Karl Rove strategy memo to Bill Clements, Jr., September 4, 1985

Karl Rove strategy memo to Bill Clements, Jr., September 4, 1985: As a contrast to Mark Penn's memos, here's a fun piece of political arcana: a Karl Rove strategy memo written to former Texas governor Bill Clements, Jr., on the eve of the 1986 gubernatorial race. Clements was elected governor in 1978 but lost his bid for reelection. He was attempting a comeback. Note the tone of bracing honesty: Rove lays out his client's "potentially explosive" weaknesses, including arrogance and bad press relations. Then he explains how they can be overcome. (Let's forgive Rove the hackneyed Napoleon quote--Clements won the race.)

Use the controls below to navigate or print .

Rove by atlanticonline

Presented by

Joshua Green is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we still save the night sky?

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we still save the night sky?

Video

The Faces of #BlackLivesMatter

Scenes from a recent protest in New York City

Video

Desegregated, Yet Unequal

A short documentary about the legacy of Boston busing

Video

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life

The Supreme Court justice talks gender equality and marriage.

Video

Social Media: The Video Game

What if the validation of your peers could "level up" your life?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Politics

Just In