Blast From The Past: College Republicans 2003: The Next Karl Rove

I think there's a Jack Abramoff sighting as well. While our most dedicated young republicans have been hosting bake sales and attending Howard Dean i

I think there's a Jack Abramoff sighting as well.

While our most dedicated young republicans have been hosting bake sales and attending Howard Dean impersonation contests to support our troops, Jamie was so kind to send us a glimpse into the past to see what the future held for these fine Young Republicans. Lets meet Eric Hoplin, Corinne Schwarz, NinaLicketto, 18.

Getting ready for the Friday night banquet at which Karl Rove received the Lee Atwater MemorialAward, Licketto was nervous. She's a high schoolsenior from Woodstown, N.J., working as an intern for the CollegeRepublicans this summer, and in the hotel room beforehand, she was worrying thather black cocktail dress was too short. No, says Schwarz, who is curling herhair in the mirror, Licketto looks fine.

Do they know who the next Karl Rove is?

"Maybe Nina, actually," says Brooke Barney, 20,who is Schwarz's assistant for this weekend and is staying in the same hotelroom. (All the national officers have assistants, who keep them on schedule andhandle their press. It is an honor to be asked, the assistants say.) Licketto is young and "very Republican," in herwords.

Which is saying something for an organization that leans tothe right of the Republican Party overall, Stewart says. The younger theperson, the more "idealistic," he explains.

Licketto vigorouslydenies that she has the Rovemagic. Schwarz demurs, too. "I'm not the political mastermind Karl Rove is."

and Walter Lee ("after the greatest general") Morris.

Washington Post: At College RNC, the Kids Are All Right- July 28, 2003

"Somewhere in this group is the next Karl Rove," said the current Karl Rove during a speech at the black-tie kickoff banquet held Friday evening in the ballroom of the Capital Hilton on16th Street.

A day later, though, hundreds of college students wearing"Vast Right Wing Conspiracy" stickers need leadership now. Hundredsof Bush 2004 volunteers are looking for Busch Light. They wonder aloud: Whowill emerge as the leader of their generation's Republican Party?

Perhaps it will be the man who finds the beer. Maybe he isthe next Karl Rove.


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Eric Hoplinsmiles. He throws out a hand and says, "Hope you'rehaving a wonderful day." He smiles again. You think: Now here is apolitician.

Hoplin, 24, is theformer executive director of the College Republican National Committee, who ranunopposed for the chairmanship and was elected unanimously on Saturdayafternoon. He follows Scott Stewart, 28, in the footsteps of some big names inthe Republican Party. The late Lee Atwater, who headed George H.W. Bush'scampaign for the presidency in 1988, was an executive director of the CollegeRepublicans. And Karl Rove,President Bush's chief political strategist and the man widely credited forRepublican gains in the 2002 midterm elections, started out as the executivedirector and ran a campaign through the South out of Atwater's Ford Pinto to secure for himselftwo consecutive terms as chairman.

"You never know if the person coming up to your recruitment table is gong to be the next Karl Rove," lobbyist Jack Abramoff said during his speech that afternoon.

Bridget Elliott says it's getting late and she would love some beer right about now.

Brandy Mavel a member of the Washington State University College Republicans, who hobbled over from the Hilton for this. She broke her ankle on Father's Day in a freak accident on her family farm, she says. "I was run over by a cow. But not even that could stop me from coming."

Let's make a tally sheet for these youngsters looking at the present and review their idols.

1-Tom Delay ( ethics violations, Schiavo, illegal campaign finances)

2-Jack Abramoff ( indicted )

3-Karl Rove ( soon to be indicted-traitor )

The Young Republicans will have a tough time to meet the high standards of the men they idolized then, but I'm sure they're up to the task. There's plenty of laws still to be broken and people to smear for these fine, shining beacons of the new republican generation. I wonder what Google has to offer us as we track their lives now? (Cross posted at Operation Yellow Elephant)

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