Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
Cutting Edge -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) VOICEOVER: This Christmas, Lack of food causes her great pain by the day. and she grows sicker and weaker (Speaks Kiswahili) a first in Australia LG have created high definition TV - with their integrated they've put the tuner inside. DRAMATIC MUSIC his hand was in all of it. He was the architect, the political landscape. It took 40 years, but he changed with one goal - Karl Rove came to town re-alignment. this massive Republican and what does it mean for America? How did he do it, a permanent Republican majority. Karl Rove wants He's the god inside the machine. HAUNTING SLIDE GUITAR PEOPLE CHEER voted at the Crawford fire station. MAN: On election day, the president Let me go vote first. Feel great. Thank you. concerned that they had lost. The people around him were very that they'd never seen Mrs Bush The people who were there said gripping his hand so tightly. like I am, I'm sure he's happy, come to a conclusion. that the campaign's the president's daughters, You see the aides, including watching him talk, standing next to him, they're at a funeral. all looking like into this campaign. I put my full amount of energy The president called me that morning would happen on election day. and asked me what I thought for a 5-point victory. He was hoping happen, but I liked his optimism. I said I didn't think that would for our system There'd be nothing better to be conclusively over tonight for the election so that - I think it'll be me - and lead this country. so I can go on were quite nervous, Some of the Bush team could pull it off. sceptical that Bush were uniformly optimistic. The Kerry people that they would win that election. They were very confident Oh, my God, that's great news, the Republican National Committee... Ed Gillespie, chairman of for the Bush team, Karl Rove, The chief campaign strategist knew it was going to be close. trying to lighten the mood. He began the day from the key battleground states? That's what you're hearing LAUGHTER

huge numbers all across the country? Republican areas are turning out in But he knows what's at stake today - the American political landscape. the fate of a 30-year plan to remake landed in Washington, Later that day, as the Bush team Rove received bad news. and we're just landing. I'm on Air Force One, about the exit polls, as always. I'm on pins and needles Karl gets a call, Just as we're landing, we know what's happening, and it's pretty clear that it's... because I read it all in his face. and I didn't need to know a thing and probably really bad. I mean... they were bad Karl on the phone on Air Force One. DOWD: I was befuddled, and I told South Carolina was tied. We were losing Virginia. We were losing Pennsylvania by 18. We were losing Ohio. We were losing Florida. The air went out of the airplane. MCKINNON:

The air just got sucked out. on early voting... REPORTER: ..say they're focused to call Kerry "Mr President". It led some of the Kerry staff friends of mine on the other side And you know, I was told by for his acceptance speech. that Kerry was sent to get ready the numbers at the White House. By late afternoon they were crunching the conservative Republican base. Rove had spent years courting was turning out to vote, He knew if the base the exit polls were wrong. Exits are usually never THAT wrong. but never usually that wrong. They've been wrong, misunderstood the electorate, I thought either we fundamentally and all, wasn't going to happen, and what we counted on, turn-out or these were completely screwed up. an hour later at the White House. I talked to the president about "What do you think?" He called and said I said "It's completely baloney. I put a great face on. It's a methodological flaw." "It's all fine. Meanwhile, I'm... Rove had an elaborate system for real-time results. designed to plug into key precincts at the campaign. We'd set up a whole war room

tracking polling from the networks We were not only getting monitoring returns and information. but we had our own system of at campaign headquarters And the information generated the exit polls. dramatically contradicted The base was turning out. Rove had been right. they matched our forecast, As each state came in, as opposed to the exits' forecast. But it was a long five hours started coming in. until those first numbers to celebration And it went from funereal I'd say, from 9 to 11. over the course of about, my superb campaign team... BUSH: I want to thank John Kerry had conceded. The next morning, George W. Bush was re-elected,

was given a new title. and his chief strategist The architect, Karl Rove. CROWD CHEERS knew what that meant. Everyone in the room policies that got them there, He was the architect of the public of the fund-raising strategy, of the campaign platform, of the travel itinerary... of the state-by-state strategy, His hand was in all of it. has had a hand For 30 years, Karl Christian Rove conservative Republican majority. in building a dominant with a unique combination He would do it

and a highly developed understanding of hard-hitting political skills American electorate. of the increasingly conservative I would remind you in the defence of liberty that extremism is no vice. the young conservatives' Woodstock - It all began with what's been called of Barry Goldwater. the presidential campaign

