July 14, 2007 / by emptywheel


Rove and Nixon and Anne Armstrong and the Work Yet to Be Done

I did a post last year, not long after Dick Cheney shot an old man in the face, tracing the ties between the Armstrong family and Republican corruption. I showed how Anne Armstrong has been present at all the big-name Republican scandals going back to Watergate.

Anne Armstrong Event Associated Republican Scandal
1971-1973 RNC Co-Chair Watergate
1973-1974 Cabinet-level Counselor to Nixon and Ford Watergate
1976-1977 Ambassador to the UK Â
1980 Reagan-Bush Campaign Co-Chair October Surprise
1977-2000 Board Member, Halliburton Cheney commissions KBR to studyprivatization of military contracts (1991); Cheney named CEO Halliburton (1995)
1981-1990 Chair, Foreign IntelligenceAdvisory Board Iran-Contra
1981 Â Armstrongs fund Karl Rove + Company
1997 Texas A&M Regent George HW Bush Library opens atTAMU, 1997

(Later in the same post, I showed how Anne’s daughter Katharine, always seems to be present when Bush is pitching an illegal war.)

That post focused primarily on the long-term connections between Cheney and the Armstrong family, right through the days when Cheney launched Halliburton’s KBR unit onto the military gravy train. But the post noted, too, that the Armstrongs have been equally tight with Karl Rove over the years.

And apparently, one of the finds from the recently-released Nixon materials shows how far back this relationship goes.

Tucked away inside 78,000 pages of documents from the Nixon administration, released by the National Archives earlier this week, is a little gem: a strategy memorandum from the man who would go on to become the architect of President Bush’s rise to political power.

Mr. Rove, then a 22-year-old aide on Capitol Hill, was planning a run to become chairman of the College Republicans, a position he would ultimately win twice. So he wrote to Anne Armstrong, then counselor to Nixon. Mrs. Armstrong had been co-chairman of the Republican National Committee, and therefore Mr. Rove’s ultimate boss the previous year when he was executive director of the college group.

In the memorandum, he thanked her for “taking time out of your busy schedule” to talk with him, and offered up his musings — in the form of a nine-page typed outline — on how to strengthen the Republican Party by motivating students.

“Appreciate anything you might be able to do for me,” he wrote, on simple stationery with only his name, Karl C. Rove, at the top. “I have taken the liberty of enclosing the rough outline of my platform. Of special interest is the ‘New Federalism Advocates’ mentioned in the campaign section.”

The memo is, as Stollberg notes, a strategy document detailing the ways in which College Republicans can support larger RNC campaign efforts. But it also a strategy document laying out several initiatives–things that reek of Grover Norquist and wingnut welfare–that have been the key to recent Republican success. Rove talks about:

  • Professionalizing the College Republicans and earning legitimacy within the GOP
  • Requiring all Republicans to adopt “New Federalism” that advocates
    • Decentralization of Federal power
    • Limitation of federal power
    • Challenging the “proper role” of government
  • Developing Republican spokesmen within the academic community
  • Developing a “talent bank” to put on workshops within the academic community
  • Mobilizing college Republicans in “state legislature” schools to focus on state races
  • Providing training in “practical politics” (precinct training)
  • Developing materials to be distributed in college PoliSci classes to “place GOP oriented materials into student hands”

The memo lays out many initiatives that would professionalize the College Republicans and would spread wingnut welfare to campus efforts.

The memo is instructive not just because it traces Rove’s ties to Texas’ big money back over 30 years. A lot of these are things the Democrats still haven’t implemented. This is what it takes, folks.

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Originally Posted @ https://www.emptywheel.net/2007/07/14/rove-and-nixon-and-anne-armstrong-and-the-work-yet-to-be-done/