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  • M0KUJIN16 October 2005
    When I first glimpsed the title to this documentary, I must admit that I was indeed a little taken aback. I never knew George W. Bush had a brain.

    However, "Bush's Brain" shows that Georege W. Bush does indeed have a brain working for him; it just happens to be within the head of another individual. The premise of the film is that Karl Rove may be this generation's Senator McCarthy. Rove is to pro-war activities as Senator McCarthy was to communism, both real or imagined, in the early 1950's. By equating genuine questions by everyday citizens about the legitimacy of the war in Iraq with not being patriotic, Rove has set up a dynamic where intelligent discussion of foreign policy is difficult, if not almost impossible. Bush is shown as being co-ruler with Rove, or should I say Rove is co-ruler with Bush?

    Rove is part of Bush's advisory team and several people in this film see Rove as wielding as much influence over Bush's decision making as a prime minister. Rove is seen as having marketed the Iraq war as the defining moment for Bush, whom he calls 'the War President'. The war in Iraq, then, is something which legitimizes the presidency for Bush and pushes all other issues aside.

    The Rove doctrine, simply stated, is that 'A true American either supports Bush and the Republican party or he is labeled a traitor' (Democrats and dissenting Republicans included). If these statements sound like something from one of George W. Bush's speeches, that is because both Rove and Bush say very similar things, sometimes word for word. The film makes it a point to reveal that it is difficult to know where Bush and Rove differ as individuals; the title of the film is meant to inform us that Bush and Rove are a team and Rove is 'the brain' behind the operations, the power behind the throne.

    Rove has a history, according to the film Bush's Brain, of destroying people politically and disrupting the personal lives of those who attempt to oppose him. Rove does these dirty deeds because 'he needs to win at all costs' and Rove lives by the philosophy that 'the ends justify the means'. Many people in the state of Texas have been hurt by Rove. Rove is accused of running dirty campaigns against such people as Ann Richards (former governor of Texas), John Hightower (a Texas commissioner), and several other people in various public offices. One of the most interesting anecdotes concerning Rove's political methods is that Rove once planted a 'bug' in his own office during a campaign and alerted the press so that his candidate would receive sympathy votes. The FBI concluded that the 'bug' was not likely used or even operational, but the political damage to the person challenging Rove's candidate had been done and Rove and his team won the election. Rove is alleged to be the brains behind the smear campaign against John McCain (Republican presidential candidate in 2000).

    The script of this film was taken from research done by journalists James C. Moore and Wayne Slater. While it is possible to follow the film without reading the book by these two journalists, which I will paraphrase as Bush's Brains: How Karl Rove Won the Presidency for George W. Bush, I suspect that reading the book would enhance the viewing of this film. A lot of Texas politics are covered in the first half of the film, the particulars of which I was only vaguely familiar. The film does show a pattern of dirty politics which Rove seems to use consistently. It is interesting that Karl Rove declined to be interviewed for the film but he did send a fifteen page letter to the book's authors taking issue with some of their research. One or two people who are presently on good terms (i.e. speaking terms) with Karl Rove were willing to defend Rove's actions during political campaigns. Even his friends admit that he becomes overly consumed with winning. The film was fair and balanced because of this inclusion of people who left their association with Karl Rove on good terms. People who had once been friends with Rove but had fallen from his good graces also were interviewed. They admitted that he is a bright fellow but that he has a deep dark side when it comes to competitiveness - Rove is determined to win at any cost. Where other campaigners would draw the line, Rove will boldly sling excrement and escalate the attacks until he has outright assassinated the character of the opponent unfairly.

    After listening to several people who were interviewed about the history of their dealings with Rove, one gets the impression that Rove is a genial man to those he encounters until someone dare crosses him. Rove is very much a hard worker for the Republican candidates for whom he campaigns and represents. If Rove senses or believes that his candidate may lose an election, he is not in the slightest bit hesitant to play the very dirtiest and darkest politics. He is alleged to have been responsible for the complete character assassination of John McCain, where McCain's sanity was called into question during the presidential election back in 2000.

