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Bush’s Brain

That, and other news, in today’s Political Panorama.

Updated

With Karl Rove’s resignation today, there are two scenes that stand out as a study in contrasts:

November 2001: Rove presides over a gathering of studio heads, guild leaders, even a few stars at the Beverly Hilton, where the industry expresses a unity not seen since World War II in offering its help in the war on terror.

April 2007: Rove, at the otherwise friendly environs of the White House Correspondents Dinner, gets in a verbal tiff with Laurie David over the Bush administration’s environmental policies (or, depending on who you are, lack thereof).

Rove’s rise and fall, chronicled in a new Atlantic Monthly feature “What Went Wrong?,” mirrored that of the Bush administration. And many of Hollywood’s progressives are quick to note that his aura as a political wizard degraded into that of a pariah. Rove riffed — and rapped — on this in a March appearance at another correspondents’ gathering, above.

Yes to YouTube:
  The GOP version of the CNN/YouTube debates looks to be back on, although Mitt Romney is not yet officially in. The new date is Nov. 28. Romney was critical of the first debate because a snowman got to ask a question. That snowman, Billiam, tells the GOP contender to “lighten up slightly.”

Murdoch Money: It turns out John Edwards’ daughter collected some of the News Corp. money for the candidate’s book “Home,” according to The Politico. Cate Edwards was listed as a co-author.

Ted’s Shortfall: Portfolio reports in its second issue that Ted Turner has come up about $345 million short on his pledge to donate $1 billion to the United Nations.

Brownback_straw_stephen_baldwin_3 Stephen at Straw Poll: Mitt Romney won Saturday’s Iowa Straw Poll, and Mike Huckabee placed a surprisingly strong second, but Sam Brownback had the surprise guest, Stephen Baldwin. M.E. Sprengelmeyer of the Rocky Mountain News writes Brownback’s appearance had the feel of a Christian revivial. Sprengelmeyer writes: “He was replaced on stage by actor Stephen Baldwin, a born-again Christian, who said he spent his own money and flew across the country just so he could endorse Brownback at the straw poll.” Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo, a longshot whose campaign is tied to combating illegal immigration, hosted a surreal set of men dressed up in Mexican hats — perhaps akin to Al Jolson in “The Jazz Singer.”  “Never a fan of political correctness, Tancredo enlisted a barbershop quartet decked out in stereotypical Mexican and cowboy costumes to welcome people to his giant, midway tent.” Photo by M.E. Sprengelmeyer.

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