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The Karl Rove Diaries

Ever since Sen. Bob Graham announced that he was running for president, the media have been having a field day mocking his quirky habit of keeping a meticulous log of his every waking moment. (Since 1977, he’s filled some 4,000 2-by-3 inch notebooks with the daily details of his life, including where he slept, what he ate, whom he met, and what he wore.) Some have labeled Graham’s practice a disturbing fetish; others have praised it as a sign of extreme self-discipline. Still others wonder whether it was necessary for so many trees to make the ultimate sacrifice just so that we might know that Sen. Graham wore khakis and had the grilled salmon at his 12:47 lunch yesterday.

Unfortunately, Graham’s chronicle makes for disappointingly dull reading. His entries, while scrupulous, are strangely detached (“8:40 . . . bedroom, bathroom—change to blue shorts—apply scalp medication”) and offer little useful insight into either Bob Graham the man or how America is governed.

How much better it would be if we had an obsessively detailed running log of the daily activities of Karl Rove—the man his biographer dubbed “the most powerful unelected person in America.” Now, that would be a diary worth poring over. The devil, after all, is in the details and Rove’s details would surely reveal his true nature.

It might go something like this:

Log 6.9.03 (Monday)

5:05: Awake. Castigate self for sleeping in. Remove snooze bar from clock radio with pliers.

5:05-5:15: Bathroom. Brush teeth, massage gums, trim nose hairs. Practice affable grin (in mirror).

5:15: Exchange customary morning greeting with Darby: “Good Morning, Mr. Co-President,” “Good Morning, Mrs. Co-First Lady.”

5:17: Kiss Darby (cheek).

5:18: Start to get dressed. Hesitate over underwear drawer. Boxers or briefs?

5:19: Call Frank Luntz to ask him to run quick Insta-poll. Luntz asleep. Not fully “on board?”

5:25: Crunch numbers (they come back indecisive).

5:26: Decide to “go commando.” It’s more “on message”: all about “liberation.”

5:35-6:35: Kitchen. B’fast: Waffles (syrup), Lucky Charms w/milk (2 percent), coffee (black), Metamucil (Orange). Skim sampling of fair and balanced news coverage: Washington Times,, Wall Street Journal editorial page, Weekly Standard,, Fox News (Remember to send Ailes another gift basket for war coverage).

6:50-6:55: Walk to car, enter car, close car door, fasten seatbelt, adjust rearview mirror. Realize I’ve forgotten keys. Use family-friendly exclamation, “Darn!” Undo seatbelt, exit car, walk back to house, locate keys. Repeat initial car entry. Then repeat again (just to be safe).

6:55-7:12: Drive to work. Listen to Dobson’s Focus on the Family. Notice that he hits talking points word for word. Smile w/satisfaction. Switch to lesbian strippers on Stern (guilty pleasure).

7:13 (LATE!!!)-8:00: Staff meeting in WWO (West Wing Office). Answer e-mails and excoriate low-level aide for no good reason while meeting w/Dan Bartlett and Margaret Spellings to discuss best way to counter negative fallout from child tax credit decision: Senate plan? House plan? Invade Syria?

8:03-8:05: Exchange pleasantries in hallway w/A. Card. Utilize affable-but- disarmingly distant smile. Note Card has switched aftershave (sign that he’s looking for private sector job?).

8:06-8:07: Walk to Oval Office (feel the awe and fear of those I pass).

8:08-8:48: Oval Office. Meet w/W, discuss next phase in “Operation Landslide”: W scuba diving to submerged submarine to meet with Navy SEALS. Secret Service opposed (still fail to grasp political realities). Undermine A. Card (too easy!). Mention aftershave change.

8:48-8:53: Stay behind to talk to W about nickname problem: Stress overwhelming preference for “Boy Genius” over “Turd Blossom.”

8:54-8:55: Walk back to West Wing (feel chafing; regret earlier choice re: underwear).

8:56: Call Darby, ask her to bring over boxers (the ones with American flags).

9:14-9:16: Call Ari Fleischer. Tell him to blackball next reporter who asks about lack of Iraqi WMD.

9:17-9:47: Meet w/lobbyist for tobacco industry. Swap war stories from my Philip Morris days. Smoke two Marlboro reds (old time’s sake).

9:51: Suddenly not sure which to be today: fox or hedgehog.

9:52: Realize I can be both (hell, I’m Karl Rove). Feel the majesty.

9:55-10:55: Leave screaming, over-the-top phone message for author James Moore—(show him how Bush’s Brain really works!).

10:56: Take high-blood-pressure medicine and lozenge for sore throat (cherry).

12:10-1:00: Working lunch (salmon, garlic mashed potatoes, iced tea). Map out entire day-to-day strategy for 2006 midterm races (early prediction: barring blowback from ’04 invasion of Syria/Iran/Pakistan, we gain 5 seats in Senate and 12 in House with demonization of unpatriotic treasonous Democrats).

2:15: Show John McCain what war is really like: spread vicious rumor about him. Black lovechild arrested for al Qaeda ties.

2:17: Watch McCain rumor being disseminated on Fox.

3:05: Have fleeting, unprovoked sympathetic thought about old benefactor Ken Lay.

3:06: Banish thought forever.

5:01-7:30: Attend RNC fundraiser. Mingle. Accept praise and adulation. Also checks. (Overuse affable smile?) Wonder if I am officially a rock star now (Yes!).

7:35-8:00: Drive home. Listen to books-on-tape recording of Slander (make joke to self re: Coulter being our hottest WMD).

8:01: Walk from driveway to house. Open front door. Karl Rove’s front door.

9:28-10:15: Watch TIVOed replay of American Idol final. Smile to self for engineering Ruben’s win.

11:07: Shower + dress for sleep (blue striped PJs). Draft tomorrow’s “to do” list: Give grief. Make threats. Impugn patriotism. Intimidate media. Pursue bait-and-switch policies. Strong-arm donors. Manipulate. Plot. Connive. Pick up dry cleaning.

12:05: Kiss Darby goodnight (lips, but no tongue).

12:06: Asleep. Dream that I’m the most powerful unelected person in American history (Oh wait, I am!).

—Arianna Huffington

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