    From the interviews of both friends and detractors of Rove, one gets a sense that Karl Rove and Machiavelli would agree that expediency is of the utmost importance in attaining one's goals and outweighs any ethical concerns.
  • CRIMINAL ATTACK DOG REVEALED

    Riveting testimony from Republicans, Democrats and journalists exposes the felonies, devious and illegal activity that punctuates all the political campaigns and officials that Carl Rove has controlled.

    Joseph Wilson's wife's uncovering as a CIA under cover operative was astonishing, as it shows Rove as a traitor to the United States of America and its people.

    It appears that the war in Iraq is completely politically premeditated and conjured to keep Bush in power. Watching the family that lost their son in the war was very moving. It shows that elitists like Rove and Bush do not respect the enormous sacrifice of the individuals who serve in the armed forces, or their families.

    The movie presents multiple stories and examples from reliable sources

    Illustrating how Rove has shaped Bush's personality and career for 35 years.

    Excellent! Well done. We need more informative documentaries like this so that the American people are educated and so that they have an alternative to their steady diet of FOX's diatribe and misinformation.
  • Behind the scenes political consultant who has carefully crafted W's image and choices at any cost. Only a 9 if politics and propaganda are subjects you are interested in. Follows Rove's career since pre-Bush days as he steps on people and does dirty tricks to defeat the many "other guys" he or his clients go against, quite often ending their careers. As a resident of Texas until 2000, I was more familiar with some of the players and "plays" in the first half and enjoyed hearing the story behind the story. As a mediocre governor, and my governor at the time, I was amazed when "W" got his parties nod in 2000 and now I see how he accomplished this. A bit slow or off the path in places, it still makes it's point very well. By the way if Robert Novak isn't held accountable for exposing the CIA operative, there is truly no justice in this world.
  • Before seeing 'Bush's Brain', directed by Joseph Mealey and Michael Shoob, and based on the book of the same title written by James C. Moore and Wayne Slater, I had heard the name Karl Rove, but never knew what his role in the Bush Administration was. After seeing 'Bush's Brain', I have a good idea of who he is and how he operates, which I think was just one of the objectives of the filmmakers.

    'Bush's Brain' examines the rise of Karl Rove, Bush's top political adviser and the head of his presidential campaign. Before working for George W., he successfully engineered the campaign of several Texas politicians, leading up to, of course, George W. Bush's election as governor. The film briefly deals with his rise to prominence, and then spends most of its time focusing on three separate campaigns that Rove worked on. Rove is portrayed as an unscrupulous man who will stop at nothing to get his candidate elected; generally a trait that you would want in a campaign director, except through eye-witness accounts and interviews with former colleagues, we learn that this does not mean only engaging in legal or moral activities. We learn of how he orchestrated 'whisper campaigns' (most notably during John McCain's 2000 bid for the Republican nomination, something that really made me scratch my head, considering McCain's seeming undying devotion to Bush now) among other tactics for all of his successful clients.

    Personal politics aside, when I went to see this film I was expecting more of a Democratic lean, just based on the title alone. The film did a good job providing seemingly factual information throughout, however the last segment of the film focuses on a family who tragically lost their son in Iraq. After making the case that Rove and Bush orchestrated the recent war, Mealey and Shoob throw in this segment for obvious emotional impact. It did, of course, but it was unnecessary and preachy. I feel that they did a good job making their case already. The filmmakers also insisted on telling us who each interviewee was throughout the film, so that was also a minor distraction.

    'Bush's Brain' was an interesting documentary and certainly provided a lot of food for thought, but it wasn't as effective as it could have been. It is probably important viewing, mainly for the sake of the information provided, however. 5/10

    --Shelly
  • Bob A-218 September 2004
    Bush's Brain was revealing, but loses focus near end. Shows that Rove has been sleazy -- very sleazy -- throughout his political career in Texas but not exactly how he manipulates George Bush today.