election takes place. Karl is 14 when the Goldwater or the beginning of a coming-of-age. It's kind of a coming-of-age period, their first real political memories A lot of people have from their early teens. is to free our people Our Republican cause throughout the world! and light the way for liberty

was attractive to Rove. Goldwater's Western libertarianism It seemed a kind of common-sense conservatism. We're all libertarians at heart. We were born of the quest for freedom and liberty

and pushing forward, making progress and taking risks and, you know, just have minimal intrusion in the way in which we do that. Goldwater's loss to LBJ would inspire a generation of young Republicans

to continue the conservative crusade. In high school, Karl Rove was one of those fervent supporters. Karl Rove, I think, was a Republican before he was anything else. His sister recounts a story when he was a little kid and other kids had posters of football players or basketball players and sports heroes on their wall, Karl had a poster on his wall, she says, that said "Wake Up, America!" Karl understood as a very young man that conservative politics was something he wanted to be a part of. Rove grew up a non-Mormon in the heart of Mormon country, Salt Lake City.

He loved to read. He had a great sense of humour. A drive... 24/7 before it became, you know, a popular term, he typified that. At the University of Utah, he was an academic over-achiever, but it was the late 60s, and he was hooked on politics. So he dropped out and moved to Washington DC, where he quickly became the chairman of the College Republicans. Every College Republican in the 1970s was a geek, including me, and we were proud of it. A bunch of smart guys like Karl said "Look, this is how you win. "There's such a thing as direct mail, there's phone banks, "there's get-out-the-vote activities." And they trained us in the mechanics of politics. Karl was sort of a legend, you know, almost quasi-mythical figure. And in our little circle of these up-and-coming conservative Republican... rising generation, everybody knew who Karl was. And everyone knew Lee Atwater. Rove, the policy wonk, partnered up with the cool guy who became famous for his tough campaigns. Lee Atwater was a gunslinger. Lee Atwater would beat you. That was his goal, to beat you. He wasn't a policy guy. He didn't think in terms of policy and, and... issues and big thoughts. Karl was absolutely, totally policy. Rove ran training seminars on campuses all over the country. Karl, during these seminars, began to talk about dirty tricks. He was talking about ways to undercut your opponent in not too nice a form. Rove also drew the interest of The Washington Post, just as Watergate was dominating the news. It was a story about one of those college seminars where Rove talked about dirty tricks. It came at the heels of Watergate, and what you had was a young group of Republicans officially associated with the national Republican Party, following Watergate, talking about dirty tricks. If you were a savvy 22-year-old future politician it was the kind of story you worried about. So Rove's friend Lee Atwater signed this affidavit swearing that that dirty tricks story was told only in jest. REPORTER: Both sides do agree that should Mr Nixon lose... But it was Rove the tactician who caught the eye of CBS News White House correspondent, Dan Rather. In the basement is the operation aimed at embarrassing pundits who say Nixon doesn't appeal to youth. Those in charge here are from the 18 to 21-year-old bracket. Firstly, voter registration is probably the most important function we're undertaking. You can't get a 35-year-old to teach the Republican Party how to get to young people. Young people have to reach other young people, which we seek to do. Dan Rather, CBS News, with the Nixon campaign in Washington. I, George Walker Bush do solemnly swear... Nearly 30 years later, Karl Rove was still counting votes and had brought his candidate to the White House. He was rewarded with Hillary Clinton's old office in the West Wing.

Karl Rove comes to town with a larger-than-life reputation. The Svengali images are made right away, even before he arrives. He gets the credit or blame for just about everything. Thank you, Mr President. Honoured by your call to service and looking forward to it. It's a lifetime dream rewarded. Even things we can say in retrospect he had nothing to do with. Rove's title, senior adviser to the president, meant he would be in charge of four major departments in the White House. Politics and policy would be melded. It is fitting policies and policy ideas into a political context in order to achieve the political goals that Karl's always had in mind - to turn the Republican Party into a majority party in this country. And Rove knew it was his job to stay connected to that key conservative base. Karl's job is to be eyes and ears and to have feelers out there, and it's his job to then communicate those to the president. One of Rove's regular conversations was his get-together with conservative gadfly Grover Norquist. I think Rove understands the nature of the modern conservative movement. And Rove and President George W. Bush staked out very radical, meaning fundamental, conservative positions - cutting taxes to let people have more control over their lives. He was good on the 2nd Amendment, pro-life, respected people of faith. I think there's less daylight between Bush and Rove than... like two halves of a brain or something. They're both operating in sync, and have for years. Both Rove and Bush knew that the election of 2000 had depended upon a core constituency, the conservative wing of the Republican Party, particularly the religious right. MODERATOR: A philosopher-thinker. And why? Christ. Because he changed my heart. AUDIENCE CHEERS When you accept Christ as your saviour, it changes your life. George Bush had the genuine faith to appeal to religious conservatives. Karl Rove had the political instincts to see their campaign potential. Karl never really talked about religion very much. In fact, I got the clear impression that he was a person who was not religious at all. Now, where Karl's interest is, is in the mechanics of this. And I think it's fair to say that religious conservatives, evangelical churches, have become sort of the new labour unions.

