Controversial former White House adviser Karl Rove spoke with a select number of students during an off-the-record dinner session in Whitman College Tuesday that was not publicized to the University community.
Members of Whitman Master and economics professor Harvey Rosen's freshman seminar, "Taxes," and students who had previously attended dinner lectures in Whitman were invited, though none were told the identity of the special guest in advance. About 25 students in total were present.
Though the discussion was off the record, "among other things, [Rove] discussed recent developments in federal tax policy," Rosen said in an email.
USG president Rob Biederman '08, who attended the dinner, said in an email that Rove seemed "down to earth, jovial and genuinely interested in hearing about student life at Princeton."
Biederman added that the impressive abilities Rove demonstrated during the discussion explain how he became such a force in Washington. "His seemingly encyclopedic memory of small political details was incredible as well," Biederman said. "The amount of influence he wielded in D.C. comes as no surprise after this dinner."
Rove, who served as President Bush's senior adviser and deputy chief of staff until resigning in August, was widely regarded as the administration's political mastermind.
Many analysts attributed the Republican Party's gains in the 2002 midterm election to his strategies, and Bush publicly called Rove "the architect" of his reelection campaign after winning a second term in the Oval Office in 2004.
Rove's tenure in the White House was not without controversy, however. An ongoing investigation into email communication among Bush administration officials indicates that Rove and others used Republican National Committee servers and email accounts to exchange documents in violation of the Presidential Records Act.
The Office of Special Counsel also announced in April that Rove is being investigated for the firing of U.S. attorneys and "improper political influence over government decision-making."
Since resigning, Rove has returned to life as a private citizen and recently accepted a position as a columnist for Newsweek magazine.
© 2007 The Daily Princetonian via U-WIRE