"The Architect" Visits California

Katy Grimes: Saturday evening I met Karl Rove, often referred to as “The Architect,” by the media and political opponents. Rove, former senior advisor to President George W. Bush, was congenial, gracious and very interesting as he spoke candidly to a group about his years in the Bush White House.

Rove arrived a little late, but it was understandable. The event was not in San Francisco or even Sacramento – Rove drove up from Napa to a country club deep in Yuba County for the event. After a particularly brutal election cycle, it was refreshing to see that none of the usual heavy hitters and political types were present at this event.

Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Linda was the event host, and the guest list was largely made up of his district’s supporters. Sen. Sam Aanestad also attended the event, and gave his goodbye to the voters who had him in the state Assembly, and Senate. Aanestad is now termed-out.

Rove has a book out, a kind of a tell-all from his perspective about his years in the White House. And according to Rove, he wasn’t going to write a book after he left the White House, but President Bush asked him to – and told him to hold back nothing.

Courage and Consequence: My life as a Conservative in the Fight, covers the bitterly contested 2000 presidential election, the hilarious story of how Bush chose Dick Cheney as his presidential running mate, and many of the intimate details of the Bush administration as well as the players.

Rove gave an overview of the recent election and said, “This election and the next will be the most important in history. America will either recover and liberty and responsibility will be restored, or we will become less prosperous, less safe and less peaceful.”

Rove talked of the many Congressional seats picked up around the county by Republicans, including the 22 seats in his home state of Texas. But when it came to California, he said, “It’s a tough state. The Republican Party’s got to have good candidates and keep fighting the battle,” Rove said. “It took a long time to fall in the shape it’s in; it’s going to take a long time to build itself out.”

Rove critiqued the Obama health care plan, and shared stories of business owners he has met who will be forced to terminate their company’s health plans because of the dramatically increasing costs, and instead have to opt to pay the low-cost “fine” to the government for not insuring employees and staff. Rove told about meeting the owner of Chili’s restaurants, who pays $25 million a year to medically insure his employees. He is facing an increase to $90 million in annual health care costs – a number he told Rove that neither he nor his employees can afford.

“The Obama liberal agenda is dead,” said Rove, and in a very short time, there may be as many as a dozen Republicans who begin declaring their bid for the presidency in 2012.

However, “The big enchilada is getting this guy out of the White House,” said Rove about the President. “But Republicans are on probation. this is no time to rest on our laurels.”

The fundraiser event was for Logue, with about 350 to 400 guests in attendance. Logue said he’d met Rove through former state Sen. Jim Brulte, a mutual friend of the men, and said he greatly appreciated Rove’s visit to Yuba County because it demonstrated that Rove supports candidates concerned about restoring jobs and the economy in California. “I believe the Democrats are going to tax us and drive us off a cliff,” Logue said. “Without business and jobs, California is going nowhere.”

NOV. 8, 2010

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