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DECEMBER 2006

Karl Rove

by Alex Miller-Mignone

Rove and BushIt is often the “accidents” of history which provide some of its most memorable meetings. In 1973, George H. W. Bush, later 41st President of the United States, was National Committee Chairman of the Republican Party. In that summer, 22-year-old Karl Rove, then executive director of the College Republican National Committee, was running for national chairman of that organization. The results of the vote were disputed, and he appealed to Bush Senior for his support.

Given the nod by Bush, Rove passed his old executive director job to close friend Lee Atwater (who had also managed his CRNC campaign), and was himself hired as a special assistant in the RNC, in which capacity he also performed small personal tasks for Bush. That November he asked Rove to deliver a set of car keys to his eldest son, George W. Bush, home for the holidays from Harvard Business School. Their first meeting was electrifying to Rove: “Huge amounts of charisma, swagger, cowboy boots, flight jacket, wonderful smile, just charisma—you know, wow.” Atwater would go on to become Bush Senior’s chief campaign advisor and earn a reputation as one of the dirtiest fighters in politics—that is, until Rove’s alliance with Bush Junior eclipsed him years later.

Born in Denver but raised in Nevada and Utah, Rove’s interest in politics began early. In 1960 9-year-old Karl supported Nixon against Kennedy, a position which irked the girl living down the block. As Rove described the incident, "There was a little girl across the street who was Catholic and found out I was for Nixon, and she was avidly for Kennedy. She put me down on the pavement and whaled on me and gave me a bloody nose. I lost my first political battle."

His first involvement in dirty politics came ten years later, when Rove used a fake ID to steal a thousand sheets of letterhead from the campaign of Alan Dixon, Democratic candidate for Illinois State Treasurer. Rove used the letterhead to print flyers offering “free beer, free food, girls and a good time for nothing” at a Dixon rally, which he then distributed to homeless shelters. The rally was indeed disrupted, but Dixon won the race regardless. In his official roles with the CRNC, Rove dispensed advice to politically active young Republicans, including tactics such as searching through opponents’ garbage for “dirt.” Active in Nixon’s re-election campaign in 1972, Rove was a protege of convicted Watergate conspirator Donald Segretti, and was briefly investigated by Watergate prosecutors, who abandoned his case only because they had more important targets.

The momentous meeting with Dubya came in the midst of the Watergate scandal, and from that point Rove was a Bush hanger-on, though he worked for many Republican candidates. Not all races were successful, including Bush Junior’s embarrassing failed congressional bid in 1978, but early on Rove gained a reputation as a no-holds-barred fighter who produced results.

In 1976 Rove accepted a position as Finance Director of the Virginia Republican Party, and via direct mail took that organization’s fundraising operations from practically nil to over $400,000 annually, virtually overnight. A year later he moved to Texas, and was instrumental in Bush Senior’s first presidential bid in 1979-80. Reagan outdid Bush for the nomination, but the canny former actor understood Bush’s value as an oil man, Senator’s son and former CIA Director, and made him his Vice Presidential running mate for the 1980 campaign which ousted Carter from the White House.

While maintaining close ties with the Bushes, Rove remained in Texas, where in 1978 he was instrumental in helping Bill Clements become the first Republican governor of Texas in 100 years. In 1981 Rove founded Karl Rove & Company, a political consulting and direct mail firm which he headed until 1999, when he sold the business to focus on George W. Bush’s White House run. Rove’s clients included Texas Senator Phil Gramm, Reagan’s re-election campaign in 1984, Texas Senator Kay Baily Hutchison, both Bush Senior’s presidential campaigns, Missouri Senator John Ashcroft and tobacco giant Phillip Morris, as well as Bush Junior’s successful bid to unseat Texas Governor Ann Richards in 1994. His clients won 34 of an estimated 41 contests wherein Rove was primary political consultant.

Bush’s gubernatorial race was the first in which Rove was linked to a controversial tactic known as “push polling,” where potential voters are called and asked questions designed to impart a false impression of the opposing candidate, which the pollsters supposedly support. In 1994, Rove’s operatives asked voters if they would be more or less likely to vote for Ann Richards, incumbent governor, “if they knew her staff is dominated by lesbians.” Rove returned to the tactic with great success in the trashing of John McCain’s presidential candidacy in South Carolina in 2000, when Rove pollsters insinuated that McCain’s wife was insane, that he had collaborated with his captors in Vietnam to gain special treatment, and that he had an illegitimate black child (McCain and his wife adopted a child from Bangladesh).

