Friday, December 23, 2011

2012

Chapter 13: Wish the Gipper were here
[Go to beginning]
“Bob? Hey, this is Karl. Rove. Yeah, fine, fine. Listen, what can we do to get that ad running on more local stations up there?” Karl Rove said, in a men’s room in Reagan National Airport, his voice bouncing around the tiled restroom. Rove had speed-dialed Maginn’s number and adjusted his Bluetooth device as he positioned himself at a urinal.

The sight of men talking to a wall in public restrooms had become so common that no one paid any attention.

Bob Maginn, was the new Chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party, and Rove wanted to make sure he was on point for the Senate election between Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren.

“Well, you know the ad is running, and we appreciate your PAC producing it and paying for airtime,” Maginn said.

“Yeah, but how about more airtime on that country station; what is it...?”

“WKLB,” Maginn said. “Well--”

“And boost the buy on talk radio, like WRKO,” Rove said. “And don’t worry about the money. We’ve got plenty.”

“Well, it’s not the money, so much. It’s just that we’re getting some push back about the nature of the ad,” Maginn said.

“What about it?” Rove said.

“Karl, the ad basically blames Warren for the TARP program, and everyone knows she’s on record as a strong advocate for financial reform. She actually criticized the Treasury for their handling of the--”

“Bob, Bob,” Rove tried to interrupt.

“...program when she was the Chair of the Congressional Oversight Committee. People aren’t buying it, and the radio stations don’t want their credibility damaged.”

Rove zipped his fly, grabbed his Roll-aboard, and exited the restroom talking. “People don’t know shit, Bob. I mean, come on. How many of those Bay Staters have a clue about what Warren really did in the government? Give me a break.”

“Yeah, well...,” Maginn said.

“We’re losing momentum as we speak, Bob,” Rove said.

“Yeah, okay, but we’ll need another infusion of cash, Karl. It helps to grease the skids on getting airtime, you know.”

“Yeah, money always helps radio station owners feel better about their credibility. Okay, no problem. And by the way, I suggested something to Buckley and haven’t heard anything back from him. Have him get in touch, will you?” Rove said, and ended the call.

Rove had suggested to the Massachusetts GOP’s Director of Communications, Tim Buckley, that he arrange for an anonymous direct mailing of something egregiously negative on Scott Brown, making it look like it came from Warren's campaign, and thereby making her campaign look bad. It was something Rove had done successfully in the past and this seemed a good time to try it again -- Warren had pulled slightly ahead of Brown in the latest polls.
Rove stood on the moving sidewalk and checked his BlackBerry for messages. Then he brought up Twitter and tweeted, “At #Reagan Int’l AP - wish the ‘Gipper’ were here.”

On the way to his boarding gate, Rove stopped at duty free and picked up two bottles of Johnnie Walker Black Label to give as a Christmas present to a ‘Bush Pioneer’ he planned to hit up for another contribution. He handed the checker a previously used ticket to London and his passport, paid in cash, and included a little extra. “Merry Christmas,” he said.


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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination, or are used fictitiously, and any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2012

The Ninety-Nine Percent Party
[Go to beginning]
Karl Rove rushed into the small meeting room and began to set things up for the meeting he had scheduled. Rove had been busy. His meeting with Buddy Roemer had set in motion the various actions needed to form the third party that Rove hoped would draw significant votes away from Obama in the 2012 Presidential Election. Rove had recruited a team of people to infiltrate the Occupy Wall Street movement and, having established their bone-fides, file the necessary paperwork and pay the fees required for third party registration.
Rove’s deep pockets donors had ponied up all the money needed to pay Rove’s infiltration team, pay filing fees, and pay for getting people registered in the new party. This would take a lot of door-to-door, and shopping mall-to-shopping mall legwork and Rove already had people out doing it. It was all about money, and Rove had more ‘Bush Pioneers’ ready, willing, and able to contribute. In addition, Rove had already drafted a party platform and it was in Buddy Roemer’s hands for review. Rove had stressed to Roemer that the draft be kept “Close hold -- your eyes only.”
Rove was spending the morning conducting a brainstorming session with a few of his confidants to come up with a name for the new party. The meeting participants straggled in carrying cups of Starbuck's coffee. It was a good thing, because Rove hadn't had time to arrange 'refreshments.'

