Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight by Karl Rove. Illustration: Neal Fox
I have often wondered how I landed where I have in life, but you won't find any answers here. All I will say is I had no idea my father had homosexual proclivities and if I had I would – like any true patriot – have left home a great deal sooner. What I do know is I have been a staunch Republican since I saw Richard Nixon on TV; there was something irresistible about his obvious sincerity.
After enrolling at the University of Utah in 1969, I was devastated to find I had dodged the Vietnam draft – a war I wholeheartedly supported – and threw myself into campaigning for the Republican party. OK, I made youthful mistakes. I should never have allowed myself to get caught stealing Democrat stationery and printing fake campaign fliers, but at least Republican bosses recognised my potential.
Watergate was a minor misdemeanour that Nixon's advisers allowed to be misreported, but it did have one positive consequence: with all eyes on the president, some allegations about my own misconduct were overlooked and I soon found myself working for George Bush Sr in Texas. I had come to realise I didn't have the looks, charm or personality to seek office, so I quickly made a name for myself as an all-purpose fixer.
In 1996, George Bush Sr called to say he wanted my help to get his idiot son into the White House. It was a tough campaign for the Republican nomination, but once we had won South Carolina the momentum was with us. Naturally McCain smeared us by accusing me of racist innuendo, but I never did it and anyway, what sort of moron thinks you can win a campaign in the South by appealing to racism?
The Democrats tried to steal the 2000 election by insisting all minority votes be counted, but I managed to persuade the Supreme Court that the law was clear: even if black people thought they had meant to vote for Al Gore, they hadn't really. It was a momentous day when Bush made me his senior adviser.
The president immediately set about major reforms of healthcare and education. As he said to me, "The president should have no more advantages than any other American; I want every child to leave school with the reading age of a 10-year-old." Everything changed with 9/11. As Air Force One circled over Washington, the president yelled: "Now we can forget all that pussy shit and go slot some ragheads."
The war in Iraq was an unqualified success from day one. It would have been helpful if Hans Blix had not lied about his failure to find weapons of mass destruction, but I shoulder the blame for not having made the public believe what we wanted them to. It was hard fighting the incessant anti-Americanism of the Democrats, all of whom were communist paedophiles. So the CIA did some waterboarding? The terrorists were thirsty, for God's sake.
We managed to win a second term although the Democrats again accused me of dirty tricks. As if. For the record, I never did anything illegal that anyone could prove. So all I'm going to say about the Valerie Plame affair, the millions of deleted emails, and the sacking of various US attorneys who weren't supporting the president, is I've no idea why anyone would imagine I was implicated.
By 2005 I had become depressed at the negative reporting of the presidency. There was no point in the president going to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina as the victims were all hicks and there were no votes in it, but the press tried to make a big thing out of it. It was time to move on and cash in. Oops, I see I've forgotten to mention my second divorce and that the House Judiciary Committee did conclude I had played a significant role in the attorney firings! But these things happen when you're racing to get your side of the story out ahead of Dick Cheney and George Dubya. See you by the remainder pile.
Digested read, digested: Bluster and Inconsequence: My Life as Dubya's Ally Campbell.