Karl Rove to bring diversity to Northfield next week

I got this email from a local resident:

Karl Rove posterI think it would be interesting to post something about St. Olaf’s decision to bring in Karl Rove on October 1st to speak.  I am actually quite appalled that our hometown Lutheran college would do such a thing.  Ann Coulter was one thing- she’s an over the top media freak who makes money by being just so.  Karl Rove, kindly known as "Bush’s Brain" is a criminal with little regard for the law or the betterment of our society.  Frankly, I think he’s evil and should be in jail!

The slightly defaced poster on the wall of the GBM (my photo above) has more to say, as well as the blog post on Oleville, by the Political Awareness Committee (PAC) of the St. Olaf Student Government Association (SGA) . (continued)


Karl Rove, former deputy chief of staff and senior adviser to President George W. Bush, will speak at St. Olaf College Thursday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.) in Skoglund Center Auditorium. The presentation, which is free and open to the public and will include a 30-minute question-and-answer session, is sponsored by the student-run Political Awareness Committee with support from the Young America’s Foundation. The speech will be streamed live online (and will not be archived).

Rove’s talk, "America’s Challenges: Policy, the Presidency, and Congress," will present his views about how the new administration and Congress are affecting the American political landscape. Rove, who has served as a political strategist for Republican candidates across the nation, currently contributes regularly to Fox News, Wall Street Journal, and Newsweek.

Past PAC-sponsored speakers at St. Olaf include activist Jesse Jackson, former U.S. Senator Bob Dole, Hotel Rwanda hero Paul Rusesabagina, former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, and Democratic strategist Donna Brazile.


  1. Peter Millin said:

    You might disagree wit his policies but he is far from being a criminal.
    If there would be any substance to your rumor the horde of lawyers that occupy congress and the senate would have found a way to convict him. Alas all there is are rumors.
    You should give hm credit for having the power of conviction to show up in an institution like St. Olaf, which is without a doubt a highly liberal institution.

    When will Barrack Obama show up on Fox News?

    September 26, 2009
  2. Jane Moline said:

    In the USA it is illegal to divulge National Security information such as the identity of a CIA operative. Doing so makes you a criminal. If Rove did not directly divulge secret information, he helped with the coverup.

    He is very unethical, as proven by his behavior in the last two Bush elections, where he devised “push pulls” to spread lies about Bush’s opponents. He also was part of White House coverups of illegal operations, such as spying on US citizens and TORTURE, which is illegal.

    There is no courage in showing up at St. Olaf, the bastion of the Young Republicans, where he is highly paid and will be treated in a respectful manner, as Ann Coulter was before him.

    September 26, 2009
  3. Jane McWilliams said:

    I’m no fan of Karl Rove, but I do believe in academic freedom, and in the right, if not the responsibility, of students to listen to all sides. My guess is that the 30 minute Q & A will reflect the diversity of political views of the student body.

    September 26, 2009
  4. Kathie Galotti said:

    I mentioned Rove’s visit to an Ole alum who wondered aloud whether Lucifer was booked. That said, I agree that the student group who invited him had every right to do so. We’re in a democracy, that means everyone gets a right to speak. I agree wholeheartedly with Jane’s post, but I don’t think St. Olaf provides the venue to properly try the man in a court of law, and until that happens, we have to rely on protestors and audience members to use their free speech to counter Rove’s message.

    September 26, 2009
  5. I’m not a conservative, but if I were, I think it would seem highly objectionable that when the St. Olaf Political Awareness Committee picks from the right, they pick only from the radical right. Even the Republicans I know consider Karl Rove a morally bankrupt person.

    The way the student committee has advertised this is clearly designed to be even more inflammatory — picking his most divisive quotes, plastering enormous pictures of his eery face in a student lounge, etc.

    The goal here doesn’t seem to be, as Jane stated, to get “students to listen to all sides.” The goal seems to be to get the biggest rise out of students and Northfielders. It may just be that many popular rightist/conservative figures are inflammatory, but I think they could certainly find someone less so than Karl Rove.

    September 26, 2009
  6. kiffi summa said:

    I think it’s important for young people to hear public figures like Karl Rove so that they have at least a chance to evaluate him by what they hear him say, not by a ‘photo-op’ opinion of a party to which they might feel affiliated.

    I do fervently hope that what I personally consider to be his monstrously warped opinions are obvious, and that he doesn’t try to cover up his words and actions for the sake of attaining more speaking fees.

    The immense arrogance of his opinions must be obvious if he speaks honestly; if the listeners across the country are in a mood to accept those opinions, then the young people are in for a bad future.

    Listen carefully.

    September 27, 2009
  7. David Henson said:

    When I think of Karl Rove, I think of tactics more than opinions. I think he is a great tactician, albeit down and dirty, which is why Democrats so dislike him.

    September 27, 2009
  8. Jane Moline said:

    When I was in school the ERA was the hot topic, and my college invited Phyllis Schlafley to speak. Her arguments against the ERA were very different from the sound bites that we had heard from the media. She was obviously intelligent and argued for her position in a persuasive, (but in the end, unconvincing) manner. I think it was one of the most important talks that I went to because it opened up my eyes to the deep, thoughful opinions on the “other side” of my beliefs.

    I disagree with Sean–the problem with the Republicans/Conservatives right now is that they do not have anybody but wing-nuts speaking for them. They have chased off the moderates and shouted down reason.

    David Henson, if Charles Manson were speaking would you admire the efficiency with which he roused his “family” to murder?

    Karl Rove was never elected, but befouled our government with his sick, pathetic, devious, low-lying snake-in-the-grass ways. We should be more concerned how an unelected person could weild so much power over our nation–and make sure it never happens again–rather than admiring his tactics or trying to emulate them.