    The 2000 Presidential campaign, the part of the movie that would have answered the film's opening question "How could this have happened?" is not really covered at all; rather the film goes abruptly ahead to the 9/11 episode. Film goes for pathos near end by showing a particular soldier who died early in Iraq thing, similar to Moore's film Fahrenheit 9/11, but does not tie war dead specifically to theme of Rove's being Bush's Svengali and how "this" (Bush's presidency) could have happened.

    As other viewers have commented, the film's own agenda, to show Karl Rove as a sinister villain, is in conflict with the visuals of Rove as a pleasantly pudgy, self-effacing nerd. There is a distinct danger that the audience may decide finally that that visual image wins, rather than the text of the movie. Remember the scene, apparently based on a true story I read, in Broadcast News where Holly Hunter's character shows a video of a worldwide domino competition in order to portray "soft news" in a negative light; instead the comical, diverting image of tumbling domino tiles is the only part of her recitation to which anyone pays attention. The Bush's Brain people should have learned from such examples and done more to show that Rove's commercial image is what's being contested.

    Do see this movie, for the sake of the facts of Karl Rove's seamy career that it does succeed in showing. It's also a good example of combining "talking heads" with other footage in a documentary to keep the audience's level of alertness piqued now and then, compared to the occasionally dulling effect of recent anti-Bush documentaries Outfoxed and Uncovered. Ironically those two are far superior films.

    Seems as if a more nearly complete documentary had been planned, but that this one was rushed into release in order to be timely and to influence voters before coming election. May, rather, hurt progressive agendas that this movie is not as well done as it should have been.
  • I learned about Karl Rove when I read a book called 'Boy Genius: Karl Rove, the Brains Behind the Remarkable Political Triumph of George W. Bush,' so I already knew most of what Bush's Brain had to say, but I couldn't resist checking it out, since Bush makes himself such an easy target for attacks on his intelligence. In the wake of Bush's historic success in managing to win a second term as the United States President after being elected for the first time, it seems that we have not seen an end to documentaries like this, which are now coming in just about equal force from both sides. It's just too bad that both sides resort to dirty and often unfair and dishonest tactics, especially when they are accusing the other side of dirty tricks that they go on to use in that same movie (seen FahrenHYPE 9/11 yet? WOW).

    Who is Bush's Brain focuses on the actions of the Bush administration that can easily be traced to someone other than George W. Bush. Karl Rove, who has run vicious and underhanded campaigns almost since the day that he became involved in politics, is clearly revealed as the power behind the throne, most disturbingly in a creepy dissolve from a smiling picture of Bush to a scary, sneering picture of Rove. He truly is a frightening man, even beyond his tactics.

    This is an interesting political documentary that doesn't take sides as strongly as many others, although it is not ambiguous about its intent to portray a Bush as a puppet for other people, most notably Karl Rove and Dick Cheney, which is difficult to argue with given how the administration has been run so far. Unfortunately, the movie strays from its intent when it presents the story of a family of an American killed in Iraq. Tragic story and one that certainly holds merit and should be seen, but that's just not what this movie is about. We can make the connection to such stories after this movie tells us about who is really in charge behind Bush, we don't need it thrust in our faces.