Rove thanked everyone for coming and then said, "Grab a seat anywhere. Let's get right into this. I have another meeting this morning."

Rove explained the rules for brainstorming, which he felt anyone used to this sort of exercise should know, but still. After a little prompting, ideas started to come fast and furious. Some of the participants seemed to get carried away proposing names like, America’s Party, Patriot Party, and so on, forgetting apparently, that the Occupy Wall Street party, whatever they called it, had to have a socialist flavor.

The idea was to de-emphasize traditional American entrepreneurial values. Rove had stopped writing proposed names on the electronic white board and reiterated the theme he was after. Finally this sunk in and the group started coming up with more appropriate names, like Citizen’s Party, American Socialist Party, People’s Party, Worker’s Party, and Labor Party, all of which, Rove had to point out, had already been used at one time or another.
One of the participants said, “We could name the party after an animal, like the Bull Moose Party.”
“Yeah, only we should call it the Bull Shit Party, said another man, whom Rove had brought in from the DCI Group. This guy was named John Murphy. Rove called him, ‘Murph,’ a tendency to use a shortened version of a person’s last name that he’d picked up from George W. Bush. Murph had a perpetual smirk on his face that along with his comb-over hair made him look like a standup comedian. But he was about as funny as a heart attack. He was meeting with Rove after the brainstorming session to discuss the ‘metrics’ that Rove was seeking on congressional house and senate elections.
“The name, Bull Moose Party, was just a kind of catch phrase used for Teddy Roosevelt’s Progressive Party,” Rove said. “But coming up with a name like that isn’t a bad idea.”
“What about just calling it the Occupy Party?” one of brainstormers suggested.
“Sounds like we’re talking about American troops in Iraq,” Chris Burgess said.
Rove frowned, despite his explanation of how brainstorming was supposed to work, no one could refrain from criticizing the ideas of others. And Burgess was one of the most negative people Rove knew. He had him in the session to stroke his ego; Burgess had a lot of money, which he’d made perfecting methods of anonymous spamming, SPAM filter avoidance measures, and botnets that surreptitiously collected data from targeted computers.
“How about the Ninety-Nine Percent Party?” Giles Jeter said.
“Ninety-nine percent of what?” said Burgess.
Rove ignored Burgess and wrote down the suggestion on the white board. “Okay, we’ve got enough to go on,” Rove announced, hitting the print button on the white board. “Thanks for all your help. I’ll throw these at Buddy and we’ll see what sticks.”

As meeting participants filed out of the room, Rove walked over to John Murphy and handed him the white board printout. "Murph, see that your guy...what's his name..., Chris or Chip something, registers domain names for all of these. And have him register for dot com and dot org," Rove said.

Rove was aware of the problem that Rick Perry and some other Republican candidates had when they failed to stake their claim to a domain name and found supporters or potential supporters being redirected to the web sites of other candidates, advertising, or even pornography. Potential Democratic voters had to take the new third party seriously, if they were to be lured away from the primary Democratic ticket.


"Okay, Murph, outline what your guys have come up with on the metrics," Rove said, looking down at his BlackBerry to check messages.

"Yeah, so we've got credit card purchases, cell phone records, mortgage reports, that kinda crap, and we hacked into that VoteBuilder data--"
"I don't want to know how you got your data," Rove said.

"Right," Murphy said, drawing out the word to indicate he understood Rove's need for deniability. "So, we have data on Democratic voters, you know, stuff like name, address, phone number--"

"Do you have ethnicity, age, employment?" Rove asked.

"Oh yeah, Murphy said. "We know whether they're massage therapists or welders, whether they hunt or bird watch, what charities they donate to, their arrest records, all that stuff."

"Good, good," Rove said.

Murphy went on to described the analyses that DCI was producing to help Rove's American Crossroads PAC target potential Democratic voters who might be persuaded to swing over to an Occupy Wall Street third party. "Hey, we're using social network analysis, and some kind of visualization software that--"

"Yeah, well that's nice," Rove said. "But what I really want to know is when I can get my hands on the results."

"I'll check with Chip, but I think we can get most of it to you this week," Murphy said.

Rove was texting, and didn't respond.

