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EP 50: Karl Rove on William McKinley & Why the 1896 Election Still Matters

This is officially the 50th episode of KickAss Politics, and we’re celebrating with Karl Rove! He’s a Fox News political contributor and writes a weekly op-ed for the Wall Street Journal. He was the Senior Advisor to the President George W. Bush and Deputy White House Chief of Staff. As Bush’s chief political strategist, Karl Rove masterminded the successful Bush/Cheney campaigns in 2000 and 2004 as well as the historic 2002 midterm election earning him the nickname “The Architect.”

Today he comes on the podcast to talk about his new book THE TRIUMPH OF WILLIAM MCKINLEY: WHY THE ELECTION OF 1896 STILL MATTERS. We talk about why 1896 was a crucial turning point for America, how the McKinley campaign invented many of the campaign tactics still used today, and how McKinely waged the first truly national campaign…all from his front porch of his house in Canton, Ohio. Plus Karl will highlight some uncanny similarities between the election of 1896 and the current political environment leading up to 2016, and he’ll draw some important lessons for those candidates running in the GOP primary right now.

If you enjoy this episode, you can order Karl Rove’s book THE TRIUMPH OF WILLIAM MCKINLEY: WHY THE ELECTION OF 1896 STILL MATTERS on Amazon. You can get the audio version of his book, narrated for free with a special offer for our listeners at

And before you do your online shopping for the holidays, visit our Sponsor Page and click on the Amazon link. If you do that then Amazon will donate a portion of your holiday purchases to help support the podcast. It won’t cost you anything extra. Just do your holiday shopping for books, clothes, jewelry, electronics, etc. on Amazon, and your purchase will help keep us up and running here at KickAss Politics.

Another very important way that you can support the show is by helping us reach our end of the year fundraising goal before Christmas. Please donate at or click on the donate button on our website. If you enjoyed this 50th episode of KickAss Politics, then please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave us a glowing review. Thanks for listening!

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