Rove had worked hard to connect to them, acquiring lists of church members and setting about turning them into foot soldiers in the Republican get-out-the-vote campaign. They're looking for somebody who shares their values, somebody I can rearrange my life, and I'm willing to rearrange my life and give up spare time and hobbies and do things I've never done before, because I want that person to lead. ..that while government can feed the body, it cannot nourish the soul. Rove knew that Bush could speak their language. As I've told a lot of folks in Texas over the years, I wish I knew the law to make people love one another. I would sign it. APPLAUSE But the race was close.

Bush was running against the vice president. There was prosperity and peace. Right before the election, Rove was holding his breath.

We were sitting on a razor's edge because we probably shouldn't have won. We also thought that anything could tip this thing. Any sort of news could tip it. Then... trouble. Double-checked the public record. The only time Governor Bush has ever been previously asked whether he'd ever been arrested for drinking, he responded, quote, "I do not have a perfect record." George Bush's prior conviction for drunk driving, DUI, exploded onto the news cycle. The race went from a 3 or 4-point lead for us in our polls on Thursday to dead even on Tuesday. Rove knew those conservative Christians he was counting on were watching closely. He has made mistakes, he's been very forthcoming in acknowledging that. Thank you all very much. I think one of the missions was to convince conservative voters that Bush was a true conservative, someone that they could trust. And I think it was the trust issue that really hurt them on the DUI. REPORTER: Jeb Bush of Florida and other GOP officials are now on the ground in Florida

to oversee the recount effort, which has already begun. The morning after the election, many of Rove's team deployed to Florida.

The election was now in the hands of lawyers. MAN: The vote in Florida was very close, but when it was counted, Governor Bush was the winner. Karl Rove wanted to know why the election had been so close. He learned that millions of religious conservatives had stayed home and vowed that if his candidate was given the presidency, it wouldn't happen again. In his office in the West Wing, Karl Rove was intent on rebuilding Bush's connection to the religious conservatives. Efforts to try and include religious organisations in contract with the federal government for services increased. Policies on an international level, as it relates to birth control and family planning, helped communicate to voters in these areas. I think, from top to bottom, these are the issues they took on. They found these voters, found ways to communicate with them and ways to make them part of the administration so that they felt like if Bush lost, they would lose something in return. And then in August came stem cell. The religious conservative groups are thrilled. "This is our guy. We were right. Giving the foetus more legal rights. And of course, much more visible was the partial-birth abortion ban, which had been tried for many years, and finally Bush was the guy who could sign that into law. Rove was going to need them for 2004, but first he needed a big victory in the mid-term elections. He and his staff did an assessment of who the president was appealing to. They made this decision that there was going to only be a 7% swing vote. Given that, it was much more important to shift the focus from past focuses on persuasion - traditionally you try to persuade people - and switch it to motivation. In order to motivate them, they would have to find them. And finding Republicans and conservatives of all stripes had become a speciality of Karl Rove. Karl did something really groundbreaking - he looked at commercial marketing tools to help define these voter groups more and more. There's a whole bunch of Republicans that live in traditionally "Democratic precincts". The only way to find them is individual profiles. You can buy all kinds of lists of how you use your American Express card and VISA card. Somebody gets 'Field and Stream', they're much more likely to vote Republican than Democrat. People who drink Coors beer tend to be Republican. If someone drove a Volvo and went to yoga classes, they were a Democrat. People who watch Fox News tend to be Republican. Somebody that watches CSI is much more likely to be a Republican. You have 200 million people on these lists that you can buy. Rove loves information. He loves to be inundated by information. The more information he can get, the more comfortable he feels about the decisions they're making. But he's also fascinated by polling data, he's fascinated by voter registration data and by precinct data and, you know, everything else imaginable, They called it "metrics".