    That being said, as the mess in Iraq gets worse and worse and the President continues to ignore the escalating damage being done to that country as well as our own, it is interesting to wonder what kinds of documentaries will be released during his second term attacking his handling of that situation. For now, here are some theories as to where the real responsibility may lie.
  • This documentary was really a disappointment. I've been meaning to watch it for a while (even though it's all old news now) but was shocked at how uninformative it actually was. It basically meandered on in this "wild" allegation that politics are dirty and highly successful Republicans, namely Karl Rove, do whatever they can to get their candidates elected, including smear campaigns and so on. Well...DUH!??? What, have I been living in a bubble all my life? No kidding, Sherlock. I didn't need a documentary to tell me politics is a dirty game and there are many dirty players, especially the most successful ones. There was really very little specific information and virtually no hard evidence whatsoever. Don't get me wrong, I think Bush and Rove are a disgrace to our country but I can glean more from their slimy smirks on TV than I can from this loose documentary. It basically amounted to gathering everyone whom Rove has ever destroyed politically or personally in a room and having them lament (shouldn't this have been a lot more people?). It reminded me of the scene in JFK where Kevin Costner is in bed with his wife, and he sees the guy on a TV documentary smear him, and says "Oh look, there's the guy I sent up for murder!" The whole thing was just completely one-sided from people obviously very hurt personally by Rove, instead of a factual investigation into his many wrongdoings and an exploration of how he maintains and manipulates such control in the White House, which is what I was expecting from the title. The personal accounts really provided little insight. I also didn't appreciate the 20 minute lead-up since I thought this was his role in the Bush campaign and not what he was like in the 4th grade. It was all just very meandering and poorly thrown together, and very uninteresting. Anyone who's surprised by anything in this film has no idea how politics actually work, which sadly I suppose is most of our country who was obviously stupid enough to be manipulated by people like this....(twice!) And yes, the whole 10 minute diversion about "our son was killed in Iraq" was a stretch and totally out of context as an obvious sympathy ploy...and quite hypocritical considering it amounts to the same type of tears-and-eyebrows tactics the film chastises in regards to campaigning! A dirty trick I would expect from the likes of someone like Michael Moore, who is about as balanced as a see-saw but at least entertaining. This film was neither. Hence the 1 star rating. Bush is a puppet moron and Karl Rove is a master manipulator. But I already knew that. Maybe when this film originally came out, people didn't, but there's little to learn here. Hopefully a better documentary on how Rove/Bush really works(ed) exists or will come out in the near future...
  • I wish this had been better. I pretty much believe the argument the producers present but it seems to me that if you're not already convinced of the righteousness of their position, this documentary will not convince you.

    It'll probably infuriate you.

    A half dozen talking heads, all but one of whom feel they have suffered at the hands of Rove, point out -- or rather intimate -- Rove's complete commitment to pragmatism. Whether a thing is good or bad can be judged only from its consequences. Rove doesn't give a rat's behind how he achieves the goals he defines as good ones. Karl Rove has turned politics into an instrument of warfare. He's taken von Clausewitz and turned him on his head.

    A lot of data points are thrown at us in this disjointed polemic but the writers don't really connect them. The reason they don't connect the dots is that they can't. Nothing can be proved. The talking heads have to evidence to show us, they just tell anecdotes, each one of which could probably be glossed with an explanatory comment that absolves Karl Rove.

    The problem for anyone who doubts Rove's influence is that these minor points pile up, and we can add to them from other things we've learned during this campaign, not brought up in the film. There is a preponderance of evidence of a hidden hand in these dirty tricks. The same smear tactics reappear when Rove is running Bush's campaigns. During the Republican campaign of 2000, McCain unexpectedly beat Bush in New Hampshire. So in the next state primary, South Carolina, McCain's record as a war hero was turned against him by a whisper campaign picked up by news-hungry media. The rumors are started by flyers found under the windshields of cars in church parking lots after services. And radio talk shows are flooded with calls questioning McCain's character. McCain allows himself to be publicly irritated sometimes. (He's pretty blunt.) Maybe, it was rumored, his many years as a prisoner in Vietnam had unbalanced him. Well, a similar manipulation has been applied to Kerry, without this being brought up in the film. Kerry's war record was used as a tool against him (he lied, he wrote his own recommendation for a medal, or whatever) and when Kerry finally responded with some heat, the response was, "He's losing his cool." (That's a quote from the WH Press Secretary.) You can't help feeling that if Kerry had gotten REALLY mad, his opponents would accuse him of being unbalanced, just like McCain.

    If Rove is behind some of these dirty tricks, which seems entirely plausible, then you have to admire the guy. He's like Professor Moriarty. He doesn't actually DO the job, but has someone do it for him so that he leaves no fingerprints. He's just a chubby affable guy who avoids the spotlight and pulls the strings.

