Karl Rove, the “architect” of George W. Bush’s presidential campaigns and now one of the most intriguing political analysts on TV, will be the keynote speaker this summer at the Tennessee Republican Party’s signature fundraising dinner, GOP sources say.
Rove will speak at the GOP’s “Statesmen’s Dinner,” which typically occurs at Opryland Hotel. Last year, former Massachusetts Governor and one-time presidential contender Mitt Romney was the keynote speaker.
Since leaving the White House, Rove has spent many of his weekday nights as a Fox News political analyst.
That role caused Rove and the Tennessee Republican Party to mix during the furor over the state GOP’s anti-Semites for Obama controversy.
Rove called the infamous GOP press release “wrong” to have up “in the first place.”
Now, he’ll speak at the GOP’s main fundraiser.
While beloved by many Republicans and summarily denounced by Democrats, Rove has become one of cable news’ best analysts, even earning praise from The New York Times for being “graceful, careful and generous.”
Rove will not be the only top Republican figure in Tennessee in the coming months. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will be in town this week for the GOP’s Leadership Forum.
‘You must unlearn what you have learned.’
The Tennessee Department of Education was careful to not specifically criticize — while he was in office at least — the leadership of former Director of Schools Pedro Garcia.
Since Garcia’s departure, however, Rex has heard that Metro Nashville Public Schools – with some nudging from the state – has brought in many of its pre-Pedro policies.
Principal hiring procedures are now what they were before Garcia arrived; the district is now completing school improvement plan forms using the same template as other districts in the state — MNPS had its own form during the Garcia administration — and district leaders have been told in plain language to shut down the “culture of fear” pervading many Metro schools.
State and district officials alike are touchy about pointing fingers at Garcia, as are school board members. But Rex can’t help but feel that a cleaning-up process is taking place. What a shame that Nashville allowed Garcia to stay long enough to make a mess.
A potential Lineweaver challenger, maybe?!?
Metro Council’s biggest fan is Elvis Presley. More accurately, an Elvis Presley look-alike, who has attended virtually every Council meeting this year, is its biggest fan.
The man’s name is Elvis Presley Jr. and he claims to be the illegitimate son of the King himself, according to one Council member.
Presley Jr. did cause quite a stir the first few times he passed through security at the entrance to the historic Metro Courthouse. One Council staffer even took junior’s picture on their camera phone.
“He’s an interesting guy. He is interested in a few issues and he just likes coming to meetings,” one Council member said. “When you talk to him he’ll say, ‘Dad used to do this or that,’ very nonchalantly.”
The Heady Days of Air McNair
With Steve McNair retiring Thursday, agent James “Bus” Cook recalled a memorable moment regarding the former Titans star quarterback.
It happened one year on April Fool’s Day when Titans coach Jeff Fisher and then-general manager Floyd Reese decided to play a prank, saying they had traded McNair and Eddie George to the Cincinnati Bengals for Jeff Blake and Corey Dillon.
On the TV newscasts that evening, Fisher ended the announcement by saying, “April Fools.”
There was only one problem. Apparently no one bothered to let Cook in on the joke. The irate agent phoned Reese at his home and finally discovered that the trade was indeed false.
At that point, Cook decided to exact some revenge. The next year early in the morning on April 1, he called Reese again with an April Fool’s joke of his own. He apparently had Reese going with the “news” that McNair had been arrested in the night on the evening before.
Then it was Reese who breathed a sigh of relief to learn that news was only a prank.