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James C. Moore (book) and
Wayne Slater (book)
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An examination of political consultant Karl Rove's influence on George W. Bush's candidacy. | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Exposé of the Most Brilliant Political Strategist in Moderns Times -- And Possibly One of the Most Unethical See more (18 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Cathy Bonner ... Herself - Richards Campaign Official
Bruce Buchanan ... Himself - Presidential Scholar, University of Texas
Max Cleland ... Himself - U.S. Senate, Georgia (D) 1997-2003
Shirley Cuff ... Herself - Proprietor
Robert Edgeworth ... Himself - Professor of Classics, Louisiana State University
Kent Hance ... Himself - Bush's Opponent for Congress 1978
Bill Israel ... Himself - University of Massachusetts
Molly Ivins ... Herself - Author, Political Columnist
Richard Leiby ... Himself - 'Reliable Source' Columnist, Washington Post
Susie Lieseke ... Herself
Wade Lieseke Jr. ... Himself - Former Nye Co. Sheriff, Tonopah, NV (as Wade Lieseke)
Ken Luce ... Himself - Campaign Manager for Rick Perry
Garry Mauro ... Himself - Former Texas State Land Commissioner
Chuck McDonald ... Himself - Former Richards Press Secretary
Dave McNeely ... Himself - Political Columnist, Austin American-Statesman
Pete McRae ... Himself - Former Official, Texas Agriculture Department
Bill Miller ... Himself - Republican Political Consultant
Mike Moeller ... Himself - Former Texas Deputy Agriculture Commissioner
Jesse Oliver ... Himself - Former General Counsel, Texas Dept. of Agriculture
Tom Pauken ... Himself - Texas State GOP Chairman, 1994-1998
Chelle Lieseke Pokorney ... Herself (as Carolyn 'Chelle' Pokorney)
Ross Ramsey ... Himself - Editor, Texas Weekly
A.R. Schwartz ... Himself - Texas State Legislature 1955-1981 (as A.R. 'Babe' Schwartz)
Dee Simpson ... Himself
Glenn Smith ... Himself - Former Austin Bureau Chief, Houston Post
Jason Stanford ... Himself
Karl Struble ... Himself - Cleland Campaign Consultant
John Weaver ... Himself - Vice-Chairman, Clements Campaign, 1986
Joseph Wilson ... Himself - Former U.S. Chargé D'Affaires, Iraq (as Joseph C. Wilson)
Jacques Vroom ... Narrator (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lee Atwater ... Himself - Political Advisor to the First President Bush (archive footage)

George W. Bush ... Himself (archive footage) (as President George W. Bush)
William P. Clements Jr. ... Himself - Republican Challanger for Texas Governor (archive footage) (as Bill Clements)
Alan Dixon ... Himself - Illinois State Treasurer, 1970 (archive footage)
James C. Moore ... Himself - Co-author 'Bush's Brain' (as James Moore)
Fredrick E. Pokorney ... Himself (archive footage) (as Fred Pokorney)
Karl Rove ... Himself (archive footage)
Wayne Slater ... Himself - Co-author 'Bush's Brain'
Mark White ... Himself - Democratic Governor of Texas, 1983-1987 (archive footage)

Osama bin Laden ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Barbara Bush ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)

George Bush ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Laura Bush ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Bill Clinton ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Gray Davis ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Jim Hightower ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Saddam Hussein ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

John McCain ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Rick Perry ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Ann Richards ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Joseph Mealey 
Michael Shoob  (as Michael Paradies Shoob)
Writing credits
James C. Moore (book) and
Wayne Slater (book)

Produced by
Joseph Mealey .... producer
Elizabeth Reeder .... co-producer
Michael Shoob .... producer (as Michael Paradies Shoob)
Original Music by
David Friedman (music by)
Michelle Shocked (music by)
Cinematography by
Joseph Mealey 
Film Editing by
Tom Siiter 
Art Department
Chris Panatier .... illustration artist
Sound Department
Jeff Levison .... re-recording mixer
Camera and Electrical Department
Trent Harris .... additional photography
Afshin Javadi .... additional photography
Animation Department
Cameron Teisher .... animator
Music Department
Tim Gennert .... musician: bass and organ
Tim Gennert .... recordist
Ernie Medeiros .... music recording assistant
Janet Robin .... musician: guitar
Other crew
Peter Broderick .... distribution consultant
D.R. Commander .... technical assistance (as Darrell Commander)
Janice Jaeschke .... research assistant
Daniel Linck .... marketing consultant
Elizabeth Reeder .... production attorney
Geoff Sloan .... researcher: teleclip
Tom Aberg .... special thanks
Frank Carlos .... special thanks
Paul Cullum .... special thanks
Matt Dentler .... special thanks
Mike Donahue .... special thanks
Jerome Duboz .... special thanks: William Morris Independent
Cassian Elwes .... special thanks: William Morris Independent
Sandy Fellerman .... special thanks
Sam Fleishman .... special thanks
Shannon Grounds .... special thanks
Art Harris .... special thanks
Susan Hayden .... special thanks
Vickie Hoch .... special thanks
Andrew Jackson .... special thanks
Andrea Jones .... special thanks: Senator John McCain's Office
Mary Ann Mantoen .... special thanks
Joshua Marshall .... special thanks
Paul Maslansky .... special thanks
Dean Munyon .... special thanks
Laura Munyon .... special thanks
Rick Overton .... special thanks
Deborah Pitts .... special thanks
David Pugh .... special thanks: Wiley Publishing
Rena Ronson .... special thanks: William Morris Independent
Daniel Shaw .... special thanks
Bill Simmons .... special thanks
David Sokolow .... special thanks
Gary Tarpinian .... special thanks
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
80 min

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
Exposé of the Most Brilliant Political Strategist in Moderns Times -- And Possibly One of the Most Unethical, 16 July 2008
Author: classicalsteve from Oakland, CA

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.

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