With those lists in the hands of his aides, Rove began every day with a phone call. So in the morning, he would say, "What is our goal for the day? And how are we going to achieve it?" Our goal was to raise X. How much do we need to raise per week to get there? How do we measure that per week? Per city? Per event? Bottom of the day, he'd say "Did we meet our goal?" Day after day. Same thing with voter registration, with number of presidential visits, with everything we do... If you can't measure it, it's not worth doing. Along with metrics, Rove spent millions of dollars on the 72-hour task force designed to turn out the base. Karl's not a believer in the Big Bang theory of re-alignment. Karl's a believer in incremental politics. It's kind of like the old Woody Hayes Ohio State football teams - three yards and a cloud of dust. You keep accumulating territory from your opponent and you get it bit by bit. The campaign was just getting started when the agenda dramatically shifted. BALZ: 9/11 changed his presidency and the focus of his presidency, and in a sense, gave his presidency a focus. BUSH: I can hear you, the rest of the world hears you! There was nothing that was galvanising in the way that 9/11 and the war on terrorism became. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon! CROWD CHEERS I think what you felt in the early moments at least, after 9/11, was the absence of Rove. I think, you know, Karl stepped back quite a bit, certainly from public view. Rove is very passionate about history. After 9/11, Karl studied World War II and what was done with, you know, bond drives and what was done to mobilise the populace in those days. From behind closed doors, Rove watched as the president's poll numbers steadily rose. The more the war on terror seemed to succeed, the more bipartisan support the administration was receiving. What was happening after September 11th was everybody was supporting the president including, you know, all members of Congress, but he wasn't using it to further his agenda at all. But Rove knew a galvanising issue when he saw one and he wanted the president to push it to help Republicans. I need a guy like Saxby Chambliss in the Senate who won't cater to special interests in Washington and join me in protecting the interests of the American people! Saxby Chambliss was given virtually no chance of defeating Georgia incumbent and decorated Vietnam war hero Max Cleland. Chambliss attacked Cleland for being soft on terror. As America faces terrorists and extremist dictators, Max Cleland runs TV ads claiming he has the courage to lead. We're seeing the president's emphasis on security as a motivating issue, and he used it both for Republican candidates and against Democratic candidates. I need to put the right people at the right place at the right time to protect the American people! John Thune will support me in advancing a Homeland Security Bill that makes sense. In races across the country, the Bush White House pushed their tough agenda. CROWD CHANTS Rove's Republicans won widely. It was historic. I think it's the first time since, I think, 1934, the president's party gained seats in the first mid-term election in both the House and the Senate - it was unprecedented. I just got a phone call a minute ago from a pretty special friend... Bush's popularity and emphasis on terrorism and a rejuvenated turnout effort combined to give Republicans an historic victory. He told me to tell you that two years from now he wants y'all on his team! In 2002, you saw an aggressiveness that worked. So it was clear right away that that was going to be the template for the 2004 campaign.

This had been Rove's dream since those years as a young Republican - re-aligning the politics of the country. Back then, the self-taught historian had followed his ambition south to a state dominated by Democrats - Texas. Bright guy. The thing that really struck me was the sort of scholarly approach about the rise of the Republican Party in the south.

And this was a young guy who knew the story in much greater depth and with much more insight than anybody that I'd heard. But it was not going to be easy in Texas. At that point, he was pretty much seen

as funny, charming, but in a futile situation thought would change very soon. If there was a major Republican politician who knew about the futility of running in Texas, it was George H.W. Bush. By the time young Karl Rove went to work for him, Bush had already lost two races for the Senate. I feel kind of like Custer. There were too many Indians. There are too many Democrats in these counties, I guess. But Bush and his family had the potential to be political royalty. Rove had already met the oldest son. We're not through yet. SLATER: Here was George W. Bush coming in with his leather fighter jacket, chewing gum, being casual and cool, the epitome, the handsome, intriguing, charismatic collegian. And here was Karl Rove, just the opposite. The nerd, the intellectual, the sort of student of history. And he really saw in George Bush everything he wasn't. Rove threw himself into his work. Colleagues remember long days.

