Thursday, December 8, 2011

Political science students excited to meet and hear from political strategist Karl Rove

Republican strategist Karl Rove will speak at Randolph College in January, giving students the opportunity to seek his insight on political strategy, campaigning, the Republican primary and a contentious presidential race.

Rove, the former deputy chief of staff and senior advisor to President George W. Bush, will speak at Randolph on January 26. The College has now opened reservations for free tickets to the public.

Political science students are anxious for the opportunity to speak with Rove and hear his thoughts. Because he is coming to campus less than two years after Howard Dean—former Vermont governor and chair of the Democratic National Committee—they have another chance to converse with a political giant.

“I think that few people have been able to hear firsthand from giants in politics like Howard Dean and Karl Rove,” said Will Dede ’14, who plans to become a legislative assistant after graduating. “Hearing them, their ideas, their positions, their ways of doing things, what they’ve done—that gives you more information than a lot of other people have.”

Rove advised former President Bush in his successful campaigns for the governorship in Texas and the White House.
Karl Rove at Randolph College
Election 2012 Insights
7:30 p.m. January 26, 2012
Smith Hall Theatre
Seating is limited. Request your free tickets online.
Since leaving the Bush administration, he has founded political action committees that support Republican candidates. He is a contributor to Fox News and a columnist for the Wall Street Journal.

Because Rove has always focused on strategy rather than actually serving in elected office, he should have interesting insights into the political process, Dede said. “What he’s going to bring to the school is not the policy side of things, but the political side of things: What you need to do to run a successful campaign,” Dede said.

Dede pointed out that Rove will be on campus shortly after the Iowa caucus and the South Carolina and New Hampshire. “I’m interested in talking to him about what he thinks the candidates are going to do to win the nomination,” he said.

Patrick Glynn ’12 said he expects Rove to provide a stark contrast to Dean’s visit and highlight the debate in the Republican nomination process. He said he looks forward the opportunity to talk with Rove.

Glynn said he expects to disagree with much of what Rove says—he recently worked on a state senate campaign for a Democrat candidate, and last summer he enthusiastically participated in President Barack Obama’s first Twitter Town Hall event. But he said he won’t pass up the opportunity to meet Rove.

“Regardless of my personal beliefs, I do find Mr. Rove to be a fascinating and relevant player in our political system,” Glynn said.

Sue Lockhart, a political science professor specializing in American government, said Rove, who is credited with Bush’s presidential victories, is a perfect follow-up to Dean, who is credited for coming up with the Democrat Party’s strategy that helped elect Obama.

“American politics are quite controversial,” she said. “Textbooks are fine, but hearing from and questioning major figures on both sides is a far better way to engage in the controversies.”