_________________________________________________________________
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination, or are used fictitiously, and any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Vampires in the Desert

We went to war with Iraq a wounded nation. Some say we were compelled by lofty motives; to put down a dictator whose brutal repression of his people cried out for their liberation, and whose weapons of mass destruction threatened the region, if not the world. But in our heart we knew what drove us into that vast desert. In our hearts we seethed with anger, with hate, and yes, with fear, and we went to seek vengeance. And in the blasting heat of those desert sands we took their blood, and spilled our own. And in the end, they danced in Fallujah, as we cased our flags. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

December in Vienna at the Church of St. Charles

He walked past the apotheke on the corner of Taubstummengasse and Favoritenstrasse, past the deserted U-Bahn station -- the trains had stopped running at Midnight -- and down Argentinierstrasse to Resselpark. He stopped and looked up at Karlskirche. He smiled. “No saving this sinner, St. Charles,” he said.

It had been a lovely evening; a special Christmas dinner, music, wine, a dash to the loo to hide from surprise guests, and the love of a beautiful woman. Even if he believed, he wouldn’t have asked for St. Charles' forgiveness. He only wished he didn’t have to walk back to his hotel on this cold December morning.

"Merry Christmas, my love," he said, and turned and walked away.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Who Will Take My Dreams Away

Marianne Faithfull & Angelo Badalamenti

2012: Synopsis

Karl Rove is working covertly to establish a third party candidacy in the 2012 Presidential Election. His plan is to grow the third party from the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protest movement. The party will have a carefully formulated, left-of-liberal platform designed to pull votes from Barack Obama’s reelection bid.
Rove wants a relatively well-known person to be the new party’s candidate and is negotiating with Buddy Roemer to be the party’s standard bearer. Although Roemer is a Republican, he used to be a Democrat, and he has openly supported the OWS movement.

Roemer has also appeared on Stephen Colbert, and received the famous ‘Colbert Bump.’ Roemer hasn’t said ‘no.’
Rove plans to ‘infiltrate’ the OWS movement and use his plants to carry out his false flag operation. His infiltrators will form the third party, claiming to represent the OWS protestors. Buddy Roemer, if he agrees to run under the third party banner, will be espousing the party’s liberal platform. Rove and Roemer are negotiating a deal whereby the Republican winner of the presidency, whoever that turns out to be, will reward Roemer with a cabinet position. Rove claims to have received assurances from Republican front runners that they will honor this arrangement.
Rove has promised Roemer significant financial support for Roemer’s campaign. He already has commitments from a number of Republican donors, former ‘Bush Pioneers,’ with deep pockets.
Rove hasn’t decided yet what to call the third party; ‘Occupy Wall Street’ party isn’t a grabber like the ‘Grand Old Party.’ What should Karl call the third party? What should the third party’s platform be?

2012 is being serialized on this blog. It starts here.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

2012

Chapter 11: I'm not a fucking magician
[Go to beginning]

While he drove to his meeting with Buddy Roemer, Karl Rove talked into his digital recorder. He was trying out graphic adjectives with which to lace his fliers and ads lambasting Obama and his policies. He’d always been good at this, and he rattled off a series of zingers. “Profligate spending, record deficits, monstrous health-care costs, huge bailouts, distortions, demagoguery,” he said, as he turned off 16th Street NW onto Colorado Avenue. He drove past the Rock Creek Tennis Center and parked in the southwest section of the parking lot adjacent to the Carter Barron Amphitheater. His was the only car there.

Rove put on the heavy coat he’d brought and put the recorder into his left coat pocket. He checked his calls and email, and then put his smart phone and BlackBerry into his briefcase. He got out, walked around his rental car, and put his briefcase in the trunk. He leaned against the car and checked his watch. It was a few minutes after three o’clock. Roemer was late.

#

Buddy Roemer watched for Rove from the bleachers of the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center. He looked through binoculars as a car drove past the tennis center and parked in the far southwest section of the lot. The season was well past and the amphitheater parking lot was deserted. He saw Rove get out of the car and put his briefcase in the trunk. When he was sure no one was with Rove or following behind him, he walked down to his car. He opened the door and put the binoculars under the seat. He took a digital recorder and an audio jammer from his glove compartment. He put the jammer in the left pocket of his trench coat, and the recorder in the right pocket. Then drove over to where Rove was waiting.