I never knew him to have a personal life - he works night and day. He's different from anybody I've ever known in politics. And you meet a lot of ambitious people. But with Karl I always had the sense that his whole life was politics. What Rove had in mind was to build from scratch the infrastructure of a Texas Republican Party. He'd go to the Secretary of State's office and get the reports of everybody who contributed to any race in Texas and this is before computers, and there'd be somebody there with their own Xerox machine. Nobody else had a Xerox machine down there. It was weird. This was Karl Rove's machine in the Secretary of State's office. Rove now had the political consultant's equivalent of the holy grail - a mailing list of donors. Now his newly formed direct mail advertising company would use that list, and that money, to build a Republican base in Texas. Direct mail... What you do is look for "anger points", and you try to get what makes somebody angry. Anger points - Republican consultants' shorthand for hot-button issues - were the other central element of the direct mail arsenal. And for his candidates, Rove put the anger points together with the kind of battle plan he learned from Lee Atwater - attacking, attacking, attacking. "50% of paid media should be devoted to attack." "If we do not attack, we surrender control of the agenda." And in the mid 80s, Rove found an anger point that could unite voters statewide. Tort reform. To Rove, tort reform was a simple story. The elected State Supreme Court had been bought by wealthy Democratic personal injury lawyers. Is justice for sale in Texas? The story was pushed to the news magazine 60 Minutes. The Wall St Journal called it "a national embarrassment". It was an enormously powerful piece in Texas. Rove was a part of the business effort that encouraged 60 Minutes and fed them information. You couldn't have written a headline better than the 60 Minutes piece, or more effective. Rove capitalised on the story. Justice Ted Z. Robertson once took $120,000 in campaign money from Clinton Mangus then switched his vote back and forth in a crucial case involving Mangus. This year, Robertson's taken over a million in contributions

from special interest lawyers. He knew you needed, as Mark Twain says, a devil for the crusade. And if this was the crusade in the context of a judicial race, of which no one really cares about, you had to demonise somebody. In this case, they were doing it to themselves. And Rove's strategy had a bonus. If he shut down the trial lawyers, he would cut off their money to the Democrats. They are the financial backbone of the party. And if you put a pox on their money, you make life more difficult. Extraordinarily more difficult.

Rove's pro-business candidates won five of the six open seats. It was the harbinger of the beginning of the end of the liberal Supreme Court in Texas. Then Rove went on to run all nine of them and they swept everybody out. It was a complete 100% turnover of the Supreme Court, entirely pretty much caused by Rove. What Rove had done was to persuade traditionally conservative Texas Democrats to think of themselves as Republicans and to keep voting that way. And they did. Senators Phil Gramm, Kay Bailey Hutchison, and most of the statewide ballot. But there was still some unfinished business. Poor George. It was a famous moment in Texas. The future Democratic governor mocking the vice president. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth. LAUGHTER & APPLAUSE The pundits said she couldn't be beaten. But Karl Rove had a secret project he'd been working on for years... George W. Bush. Let's make it official. I'm a candidate for governor of Texas. CROWD CHEERS I knew Karl was good, and those two coming together... Karl's sort of knowledge of the mechanics of it and all the different personalities and players in some of these big counties. And then when you added to that this extremely skilled candidate, it was just... It was a marriage made in heaven. It really was. Karl Rove, the strategist, wanted to make sure they kept the election focused on just four issues - welfare reform, education reform, juvenile justice and tort reform. So you had this model of four issues, so whenever George Bush was asked in the governor's race about a fifth issue or a sixth issue or a seventh, he invariably stayed on message and moved back to these four issues. It was a marvellous exercise in restraint and in campaign focus. I want to ask you about your experience in the acceptance of personal responsibility in business. Wayne, my business career's open for public scrutiny, and I'm proud of it. We ought to be discussing welfare reform, juvenile justice, education, ways to make Texas a better place for our children. And very early on, Karl Rove did something many other political operatives don't do. It's really an element of why he's unique in American political life. While others look for the weakness in an opponent and exploit that, Rove has long looked at the strength of an opponent. In the case of Ann Richards, she was tolerant and appealed to many constituencies, so you attack her as an advocate for the homosexuals' agenda. Rove's East Texas campaign chairman, State Senator Bill Ratliff, accused Richards of hiring avowed and activist homosexuals to high state offices. The issue of homosexuality was very much an issue. It was very much involved in that campaign. Rove released a statement distancing the Bush campaign from Senator Ratliff's comments. But in every case, what I found was a duplication of the exact pattern of every Rove race. That Rove's opponent is attacked, often by a surrogate or anonymous group, whisper campaigns, direct mail pieces or other kinds of personal attacks, in a way that Rove can't be directly clearly seen with his fingerprints, but that Rove's candidate benefits from. In the end, the thoroughness of the Rove plan, anger, focused issues, attack, attack, attack, proved too much for Ann Richards.

