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March 11th, 2010
11:09 AM ET

Karl Rove's Memoir: Act of Vengeance

Rove's memoir is a 'work of titanic pettiness', says Klein.

Rove's memoir is a 'work of titanic pettiness', says Klein.

Joe Klein
TIME

There is not much news in Karl Rove's memoir, Courage and Consequence, which is something of a moral triumph for the author. Rove is nothing if not loyal, and these sorts of books tend to create a stir only when they betray the boss. A significant amount of dirt is dished here — an astonishing amount, actually; this is a work of titanic pettiness — but it's all tossed at enemies of George W. Bush.

One example: Hillary Clinton is criticized for sitting down, rather than standing, for a photo with rescue workers three days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Bush, who had just arrived at ground zero, is standing for photos, and it simply doesn't occur to Rove that Clinton had already spent most of the past several days there, working desperately for her constituents. Rove is not always so unfair; he manages to demolish more than a few of the sillier attacks against him and the President. But this book is primarily an act of vengeance — and, in that sense, unintentionally revealing about the nature of the Bush presidency.

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Filed under: Joe Klein • President George W. Bush
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