#

The sky was overcast and a cold wind blew across the lot gathering leaves in a series of small whirlwinds. Rove hunched his shoulders and shoved his hands deep in his coat pockets. He watched as Roemer parked and walked over.

Rove stuck out his right hand and switched on his recorder with his left. Roemer stuck out his right hand and switched on his jammer with his left. The two men shook hands.

“Karl.”

“Buddy.”

“Let’s take a walk,” Roemer said.

“Fine,” Rove said, and they started down the trail towards the amphitheater. The trail was bordered by dense foliage that protected the men from the chill wind, but made the trail seem dark and the area somewhat threatening. Good place to off someone, thought Rove.

They sat down at the left rear of the amphitheater seats and each scanned their surroundings before Rove spoke up. “Buddy Roemer you picked a cold, lonely place to meet,” Rove said.



“It’s a beautiful spot in the fall, Karl, but this time of year, not so much.”

“Well it’s too damned cold out here to beat around the bush, so let me get right to the point. I can offer you significant financial support for a third party run, and should we see a Republican elected president, a cabinet position,” Rove said.

“Which?” Roemer asked.

“Health and Human Services, HUD, or Labor,” Rove said. “Depends on who gets the nod and who owes what to whom,” he added.

“How much?” Roemer said.

“How much what?” Rove said.

“How much financial support will I get and when will I get it?” Roemer said.

“Well, you know that Republicans with deep pockets contributed to Ralph Nader’s campaign in 2004, and they are willing to do that again for you,” Rove said.

Roemer opened his mouth to say something, but Rove held up his index finger and hurried on. “In addition, we will help you raise the required matching funds in at least 20 states so that you qualify for matching public funds.”

“And how do you propose to do that?” Roemer said.

“Hell, Buddy, we have PACs, Super PACs, grassroots support groups...you name it. Raising the money’s no problem. Laundering it is the problem.”

“I’ll need one million up front to get off the ground,” Roemer said.

“One million?! What are you getting off the ground in, a Lear Jet?” Rove said, with a guffaw.

Roemer just looked at Rove.

“Okay, we can manage that. You’ll want to look as if you have some substance,” Rove said.

You crass son of a bitch, Roemer thought.

#

Rove went on to outline the next steps in moving the dishevelled mob that was Occupy Wall Street towards the formation of a third party. "Look, Buddy, we're not trying to get these bozos to come to a consensus or anything like that. For Christ sake, they can't agree on what they're protesting. We're just gonna insert a few people in the mix, get them some attention, and then have you announce your third party candidacy and have these people endorse it," Rove said.

"And what are the real Occupiers going to say about that?" Roemer said.

"Who gives a shit," Rove said. "First of all, they don't speak with a single voice, and second, by the time they realize what's happened, absentee ballots will be in the mail."

"So you have no intention of really trying to coalesce the Occupy Wall Street movement into a coherent political party? Roemer said.

"Hell no!" Rove said. "I'm not a fucking magician."

#

Both men were quiet as they made their way back to their cars, shoulders hunched and hands shoved deep in the pockets of their coats, as each mulled over what had just transpired.

They had agreed that in the future, face-to-face meetings would be kept to an absolute minimum. No use taking the chance that someone would spot them and wonder what was going on.

DC was a hotbed of rumors and it didn't take much to get one started. Rove had purchased a couple of anonymous prepaid cell phones, activating them from a phony address. He'd given one to Roemer, and told him how to buy another when the activation expired. Mostly, they'd coordinate their activities by phone.

When they reached their cars, Roemer shut off his jammer and switched on his recorder. Rove shut off his recorder and stuck out his right hand, "Nice doing business with you, Buddy," Rove said as the two men shook hands.

As they turned to their cars, Roemer said, "Hey Rove, one more time. Just so I have this straight. Quick run down on the plan."
___________________________________________
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination, or are used fictitiously, and any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

2012

Chapter 10: Stars and Stripes Forever
[Go to beginning]

Reince Priebus had just gotten off the phone with a Justice Department staff member when his cell phone ring tone, Stars and Stripes Forever, sounded. He checked the caller ID and saw it was blocked. He answered it, because he knew Karl Rove blocked his ID and he’d been getting calls from Rove every few hours. “Hello?”