    It has to be understood that dirty tricks have always been a part of politics. Nobody would dispute that. But when Rove is involved the tricks turn positively filthy and sometimes illegal. It's filthy, for instance, to suggest that Senator McCain's adopted Bengladesh little girl is the "love child" that resulted from his dalliance with a black prostitute. And it's illegal (under a law passed during G. H. W. Bush's administration) for "senior officials" to expose the identity of an undercover CIA operative for purposes of revenge. Especially when the operative's job is to monitor any movement of potential nuclear materials to prevent their falling into the hands of terrorists.

    The final sequence (the grieving family of a KIA) was not connected to the rest of the film and it made me wince with its lack of taste. I also didn't care for the voice-over reading of Karl Rove's letter throughout the film. The voice was made deliberately evil. Have you seen any episodes of "Victory at Sea"? Remember how the narrator pronounces the word "Japanese"? Same here. I felt my head was being squeezed in a vice. The argument was strong enough to speak for itself.
  • While this documentary is quite interesting and revealing, it does sort of jump around a bit and lacks clarity and bullseye blame on some of Rove's nefarious deeds.

    What is most bizarre is they abandon the flow for awhile to concentrate on one soldier's fate in Iraq. In the wake of the administration's misleading information, I'm sure they wanted us to feel the sting of loss of a real person as opposed to just "another soldier dead"... but why just this one "random" fellow? At first, I thought it may have been one of Rove's relatives or something. But it wasn't. It suddenly felt like someone changed the channel to another documentary.

    Having said that though, this is definitely worth seeing as the election looms.
  • There is an irony in history that political acts perpetrated outside of ethics with the rationale "the ends justify the means" usually become viewed in later years as not only unjustifiable but detrimental to societal well-being. When he was president, Nixon believed that bugging and spreading erroneous rumors about political opponents was necessary to ensure his policies would not be undermined. He would have been impeached and convicted if he had not resigned. Sadam Huessin when he ruled Iraq labeled anyone that did not agree with his policies as "terrorists" and dealt with them accordingly. And at the time of this writing, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe refuses to allow fair and impartial elections. Mugabe's belief that he is the best leader for his country justifies his undermining the democratic election process. Almost no one in the international political community outside of Zimbabwe agrees with him.

    George W. Bush with the aid of the political mastermind Karl Rove are added to the list of political operatives in which the need to win elections justifies the means no matter how much it undermines the democratic process. It is one thing for a candidate to spearhead an opponent with challenging rhetoric like Ronald Reagan did against Jimmy Carter in 1980. It's quite another to enact dirty tricks that in many ways cannot be defended. Spreading false rumors and/or making false accusations of wrong-doing. Bush's Brain chronicles how Karl Rove, an upstart of the young Republicans in college, learned how to use dirty tricks to win elections.

    The documentary is primarily told from people in his political circles who saw his tricks first hand. The first major use of extra-political means to win an election was when Rove managed the campaign for William Clement against the gubernatorial incumbent White in Texas. Clement was polling badly when a bugging device was found in their offices supposedly planted by the White campaign. Although the investigation never implicated White, it became the turning-point in the election and gave Clements the win.

    Then, Rove and company decided to point their political weapons against Governor Anne Richards in 1994. On the first front, they decided to attack her on four issues where they felt she was weak. Fair enough. Issues are always fair game. But then they decided to enact a "whispers" campaign, spreading false rumors alleging that she was a lesbian. This is quintessential Rove. Hurt your opponent by back-biting. Bush won the election, and with the help of Rove, won the presidential nomination and the general election.

    This is a devastating documentary about what appears to be a misguided man. A brilliant strategist using his abilities for all the wrong reasons. His goals early on were to place republicans in all the major political seats in Texas. It didn't matter if any of those politicians were qualified, as long as they were republicans. I am a democratic, but I would never want a fair-minded republican to be un-seated by the use of dirty tricks. And I would never vote for a democrat solely on the basis that they are a democrat. And I would certainly never condone a democratic candidate using dirty tricks to win an election.