    September 27, 2009
  9. David Henson said:

    Jane, your first paragraph of your post is very nice and anchored with an example then it just kind spins out of control.

    September 27, 2009
  10. David Henson said:

    BTW: I think Charles Manson is a democrat 😉

    September 27, 2009
  11. kiffi summa said:

    I disagree , David H.; I think the last paragraph of Jane’s comment above is right to the point.
    The unelected, behind-the-scenes person wielding so much power is absolutely wrong, and it is/was only the incredible weakness of those in elected positions that allowed it to happen … and ‘weakness’ is putting it politely.

    September 28, 2009
  12. David Henson said:

    Kiffi, these statements are more powerful if you provide an actual factual example to support your position.

    September 28, 2009
  13. Anthony Pierre said:


    that alone should have him locked up for years.

    tom ridge said the terror color system ‘may have been’ abused.

    rovian politics are the reason why the left and the right hate each other right now. hes a master manipulator. he probably made a deal with satan, or more likely satan made a deal with him.

    September 28, 2009
  14. Peter Millin said:

    Last time I checked the law in the US clearly states:

    “Innocent until proven guilty”..

    Jane what am I missing? Was he convicted in the court of law or in the court of public opinion? despite your wishfull thinking it is always the latter.


    The unelected, behind-the-scenes person wielding so much power is absolutely wrong, and it is/was only the incredible weakness of those in elected positions that allowed it to happen … and ‘weakness’ is putting it politely.

    Well said..Now if we just could apply the same standard to the current admin..48 czars and counting. 🙂

    September 28, 2009
  15. Anthony Pierre said:

    peter, even you can’t deny this man is evil.

    September 28, 2009
  16. Jane Moline said:

    Peter: Innocent until proven guilty is matter for a criminal before court. Whether or not a person is guilty of a crime is a matter of fact–that fact is often known by the criminal, and by many others. People are always either innocent or guilty. How the court sees them is not relevant here—hiding behind the court system has always been the defense of the guilty person–manipulating the system does not make a guilty person innocent.

    Karl Rove broke laws, but deviously hid the evidence by destroying emails documenting his crime.

    September 28, 2009
  17. Bruce Wiskus said:

    This is the problem with politics in the present day. If you are on the right or the left the people that share your philosophy can do no wrong and conversely the opposition can do no right.

    A number of you feel that Mr Rove has broken laws and should be punished by the courts. According to post 12 it is a matter of fact that he broke laws and it is irrelevant what the courts think.

    Let me ask you this, how do you feel about the actions of ACORN and the possibility that voter fraud in Minnesota enabled Sen.Franken to be elected over Mr. Coleman?

    It is a fact that ACORN fraudulently registered voters. Using a line of reasoning similar to yours, in regards to Mr Rove, one can can conclude that ACORN illegally influenced the election.

    My point is this, until both parties can see the faults in their own party we will never move forward.

    September 28, 2009
  18. jordan taylor said:

    may i recommend going to hogan brothers at the same time on the same day to listen to charlie parr instead? also free. and guaranteed to be way more fun.

    September 28, 2009
  19. Anthony Pierre said:

    bruce, did you know acorn reported the voter registration fraud, like they were supposed to do?

    I doubt mickey mouse voted, anyway.

    voter fraud and voter registration fraud are 2 totally different things.

    Do I think acorn influenced the election, ya they got people out to vote who wouldn’t have voted otherwise. Do I think it was illegal. nope.

    lots of info out there, if you just look


    September 28, 2009
  20. Bruce Wiskus said:


    I read the executive summary of Prof. Martin’s article. I am not going to get into a protracted debate on this one article and its merits. We can go back and forth with our sources from the left and the right and in the end we will not change a single persons opinion.

    The fact is you made my point. You identify with the political left and your answer is that Acorn is being smeared by the media. In your opinion they have done nothing wrong.

    As I stated earlier until people are willing to find the goodness and the faults within both party lines we are not going to get anywhere in terms of issues like health care, War in the middle east, and environmental issues.

    September 28, 2009
  21. kiffi summa said:

    Bruce: I’m having a really hard time finding the “goodness” you speak of in some party lines… Where do you find “goodness” in the Facebook posting asking if “Obama should be killed”? It has been taken down now, but surely you cannot find any “goodness” there.

    Even I, who ‘defaced’ the Rove poster at GBM, do certainly not think Rove should be killed. Tried, yes; convicted, probably… but that does not escalate the rhetoric beyond the line of reason, and the questioning and exposure of factual information that may prove, if prosecuted, to be of a criminal nature.

    September 29, 2009
  22. Peter Millin said:

    All you have is hear/say…thank God nobody is being convicted of that in this country.

    At one point we burned women because we thought they looked evil. I believe that was in Salem.

    September 29, 2009
  23. Anthony Pierre said:

    I never said acorn did nothing wrong, I just said the charges you said were hyped up and bunk.

    investigate acorn. thats fine, make changes.

    September 29, 2009
  24. Anthony Pierre said:

    so whos showing up for turdblossom

    September 30, 2009
  25. Kathie Galotti said:

    So…who showed up and how did it go?

    October 2, 2009
  26. Ray Cox said:

    My son and I were among the many people that went to hear Mr. Rove. I learned some things I didn’t know about him…he has strong Norwegian roots and several family members named Ole!

    His talk mainly centered on health care, since that seems to be the #1 issue in the media and congress. I appreciated his analysis of the actual number of people without health care.
    He took random questions from the moderators after his talk. Those ranged in topic from ‘could he have given a victory to Al Gore if he was managing Gore’s campaign in 2002’ to ‘would you support goint into Iraq if you had today’s information about WMD’s, etc.’

    The crowd was very respectful and did not interrupt cause any disturbances. A big thank you to St. Olaf for having the speech open to the public.

    October 2, 2009

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