“Reince, this is Karl. What’s the status on your letter to Justice on Obama’s illegal campaign ad?”
Rove had alerted Priebus to an ad that the Obama campaign had videotaped in the White House map room, telling him that it was illegal. “Write a letter to Holder and leak it to the media,” Rove had demanded.
Priebus knew that previous presidents had done the same sort of thing, including most recently, George W. Bush, and he knew that Justice considered it fine and dandy. But he also knew that Rove’s gambit had nothing to do with what Justice would or wouldn’t do, but was all about the spin.
“I sent the letter and just got off the phone with some third-tier flunky at Justice. She said they would take it under consideration, but not to expect an answer any time soon,” Priebus said.
“But you leaked it to the press?” Rove said.
“Absolutely.”

“Good. Listen, I finally talked with Romney and Gingrich. They’ve agreed to go along with the Roemer package.” Rove wasn’t being truthful on this, but he’d gotten both potential nominees to waffle word him a response that would be good enough for a second-level cabinet post or an ambassadorial position somewhere. “I’m meeting with Buddy this afternoon. Have someone on your staff make up all the paperwork to establish a third party. I want to--”
“On MY staff?” Priebus said. Priebus knew he shouldn’t even be talking to Rove, let alone assisting him in his various schemes. But with Rove came money, and money was what it was all about.
“I have my people up to their eyeballs in working senate elections, Reince. Checking the metrics, building the volunteer organizations. Lots of stuff. I’ve just had my lawyers submit an advisory opinion to FEC saying it’s legal to use incumbent members of Congress in advertisements.”

Rove’s American Crossroads PAC had formally requested it be allowed to produce and distribute television and radio advertisements featuring on camera footage or voice-overs of incumbent members of congress up for re-election. The purpose of the ads would be promote Republican members of Congress up for reelection, but American Crossroads lawyers argued that the spots would focus on policy and legislative issues.
“So I heard,” said Priebus. “But look, Karl, if it gets out that the RNC is putting together the paperwork to form a third party, we could all go to jail.”
“Well I doubt that,” said Rove. I wouldn’t be going to jail, he thought. “But okay, I’ll get DCI to do it.”
DCI Group was a high-powered Republican lobby and PR firm that claimed it helped corporations ‘navigate their most challenging political, legislative and regulatory problems anywhere in the world.’ They were practiced at what they called ‘reframing the issue,’ and working through ‘think tanks’ to cast doubt on scientific findings detrimental to their client’s interests. Rove made frequent use of their services.
“How’s the primary schedule shaping up?” Rove asked, knowing that Priebus had been fighting to keep the state’s from leap-frogging each other to move up their primary dates to gain influence in picking the Party’s candidate.
“Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida in January. Anybody try to move their date up is gonna have their delegates pulled,” Priebus said.
“Atta boy! said Rove. “Listen, Reince, it just occurred to me that we could use DCI to help push those new laws to, uh, level the playing field on voting. What do you think?”
Rove was talking about GOP attempts to require government-issued photo identification for voting, eliminate same day voter registration, require proof of citizenship to register to vote, including a passport, impose stricter requirements for voter registration drives, reduce early voting days. The idea was to make voting harder for about five million people in the 2012 election; people who traditionally voted democratic.
“We’re making progress all down the line in about 12 states, but any help we can get, unofficially, of course...” and here Priebus chuckled, “...would be greatly appreciated.”
“You got it!” Rove said. “What are you doing about Devine’s decision blocking that suit on prison-based gerrymandering?”
Rove was talking about Republican efforts to have prisoners counted in the districts where they were incarcerated, instead of their home of record, thereby inflating population statistics in favor of less-densely populated Republican districts.
“We have our lawyers reviewing the decision,” Priebus said, checking the ID on another call he had.
“Okay. Well, I’ll keep you posted on the soon-to-be announced OWS third party.” Rove hung up and immediately called Roemer’s number.


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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination, or are used fictitiously, and any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Published on Amazon Italia

My writing is now published on Amazon's Italian affiliate, Amazon.it.