    History is already proving to be against a positive legacy for Rove. After his resignation from the Bush administration, the number of articles and books arguing against his tactics has gone up exponentially. In the end, Rove will be viewed as a brilliant but ethically and morally bankrupt figure in the annals of the failed Bush administration. Rove succeeded in putting Bush into the White House and giving the United States one of its worst presidents in its 230-year history. If that's a success, I would fear what a failure would be. My only hope is that future republican politicians will steer clear of Rove and put him out of political business.
  • Have you ever wondered who the man behind the curtain is? By that, I mean the man who got George W. Bush elected President of the United States, not once, but twice. This is an in-depth documentary of how Karl Rove works behind the scenes to get the top job in the United States, the Presidency by any means necessary.

    See how Karl Rove pulls the strings of what people call his puppet (George W. Bush) to get him the highest job in the land. From his unethical tactics to his down home charm, he could be your best friend or your worst enemy, depending on how you can help! He will make you believe that George W. Bush is the man for the job, even if failed visions are clouding your judgment. He's the man who could get Hitler elected Pope, as some have said of him.

    If you are into politics though, this is a film you cannot miss, as it delves into the deepest, darkest places in American politics and examines the man who is the brains behind the election of the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush.
  • lulu1815 November 2005
    Too bad this wasn't shown on television before the election. But then, again, never underestimate the power of the American electorate to be duped. Witness the bug the Republicans claimed was put in the Republican opponent's office before the election for Texas governor.

    And I always thought Cheyney was the brains manipulating Bush. Whatever, it seems Bush has no mind of his own and is completely controlled by Rove! I remember Atwater repenting his deeds (but only after he was diagnosed with fatal brain tumor). His repentance was too late. Rove will never repent.

    The saddest portion was the attack on Cleland by those who never fought in a war. That was really hard to watch. Not even McClain could save him from his loss.
  • With the exception of a segment focusing on Fredrick Pokorney (a young Nevadan who died early in the Iraq War), Bush's Brain is relatively passionless. This is the epitome of a "talking head" documentary. A majority consists of interviews with men in chairs. Everyone is calm, collected and tending toward the monotone. For variety, some are interviewed standing up and/or in locations other than an office, and there are occasional clips of politics in action. But the raw material, plus the lifeless narration, plus a lack of pizazz in the editing room equals a passionless film.

    Many will think that's a relatively unimportant criticism. "What matters", they'll say, "Is the importance of the information, the outrageousness of the reality the film addresses". Well, that's another big problem. Bush's Brain is intended to show two main theses: (1) that former George W. Bush Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove was effectively "Co-President" with Bush, and (2) that Rove is a shady character with a lengthy history of ethically questionable actions. I think the film fails on both accounts. (And no, I'm not a Republican. I'm also not a Democrat. I'm a Libertarian. I'm no big fan of George W.)

    For the first thesis, this is far too much just a historical biography of Rove (although it's informative enough as that--I definitely learned things). Now, Rove has been involved with the Bush family for 30 years in many capacities, but all politicians have speechwriters, idea persons, etc. Absolutely nothing is done to show that Rove was unusual in his political support functions in a way that would amount to him being "Co-President" with Bush. For the second thesis, about half of the things discussed do not seem unethical to me (rather it's sometimes sour grapes), and for the ethically questionable, not enough is done to present more than one side of the story, breaking the argument that the documentary is passionless in the name of a journalistic "lack of bias".
  • THIS OPINION IS NOT ABOUT POLITICS, BUT DOCUMENTARY FILMCRAFT I came out of this film with a more favorable impression of Karl Rove. This is such an unambitious smear job, that I actually found reason to NOT think he's slime. I, you, anyone has enough people that we've ticked off over the years that someone could put together a wedding video quality parade of talking heads to site what a prick we've been over the years. Most of the interviews are with people who Rove beat in elections. Sure, he plays dirty, but I'm so cynical about politics, that I (and probably many other Americans) think they ALL play dirty.

    This film should have been a hard hitting piece of journalism, but it never dug below the surface of anything. Maybe the book is, but the film is empty film-making. Oddly enough, it may be Karl Rove who did the most to empty out the potential of this film with his letter to the filmmakers which they show at the end. It denies us the Mike Wallace type of putting to task that these type of films need.

