Karl Rove to speak at Benefit Luncheon

Karl Rove, who also was Bush's deputy chief of staff and oversaw the offices of Strategic Initiative, Political Affairs, Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs during Bush's administration, will address locals during a lunchtime fundraiser, said executive director of the George W. Bush Childhood Home Paul St. Hilaire.

Following his address in the Tall City, Rove will appear in Odessa at a 6:30 p.m. fundraiser for the Ector County Republicans, said its chairman Shane Marler.

St. Hilaire said they had inquired about Rove visiting for a fundraiser in the fall of 2009 and were alerted after the start of this year he would be able to stop in the Permian Basin in April.

"It's going to be basically a closed event, so he's free to speak about anything that's on his mind," St. Hilaire said, adding they expect about 300. "I'm sure he'll discuss a few things in the book, his take on the current political climate."

Rove's memoir, "Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight" covers several details of his own life in the political realm. It also delves into events during the Bush campaigns in 2000 and 2004 as well as major decisions during the presidency, such as taking America to war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

St. Hilaire and vice president of the childhood home's board Chris Renaud said locals likely will be interested in Rove's insights on Bush since the former president has such strong ties to Midland.

"We hope that it's just going to be a very intimate luncheon with an open forum to ask questions afterward," Renaud said.

Rove and several other former White House officials took an evening tour of the home when in Midland for Bush's welcome home rally in 2009, St. Hilaire said.

"They were quite taken aback by the home itself as well as a number of the photographs and exhibits in the home," St. Hilaire said.

Proceeds from the lunchtime speaking engagement in Midland will go toward the home's general operating budget. Since the home opened in 2006, St. Hilaire said, it has seen about 30,000 visitors, including individuals from every state and 54 countries.

While many presidential sites are funded, at least in part by federal dollars, St. Hilaire said, the Bush Childhood Home is private and depends on donations.

Marler said the Ector County event is expected to attract more than 500. He added "good stories" from Rove's days with Bush is likely what most in the Permian Basin are interested in, though he said it also will be helpful to hear Rove's take on the current political climate.

Rove currently runs his own public affairs firm as well as serving as a contributor on Fox News.

Kathleen Thurber can be reached at kthurber@mrt.com.

For tickets:

Lunch with Karl Rove, 11:30 a.m. April 5, Petroleum Club

Tickets are $250, call 685-1112 for tickets

Read more: http://www.mywesttexas.com/articles/2010/03/26/news/top_stories/karl_rove_bush_childhood_home.txt#ixzz0jHiUitVj

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