2012

Chapter 9: Onion Rings
[Go to beginning]


Karl Rove had a little more than an hour before his flight. He checked his voice mail and found the call from Reince Priebus he’d received while he was at the Mass GOP Headquarters, Talking to that arrogant bitch, Kangas. He touched the callback button, put his briefcase on one of the chairs at the small table he’d selected, and sat at the other. There were some fairly good sit-down restaurants at Boston-Logan, but Rove didn’t have time for a full meal. He just wanted a place to sit, have a beer, and hold his conference call.
Priebus answered on the second ring. Without prelude, Rove said, “Reince, what about that conference call?”
“Karl, have you been keeping up on the news?” Priebus said, making the word ‘news’ sound like a dirty word.
“What about it?” Rove said.
“Some woman is claiming that she had a 13-year affair with Herman Cain. Her name is--”
“Yeah, yeah, I read all about it. So what? He’s already had four women accuse him of sexual harassment. Maybe this charge will help him. The sex was consensual,” Rove said, with a guffaw.
“Well, Cain’s not open to any conference call, Karl. Says he ‘reassessing’ his campaign. And Romney and Perry..., oh and Newt, want a face-to-face meeting,” Priebus said.
“Jesus! What a fucking circus,” Rove said. “Hang on.” Rove ordered a beer and onion rings from the pimply-faced waiter, then put the phone back to his ear. “Reince, I’ve got a flight in 45 minutes. I’m going to email you an agreement for these jokers to read. Make copies and get them to sign it, and then-- ”
Priebus cut off Rove, “Karl, these guys aren’t going to sign anything. You know that. They won’t even--”
“Hold on,” Rove said. “What have you told them?”
“I told them you had a proposal for them, and that it could improve their--”
Rove cut off Priebus. “I said practically guarantee,” Rove said.
 “Yeah, well...” Priebus said.
“Shit,” Rove said, and ended the call.
Rove shoved several onion rings in his mouth while he opened his Contacts file and found Mitt Romney’s cell phone number. He touched the screen and waited for the call to go through, checking his watch as he did.
“Karl, what’s up?” Mitt said, sounding relaxed.
“Hi, Mitt. Listen, I’m between planes so need to hurry this, if you don’t mind.” Rove went on to describe his scheme for getting Buddy Roemer to run as a third party candidate on an Occupy Wall Street ticket.
Romney became cautious in the conversation as Rove described the “package of incentives” he thought Roemer would need to carry out the campaign. At one point, Romney, the paranoid SOB, asked, “Are you recording this conversation, Karl?”
Rove answered, “Hell no, Mitt, that’s illegal,” but Rove was recording the conversation and knew that Romney would never take him to court if it came out, because that would just damage him in the public eye.
Romney told Rove that he ‘wouldn't oppose Rove's plan,’ and although Rove would’ve liked a more enthusiastic endorsement, he settled for that; given Romney’s suspicious personality, that was as good as it was going to get.
Rove waved a waiter over, paid his bill, and started walking to his boarding gate. He started to thumb his cell for Newt Gingrich’s number, but the phone, greasy from onion rings, slipped from his hand and fell to the floor. Rove swore, picked up the phone and checked to see if it still worked. It didn’t. Rove swore all the way to the boarding gate.

______________________________________________________
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination, or are used fictitiously, and any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

2012

Chapter 8: Emphasize her education and turn it against her
[Go to beginning]