In 1994, George W. Bush won handily. Interestingly, as governor of Texas or California, Florida or New York, the day after you're elected, people talk about you being president. And so it was with Texas governor George W. Bush. But Rove knew Bush had to turn politics into policy.

He needed to govern, to deliver on those issues. To do so, he made peace with the Democrats. Rove's four issues became law, and in 1998 George Bush was re-elected. The basic appeal was "We're going to keep the damn government out of your hair "and out of your wallet." And that message was resonated very clearly. One area where people have constantly misunderstood Bush is to assume that he is really a moderate. Which he's not. He's a conservative. His principles and convictions are conservative. REED: When he left, 28 out of 28 state offices were held by Republicans. There wasn't a single elected Democrat left in the state, statewide. They were a formidable team. A partnership surely on its way to the presidency. But right from the beginning of the campaign, they ran into trouble. They would have to use everything they had learned together.

EDSALL: The McCain campaign came out of the blue... McCain's outspokenness, toughness... He didn't like the religious right. He was playing cards that within the Republican constituency would have been fatal to play. The pro-life group in Washington has turned a cause into a business. They're opposed to my trying to clean up campaign finance reform. But Rove tried to lighten the mood. Everybody make a snowball, and on the count of 3, throw it. MIKE ALLEN: People think of him as the Darth Vader. Not true at all. He's always smiling. He's the merry prankster. But it didn't help, and McCain won. We got our ass kicked. We got humbled. We got put on our knees in the cold snows of New Hampshire. I knew we were going to lose, but not by 19 points. Thank you! But Rove mocked McCain's victory. Yeah, just like Pat Buchanan was the nominee in '96. What did he do in Iowa? He came in fifth behind Gary Bauer, Alan Keyes and Steve Forbes, and barely ahead of Orrin Hatch? In your perverted little mind! The next primary was South Carolina, and they played really hard. We got tougher, you know, and we got focused. And we learned how to win. George Bush understood that he had to win South Carolina, but Rove understood it in a way that I think even Bush did not. It was important that he attack John McCain. Rove's campaign went straight at McCain but another darker, unofficial campaign would unfold. It was an ugly campaign in the undercurrents. There was an underground campaign in South Carolina that was thoroughly ugly. They went right at McCain's strength - his image as a hero of the Vietnam war. This Vietnam vet said McCain was not supportive of veterans. It put us on our heels. You looked at this charge on its face, and it was pretty spurious. Who would ever think really that John McCain had been bad to veterans on his return from Vietnam? That fringe veteran said that John McCain had abandoned the veterans. I don't know if you can understand, George, but that really hurts. You should be ashamed. Let me speak. EDSALL: Can't say Karl specifically engineered it, but McCain blew up. He lost his cool. Let me answer that. You should be ashamed. Let me finish. You had to believe that, at the very least, the Bush people were aware of what was going on. And the attacks intensified. DAVIS: There were whisper campaigns on top of whisper campaigns, on top of phone campaigns, media campaigns, on top of e-mail campaigns, that it became so abundant that there was no traditional way to sort of deal with that. And then, shades of the Ann Richards race in Texas - the gay issue. Then what you saw on some doorsteps was this flyer. John McCain was shaking the hands of a member of the Log Cabin Republicans - gay Republicans - political dynamite in a place like South Carolina. Nobody in the Bush campaign or anybody associated with us with all these allegations of things they've said we did,

rumours that we started...

nobody in our world that we were associated with, did any of that. Were there people out there saying outrageous things? Yeah, like any political campaign. But in the end, South Carolina voters decided, South Carolina Republicans decided, that George Bush was somebody that better represented the party than Senator McCain. George W. Bush won that contest by 11 percentage points. They had vanquished McCain, and they set a new tone for hard presidential campaigning. It ended in Florida. When they got to the White House Rove immediately set in motion the campaign for 2004. Much harder to run a re-election campaign. In an election campaign, you're independent. In a re-election, you're serving the White House, a whole other entity.

