tape. I’m going to transcribe this and send it to you.

Excerpts from an interview conducted, condensed and edited by Deborah Solomon.

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