Karl Rove was distressed to find the GOP campaign office practically deserted. He shouted to the  only people in the office; two women talking at a corner desk, “Where is everybody?!”
The woman leaning against the desk shrugged. The woman seated at the desk stared at him with a puzzled expression on her heavily made-up face.
Rove turned away and snaked his way through the maze of desks to the chairman’s office. Jeananne Kangas, who was the acting chairperson of the Massachusetts GOP, was on the phone. She looked up, brushed a wave of rust-colored hair from her narrowed eyes, and recognizing Rove, motioned to a chair at the side of her desk.
From the content and tenor of her conversation, Rove figured she was addressing someone who was dissatisfied with how the process for electing the new chairperson was going. Jennifer Nassour’s unexpected resignation had raised some ugly divisions in the party.
Kangas hung up with a curt, “Well, that’s the way it is,” and turned to Rove. “I’m afraid I haven’t been able to raise Tim yet. He’s supposed to have been here fifteen minutes ago.”
Rove checked his watch. The meeting he’d set up with Kangas and her communications manager, Tim Buckley, had been for 2:15. Kangas probably wanted to pow-wow with Buckley before they had their sit down with Rove. “Well, that’s okay, Jean, gives me a chance to ask about who the new chair’s gonna be.”
“Bob Maginn, if I have any say,” Kangas responded.
“But McNamara’s thrown his hat in ring?” Rove said, making it a question instead of a statement.
“Yeah. He’s a favorite of the Mass Tea Party,” Kangas said, frowning.
“Well and good,” said Rove. “But Maginn gets you Mitt Romney.”
“Don’t I know it,” said Kangas. “You betting on Romney to get the nod?”
“It’s between him and Gingrich. Newt’s baggage may weigh him down, but this flip-flopping by Mitt is getting a lot of traction,” Rove said, checking his vibrating smart phone.
Kangas looked over Rove’s shoulder. “Ah, here’s Tim. Finally,” she said, as Buckley hurried into the office.
“Sorry I’m late. Traffic,” Buckley said, taking off his sport coat and hanging it over the back of the remaining chair. Buckley reached out to shake Rove’s hand. “Karl. How was your trip?”
Rove’s handshake was perfunctory. He wasn't big on hearty handshakes. “Fine,” he said.
Kangas said, “Karl wanted--”
Rove cut her off. “I want to talk about a more aggressive campaign against Warren,” he said.
“Well, we’re --,” Buckley said.
Rove talked over him. “I want more direct mailings, and I have a list of points I want included. I emailed them to you, Tim, on my way here.”
Buckley started to take out his smart phone.
“You can check later, Tim,” Kangas said.
“I’m sure you’ve seen the ad we’re running against Warren,” Rove said,
“Sure,” Kangas and Buckley said, simultaneously. “Great stuff,” Buckley said.
“Well, I want more ads focusing on her Harvard Law connection. Tie her directly to Obama. Emphasize her education and turn it against her. She’s elitist. Doesn’t understand the common working man. Or woman. That sort of thing,” Rove said.
Kangas was taking notes. Buckley was still thumbing his cell.
“Look, I know we feel confident about Brown keeping his seat, but the Democrats are going to throw a lot of money at this race. They think he’s vulnerable. I don’t want to take any chances,” Rove said.
“I hear you,” Buckley said.
Kangas gave Buckley a fish eye look. “We appreciate the input Karl,” Kangas said, with something less than conviction, and thought, Who the hell does he think he is?

Rove looked at Kangas and came to a decision. "I've gotta run," he said, and started for the door. "Oh, Tim, walk with me. Want to ask you something." Raising his hand, he said, "So long, Jean. Next time, huh?"

Once in the outer office Rove put his hand on Buckley's shoulder and guided out the front door. "Jean's a lawyer, isn't she," he said, making it a statement, rather than a question.

"Yeah, she is," said Buckley.

"She a little squirrely on things you might want to do?"

"Well...," said Buckley.

"I mean, say you wanted to direct mail something negative on Scott Brown, and make it look like it came from Warren's campaign? You know, something that questions his character, or family values. That sort of thing. Or say there was an implication that he avoided service in Iraq or Afghanistan because of his National Guard service?" Rove smiled at Buckley, who looked slightly ill.

Buckley just shook his head. He was thinking, Jesus Christ!, It was all he could do not to cross himself.
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination, or are used fictitiously, and any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Monday, November 28, 2011