If there's bad news every morning, or some mornings, you own that. And we had some difficult headlines in '03 and '04. An orgy of bad news from Iraq... After that successful mid-term election, the president's popularity began to fall. ..The economy created 50,000 fewer jobs... There was an unsteady economy. And the war in Iraq. But Rove and his team thought Bush's decisiveness in the war on terror would prevail over John Kerry. I'm John Kerry, and I'm reporting for duty! CROWD CHEERS WILDLY

By the time John Kerry was nominated, Rove's team had branded him as a flip-flopper, a theme they'd been pounding for months. As soon as he got the nomination, they had this template. "John Kerry says one thing, does another." all of their attacks in it. Here's how it worked. The issue was Kerry's "No" vote, and then what Rove's team called Kerry's flip-flop on the $87 billion appropriation for the war in Iraq. We discovered that John Kerry was going to talk to veterans in West Virginia. We said "Let's create an ad instantly." WOMAN: Body armour for troops in combat? MAN: Mr Kerry? No. Higher combat pay? Mr Kerry? No. everybody's talking about this ad, about him voting against the appropriation. So what happens is Kerry gets in front of the group, the veterans group, and defends himself against the ad. I understand the Republican attack machine has welcomed me to West Virginia today with another distortion... Which created the most iconic moment of the campaign, when he said "Before I voted against it, "I actually voted for the $87 billion." And then, we were watching it live, we said "We got him." And we immediately re-cut the ad with that piece of his video in front of the veterans to close the ad and put it up. And what does Kerry say now? I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.

And then they borrowed from a familiar playbook. The number one thing that John Kerry offered was his heroic service in Vietnam, and so what Rove did was attack the strength of Kerry not his weakness. Why have you repeatedly claimed... The first attack on Kerry's Vietnam service came from outside of the campaign. How could you accuse us of being war criminals? ..and secretly meet with the enemy... A series of television ads made with Vietnam veterans produced by a group known as a 527 that was by law independent of Rove's campaign. How can you expect our sons and daughters to follow you when you condemned their fathers and grandfathers? I literally saw the Swift Boat ad on line and I ran over to Matthew and Karl and said "Have you seen this?" "This thing is going to have a big impact." The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth were run, in part, out of a lobbying shop, DCI Group here in Washington, that has had close ties to the Bush organisation over the years. And one of the people who has been a principal in that, Tony Feather, was the political chief in the 2000 campaign. And in this last campaign, he was running much of the direct mail. I'm against all the 527 ads. I don't think they're fair... Rove publicly disavowed the 527s but took the opportunity to spread the message anyway. But I understand why some veterans feel very strongly about what Senator Kerry said when he came back. Kerry's poll numbers were static. They had kept him from any post-convention bounce. Bush was holding his own. But to make sure, there was always one other card to play... the gay issue. It especially appealed to the small segment of voters who Karl was trying to mobilise and really excite, not just turn out, but excite,

because if they were excited about the election, they were more likely to vote. Bush and Rove had decided to harden the base by supporting state ballot measures banning gay marriage. I think the gay issue is a very effective issue. And I think Karl keeps a watchdog eye on all that echo effect. And in so far as he can influence it to the advantage of the administration, he does so. The measures, certain to bring social conservative voters to the polls, would be voted on in 11 states, one of them, the key battleground state of Ohio. And Bush and Rove went one step further. If we are to prevent the meaning of marriage from being changed forever, our nation must enact a constitutional amendment to protect marriage in America. Back in 2000, George W. Bush had courted the support of Republican gays and lesbians. I helped organise a group of gay Republicans, gay and lesbian Republicans, that went to Austin, and it became known as the Austin 12. Washington DC council member David Catania supported Bush's candidacy then. As far as individuals under 40, I was one of Bush's largest fundraisers. We have a fabulous picture with the president and the two of us, they've got their arms around us like a man overboard to a life vest. I stopped raising money when he made noise of constitutional amendment. The first time he mentioned it, I shut it down. I wasn't going to be a party to it. I felt, you know, "What a betrayal." The gay issue. Karl's used it for over a decade in a very effective way. And there's something of an hypocrisy, it seems to me, because many Republican operatives who are helping implement this exact attack on the issue of gay rights are themselves gay. There are openly gays within the party, within elected officials in the administration, and how does Rove deal with them? So long as people don't make an issue, and are lulled into a confidence that they are second class and act accordingly, there's no problem. You do not find, though, individuals, openly gay individuals, that challenge Karl Rove. That doesn't exist. But Rove's attention was focused on the base, and now he had what he needed to win - an army of Christian foot soldiers. And on election day, when those exit polls seemed to show John Kerry would win the presidency, there were thousands of Republican volunteers across the country in key precincts, reporting back to the Republican war room. That's how Karl Rove knew that his social conservative base was turning out and that his 30-year quest was successful. BUSH: I want to thank my superb campaign team. I want to thank the architect, Karl Rove. Right after the election, "the architect" said that he had just run his last presidential campaign. This is where Rove was at his best. So Rove doesn't have to worry about Bush. Rove has enough money. He doesn't need to be a consultant. He can now go for the history books, which I'm sure he's doing.