    They continually beat the drum of Karl Rove being a virtual co-president of the country. If all you know about politics comes from the TV show THE WEST WING, then that is always the position of the campaign chief / chief-of-staff. The President, any President is the Groom at the wedding, they're talking about the best man. Big deal.

    Pen & Teller's BULL$H!T, and Jon Stewart's Daily Show are better journalism.
  • This documentary suggests that Karl Rove is literally Bush's brain, as if George is a puppet, with strings pulled by Karl Rove. I think that is too simplistic. The second point is that Rove, a nerd, admires George so much, that he used his high intellect and dirty tricks to put George in the Govenor's mansion, and then in the white house, thus ensuring Karl a long term job, and a physical and psychological closeness to the good looking guy, George, that Karl admired but could never be.

    More damaging is the documentary blames Karl for creating a war, so George can stay in office for a second term. In other words, Karl used the Iraq war as a marketing tool for his client Mr. Bush.

    This is a truly nefarious allegation - we'll go to war to stay in office for a second term, and to position George as the war president we cannot do without because of the terrorists.

    I think this film gives too much power to Mr. Rove, after all he reports to someone, like a boss, so who is culpable.

    Cleary the makers of this film fear the power and pranks of Mr. Rove, who may be a very dirty fighter, and may have used dirty tricks, but in their fear they have made the guy responsible for more than he probably is accountable for.

    somewhat boring due to the talking heads format, but i enjoyed learning about Mr. Rowe and the republican election tricks.
  • When Karl Rove said not that George W. Bush could make a good president or would be the right choice, he said 'I can MAKE HIM president'. From there on in with those fateful, binding words, it's history, but a film like Bush's Brain is very insightful into the history of this man, the President's senior adviser and now in the hot-light for a certain ugly, wretched leak that occurred on the heels of the Iraq war. The film sheds light on that subject a full year before the story became further widespread over this past summer, not directly, but under a thread that connects with the other material of the documentary- the overtly scheme-like, do-whatever-it-takes method of political power (and sustaining it). Whether or not you're for the Bush administration, it's hard to argue that at least a good lot of the points presented in the film aren't worth checking out.

    Some may already be news to people- the bugging of his own office to thwart off a scandal (but still making a fairly noticeable one) in 1986 in Texas; the dirty tricks pulled in the 1994 Governor race in Texas; even another certain leak in 1980, for which he was fired at the time. All this leads up to Rove as the head-honcho to Bush (err, when Cheney's not around). The stories behind John McCain, Max Cleland, and then onto the Wilson story, are rather intriguing, but it is also the personalized story of the soldier sent off to war, and how Rove is connected to that story by way of his actions (this you may agree with, or not, I found it more interesting on its presentation than on the pure politics of it). The evidence may not be even thick enough for some, at 80 minutes it could either be the perfect length or even too short of an expose (it's based on a likely more extensive book of the same name). But what's given is good enough historical film-making. If for nothing else, it makes its case, lets the audience decide (of course, the subject doesn't appear for an interview) about one of the key players behind the "neo"-conservative, right-wing to the death Bush agenda.
  • This 2004 documentary "Bush's Brain" really gives a behind the scenes look of clips and footage with interviews from journalists, politicians, and authors who tell about the smarts and cunning nature of Karl Rove. Rove without a doubt is America's smartest and most well informed political adviser for the way he knows history and demographics as this film tells of his start in Utah as a young man then away to college. Also it tells how he joined young republicans which would lead to his meeting with the Bush family and it was from that moment on he had his plans for a W. presidency! From reports of his clever times of bugging his own office during a Texas governors race to his alleged phone calls of dirty tricks against John Mccain in the South Carolina primary of 2000 in which helped propel George W. Bush to the top. Hey they always said politics is dirty laundry and strange bedfellows and with this master mind Karl Rove is living proof of it. Good documentary that's informative and educational.