2012

Chapter 7: Anger Points

Karl Rove sent a text to James O’Keefe, “Send more photos from OWS. Hire more helpers.” ‘Helpers’ was a euphemism for the homeless guys O’Keefe was paying to wander around Occupy Wall Street rallies and sit-ins. In a stroke of genius, O’Keefe was paying his 'helpers' with beer.
Rove turned his attention to the list he was making on a BlackBerry digital notepad app. It was labeled, ‘Anger points.’ At the same time he was listening to Reince Priebus on his cell. Priebus was whining that it was near impossible to arrange a deal for Roemer when the GOP hadn’t yet nominated its presidential candidate.
“Listen, Reince, I’m meeting with Roemer again Monday. I need to lay this out for him.” Rove got up, flushed the toilet, and walked into the bedroom of his hotel. “You need to get the top three together and tell them no RNC money unless they all agree to the deal.”
“The top three?” said Priebus.
“Romney, Gingrich, and Cain,” Rove said, punching the room service number on the desk phone.
“But what if--”
Rove interrupted, “What if Bachmann gets the nod, or Santorum, or Paul, or--”
“Perry,” said Priebus.
“Have you seen his numbers recently? The guy is shooting himself in the foot, when he doesn’t have it in his mouth. He’s losing contributors right and left. He won’t have the money to see it through. Believe me, I know,” said Rove, checking his BlackBerry for the latest polling on the Republican candidates.
“Well...,” Priebus said.
“Club sandwich, potato salad, pickle, and a coke,” Rove said.
“What?” Priebus said.
“Set up a conference call. I’ll handle it,” Rove said, ending the call before Priebus had a chance to protest.
Rove thumbed his smart phone until he found what he was looking for on Youtube. Then, while he ate, he watched the attack ad on Elizabeth Warren his Crossroads PAC had produced. He chuckled as Warren was shown in her ‘class warfare’ speech in the ad. The volume in the ad had been turned way down, so that the viewer couldn’t hear the substance of her argument. She was just gesticulating strenuously. She came out looking deranged, especially when superimposed over the chaotic scenes of the Oakland Occupy Wall Street protests. The ad’s ominous music was a bit cheesy, but in Rove’s opinion, cheesy never hurt when it came to politics. The ad cost Rove’s PAC nearly $600K, but it was worth it. The GOP couldn’t afford to lose Scott Brown’s senate seat.

By the time Rove walked out of the Ritz-Carlton and into a waiting taxi it was almost 2 pm and he still had a lot on his ‘to do’ list. His first stop was GOP Headquarters. On the way there he continued to add to his ‘anger points’ list. ‘Guns’ topped the list, followed by ‘homosexuality/gay marriage. Then he wrote, ‘Barney Frank.’ He paused, put his hand on his stomach, belched, and then dry-swallowed an antacid. Then he wrote ‘Nancy Pelosi.’ Then in rapid succession he wrote, ‘abortion,’ ‘mandated health insurance,’ ‘high cost of gas,’ ‘global warming hoax,’ and ‘unemployment.’ Rove paused to look out the window as his taxi navigated downtown Boston, and then finished his list with, ‘OWS.’ and put away his BlackBerry as the taxi pulled up in front of the drab, brick building that served as GOP Headquarters.



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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination, or are used fictitiously, and any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

2012

Chapter 6: Pigeon hunting in NH slow

Instead of heading directly back to the airport, Rove told his taxi driver to take him to the Red Arrow Diner; a cup of coffee and soggy piece of pumpkin pie at the Science Center didn’t cut it. On the way, he texted Reince Priebus, “Pigeon hunting in NH slow.”
As Rove slid into a booth at the rear of the diner he saw a photo of Barack Obama on the wall at the end of the bench. Obama had come through the diner during the 2008 election, along with every candidate except McCain. Had to hand it to Obama. He was a was savvy politician.
Rove ordered a ‘DinahMoe’ from a incurably cheerful, young waitress, who seemed not to recognize him, thumbed through messages on his BlackBerry, and paged through the day’s issue of the Union Leader.
A story about Republican state Rep. J.R. Hoell of Dunbarton co-sponsoring a bill to allow guns on university campuses caught his attention. Hoell was arguing that as long as UNH received taxpayer money, they were a ‘subdivision of the state,’ should abide by the Second Amendment, and overturn their prohibition against firearms on campus.
Rove made a note to himself to think about how to better use the whole gun rights issue to his advantage in 2012. Maybe he could manufacture a rumor that Obama was planning to reinstitute the automatic weapons ban once he was reelected. Hell, he probably was. He quickly typed the outline for an Op Ed and emailed it to Chris Stirewalt at Fox.
Rove went through his email and text messages and finished scanning the paper as he wolfed down the huge DinahMoe steak burger that was a favorite of Red Arrow patrons. No wonder Americans are fat, he thought, as he polished off the last of his french fries. Before he left for the airport he took an interior photo of the Red Arrow with his smart phone and twitted, “Thanksgiving on the road at Red Arrow; work, work work.”

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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination, or are used fictitiously, and any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.