He'll try to do his absolute best. Karl Rove was given a new office just steps away from the president. He'd given him a new title, Deputy Chief of Staff. It gave Karl Rove a formal position at the elbow of the president and the opportunity for them together to reach back through Reagan and Goldwater to the idea of rearranging the American political landscape. I think what they're trying to do is bigger than the Great Society and approaches The New Deal. They aren't kidding around. To Bush and Rove, the victory proved they and not the Democrats knew where the country was, and that empowered Bush to take on the big issue that he had long wanted to address - social security. It fits into Bush's desire to be bold. It fits into the Bush administration's and Karl Rove's desire to move the politics of the country toward the Republican Party by going after workers under 45 with a personal account that they think will lock those voters closer to the Republican Party over time. And it is something in Bush's idea of, you know, being a consequential president. To accomplish their goals, Rove's highly developed campaign methods and machine were ready and waiting. The best way to keep the political machine of 2004, the get-out-the-vote effort, together and healthy for 2008 is to use it during the next four years to campaign for tort reform, tax reduction and social security. In February of 2005, as the president headed for Capitol Hill to deliver the State of the Union speech, he took a broad vision of a nation unfettered by the constraints of government. He was armed with Rove's method - polling data, anger points... BUSH: The idea of social security collapsing before they retire does not seem like a small matter... ..and a willingness to challenge Congress. And it should not be a small matter to the United States Congress. He's not there simply to make social security solvent, but to change it in a way that fits into his philosophy of government which is to give people more control over their money, lives or destiny.

Then, in classic Rove fashion, the next morning, a five state blitz. It sends a message he's going to play political hardball on social security from day one. Rove used the base to turn out crowds at hand-picked town meetings. I like the idea of you owning something. I love an ownership society.

They focused on Rove's issue points - ownership society and private personal accounts. We want people owning and managing their own health care accounts, and owning and managing their own retirement accounts. This campaign, the stakes couldn't be higher. Bush and Rove are going against fierce opposition, even from some conservatives. It's not clear their social security proposal will fly any time soon and those promises to their religious base make many Republicans uncomfortable. But they have a broader agenda on the domestic front and even more ambitious plans for the US in the world - bringing Iraq to a favourable conclusion and encouraging democracy around the globe. The danger for the Republicans is the same danger any winning party has, to over-interpret any election as a mandate to essentially do what they want. So if the Republicans overreach, there could be a backlash against them that would first be felt in 2006 and certainly could be felt in the 2008 presidential election. Karl Rove is a student of history. He knows that politics is not static, that it goes in cycles, and that real change takes time. And that architects have dreams and plans that don't always get built. But sometimes they do. Captions (c) SBS Australia 2005 I'm at the gateway to the world's largest wildlife sanctuary. It's called Australia.

ENGINE ROARS Crikey! The invisible fence that protects our natural wonders and agriculture is Quarantine. Help them make sure nothing dangerous gets in. Declare all food, plant and animal material, because that's where the danger lurks. If you don't and they find, it could be a whopping fine for you. Quarantine matters. Bonds and Holeproof underwear and socks. That's off hot designs and colourful patterns. For 20% off all Bonds and Holeproof underwear and socks, MAN: You and your friends will flip over new Mango Chilli Philly. Mmm! New Mango Chilli Philly - a little taste of heaven. WOMAN: For us, Christmas is a time of sharing and caring VOICEOVER: This Christmas, children like Napendaeli will struggle to survive. Lack of food causes her great pain and she grows sicker and weaker by the day. (Speaks Kiswahili) Sponsor online or call World Vision on 13 32 40 now.