When the 2000 election came down to the disputed vote in Florida, Rove was quick to promote the “we won, get over it” approach to the recount. He organized the “Brooks Brothers Riot,” a demonstration ostensibly of concerned Florida voters outside the recount center in Miami, which were in fact GOP operatives flown in from Washington and around the country. With his candidate successfully installed in the White House, Rove accepted a position as Senior Advisor to the president, and the advice he gave, in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, was succinct: divide and conquer. Keep the electorate polarized, play to your base, paint dissent as unpatriotic, and promote fear.

In the re-election campaign of 2004, Rove played his cards to perfection. One of his chief tactics had always been to attack opponents on their greatest strengths, and his close ties to the brokers behind the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, who disputed John Kerry’s military service, were not surprising. Neither was the uncanny frequency with which the Department of Homeland Security routinely raised the national threat level whenever Kerry pulled ahead in the polls, throughout the spring and summer of 2004.

By 2006, however, such tactics had begun to pale on the electorate, and a perhaps too complacent Rove was apparently unprepared for the political backlash which unseated GOP majorities in both Houses of Congress that November and propelled the increasingly unpopular Bush, who regularly polls in the low 30 percentiles on approval ratings, into incipient lame duck status. Rove’s master plan of building an unassailable GOP lock on government that would last for generations has seemingly faded into the twilight of unrealized ambitions.

Known popularly as “Bush’s Brain” and referred to by Dubya as “The Boy Genius,” “The Architect,” and “Turd Blossom,” Karl Christian Rove was born on Christmas Day, 1950, a perhaps appropriate debut for one whom many considered the Savior of the Republican Party. At first glance his chart, dominated by a Capricorn stellium opposed Cancer Moon/Uranus, is deceptively simple—businesslike, straightforward, conservative. But galactics have a somewhat different tale to tell.

Karl ROveThree Black Holes rule the nativity, conjoined Sun, Mercury and Saturn. Sun/Black Hole pairings promote deception, to the extent that the native rarely shows his true face to others, having the chameleon-like ability to be all things to all people; at 3 Capricorn, Rove’s Sun is closely tied to the Black Hole at 4 Capricorn, opposed another at 4 Cancer, and squared a third at 1 Libra. Black Hole Suns like to operate behind the scenes, making decisions and pulling strings while others carry out their orders and promote their agendas, wittingly or otherwise; they often avoid the spotlight, preferring to work in the shadows. Until his stint in the White House Rove fit this pattern, well known to political junkies in Texas, but relatively unknown to the populace at large. Even in the fish bowl of the White House, Rove has been more of an eminence grise, the power behind the throne, rather than wielding power directly. Changeable but determined, with vast reserves of energy, Black Hole Suns are tireless advocates of the causes they espouse, for good or ill.

Mercury combined with a Black Hole vastly increases the potential for deception in the Black Hole Sun. At 17 Capricorn, Mercury conjoins a Black Hole at 19, which is further squared by natal Neptune at 19 Libra, and Mercury/Neptune is also known for subterfuge and misdirection, if not outright deception. It can also be the signature of the True Believer, one unable to distinguish his own private version of the facts from objective reality. With Mercury/Black Hole comes a deep, penetrating intelligence, and there is also a strong ability to foresee, to plan ahead, and to envision, not just the way things are, but the ways they might become. Visionary but obsessive, Black Hole Mercury may sometimes miss the forest for the trees, but its powers of focus and communication are formidable. Rove’s incredible grasp of what Dubya terms “strategery” and his astounding success with direct mail fundraising both stem from this placement.

Natal Saturn at 2 Libra squares the Sun, affording yet more focus and self discipline, an aptitude for hard work and a desire to succeed. Its conjunction with the anomaly at 1 Libra, supermassive Black Hole center of Galaxy M-87 and the largest anomaly of its type of which we are aware, bespeaks a lust for power which rivals any. Not the raw power of Pluto, visceral and centered in the self, Saturn’s power seeks expression outward, in domination and control of others, and in attainment to the pinnacle of worldly position.

