Karl Rove and The Modern Day Money Machine.
The nation was in crisis, and it was shaping up to be the best thing that had happened to Karl Rove all year. On October 2, 2013, President Barack Obama and congressional leaders were meeting at the White House into the evening, desperately trying to come to a deal to end the government shutdown, then in its second full day. A mile up Pennsylvania Avenue, a grinning Rove was plying his guests with premium liquor at the Georgetown Four Seasons. It was no surprise that Rove’s mood was said to be buoyant at the first-ever donor “summit” of his American Crossroads super PAC. Or even that his buoyance came “with a sort of contrite undertone,” as one participant described it to me.
For Rove, the famed “architect” of George W. Bush’s presidency turned financial mastermind of the post-Bush GOP, it had been a horrible year of reckoning. He had helped orchestrate an extraordinary $1 billion investment in 2012 Republican candidates through a web of groups like Crossroads, only to see his reputation suffer a devastating blow as bet after bet proved wrong. The humiliation was capped off by his memorable on-screen election night meltdown on Fox News, when the network refused to call the presidential race to his liking. More indignities followed: Two of his top donors died after the election. The big-money coalition he built in his Washington living room had crumbled. And the biggest names in the 2016 presidential sweepstakes had little use for him.