Presidential Advisor Karl Rove Speaks at Mount Union

May 10, 2010

Karl Rove, Deputy Chief of Staff and advisor to President Bush, spoke at the Mount Union Theatre to students and the community about the history of the White House and the elements of presidential leadership on Wednesday, April 18.

Rove opened with high remarks about Mount Union and its long-standing history since being established in 1846. 'An institution that can stick around this long has something to say,' Rove said.

Rove works in the West Wing of the White House, which he referred to it as the 'peoples' house. A Powerpoint presentation was played featuring the beginning works of the West Wing built in the early 1900s when Theodore Roosevelt was in office. The presentation also featured many past presidents of the United States such as Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln and Harry Truman. 'Every place in the White House is a piece of history,' Rove said.

Rove also discussed the importance of a president's role, past, present and future. 'Easy decisions don't come to the president. Those decisions are taken care of by people before him. And the very important decisions the president makes, his predecessors also end up carrying out those decisions after him,' Rove said.

Rove explained the importance and history of the Oval Office and the map room in the White House, used as a situation room during World War II. 'Every president needs to be reminded that they work in a place that is the power and prestige of the United States of America,' Rove said.

Rove also discussed the importance of public service, encouraging students to get involved in the government and fields of public service such as teaching, serving in the Peace Corps or pursuing a career in local volunteerism. 'It is the responsibility of every American to give back to their community,' he said.

Ending his discussion, Rove said, 'I have been in the White House 280 days and I've seen a lot. Everyone has seen a lot. We're a part of something that has taken place long before us and will continue on long after us. History has given us a challenge.'

Rove helped guide George W. Bush to a win in the Texas gubernatorial election in 1994, then served as chief strategist for Bush's presidential campaigns in 2000 and 2004. He remained as a close advisor to the Bush White House, managing the Office of Political Affairs, the Office of Public Liaison and the Office of Strategic Initiatives before giving up his domestic policy role in the administration in April 2006.

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