Quasars are active as well, with Jupiter and Uranus both conjoined these Deep Space anomalies which promote success, achievement and visibility. Jupiter’s affinity with politics and wheeling-dealing squares with Rove’s incredible rise—a college drop-out who attended six different universities without ever obtaining a degree does not often find himself as Special Advisor to the President of the United States. Uranus’ predilection for creating a stir and causing trouble is also well documented in Rove’s career. In the aftermath of the GOP rout in the 2006 mid-term elections, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin commented on the administration’s overtures towards conciliation and compromise with Democrats: “Karl’s role has not been to serve as a bridge over troubled waters; he has tried to stir the waters as often as possible.”

Asteroids are interesting as well. I chose asteroids “George” and “Busch” (homonym for “Bush”) for Rove’s impact on Dubya’s career, as well as “White House,” “Machiavelli” (named for the ruthless Renaissance political tactician and philosopher), and “Lie” (for obvious reasons).

Asteroid George at 7 Pisces in Rove’s nativity conjoins both the Quasar at 5 and natal Jupiter at 3 Pisces, indicating the symbiotic relationship which allowed both men to expand their reach and to meet their potential (in Dubya’s case, one might say “exceed” that potential). Asteroid Busch at 21 Scorpio is tightly squared by natal Pluto at 19 Leo retrograde, an apt image of the way Rove’s personal power was vastly increased by his connection with the Bush dynasty, and how, in turn, he vastly increased their own power.

Asteroid White House at 24 Sagittarius is conjoined Rove’s natal Chiron, signature of the guide or mentor, and without Bush Senior’s early mentoring of Rove, the latter would not have been in a position to mentor Bush Junior into the presidency. Additionally, there is a Pulsar at 24 Sagittarius, which often denotes significant involvement with the Media—without Rove’s brilliant use of misdirection and the Media, in such comforting but meaningless catchphrases as “compassionate conservatism” as well as such Orwellian double-speak as “No Child Left behind” and the “Clear Skies Initiative” both the Bush campaign and its later legislative agenda would have failed before they began. White House is also conjoined the Galactic Center at 26 Sagittarius, a strong indicator of the universal or global importance of Rove’s tenure there, for good or ill.

Asteroid Machiavelli at 23 Libra is conjoined natal Neptune at 19 Libra and squared natal Mercury at 17 Capricorn. Noted for his use of blatant deception, focused ambition and his philosophy of the ruler’s ruthless use of power, Machiavelli has long been a by-word for governmental abuse and totalitarianism. No better tribute to Rove’s lifework can be offered than the fact that among pundits and Beltway insiders, the term “Rovian” has come to be coined as a synonym for the latest manifestations of these corrosive energies.

Karl RoveFinally, and most poetically, asteroid Lie at 19 Leo, at station retrograde, is exactly conjoined Rove’s natal Pluto. If that isn’t the ultimate signature of the “Big Lie,” I don’t know what is. From its perch atop Pluto, Lie is exactly sextile Neptune at 19 Libra, squared asteroid Busch at 21 Scorpio, trine White House and Chiron at 24 and 25 Sagittarius, and inconjunct natal Mercury at 17 Capricorn, making it one of the best-connected points in Rove’s chart. There is perhaps no better image with which to end this portrait of Karl Christian Rove.


Alex Miller-Mignone, photo
Alex Miller-Mignone is a professional writer and astrologer, author of The Black Hole Book and The Urban Wicca, former editor of "The Galactic Calendar," and past president of The Philadelphia Astrological Society.

His pioneering work with Black Holes in astrological interpretation began in 1991, when his progressed Sun unwittingly fell into one. Alex can be reached for comment or services at Alixilamirorim@aol.com.
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December 2006
Table of Contents
December 06 Daykeeper Home
Maya: 2006, A Challenging Year
Alex Miller Mignone: Karl Rove, Bush's Brain
Prayer for the Planet
Crystal's Moon Meditation: Revive Your Powers of Inspiration as you Pay Homage to Maya's Legacy
Daily Success Guide
Dec. 1-12
Goddess of the Month: Eagle Woman
Sign of the Month: SagittariusMaya's Sun Sign Archives

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