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karl rove -- the architect


Discussion Questions

Featured Lesson Plan
  • Social Security Reform: A Timely Political Issue
  • Student Handout: Essential Terms
  • Student Handout: Understanding Different Views of Social Security Reform: Background
  • Student Handout: Understanding Different Views of Social Security Reform: Questions
  • Student Handout: Devising Your Political Strategy

  • Additional Lesson Ideas
  • Comparing Political Strategies: Machiavelli and Rousseau
  • Letter to Karl Rove or Editorial Evaluating His Strategy and Success

  • Additional Resources

    Printable .pdf of Entire Guide
    (Adobe Acrobat required)

    » Discussion Questions

    (Questions 1 through 3 are appropriate for discussing before students see the documentary.)

    1. What do you know about Karl Rove?

    2. What is Karl Rove's position in the government? How did he achieve his position?

    3. What is the difference between policy and political strategy?

      Note to teachers: "A policy is a plan of action for tackling political issues. It is often initiated by a political party in government and undergoes reforms and changes by interested actors (for example, opposition parties and lobby groups)." (Source:

      A strategy is "a long-term plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal." (Source:

    4. Based on what you learned in the documentary, what do you think is Karl Rove's area of expertise and experience?

    5. What personal and professional qualities do you think are necessary for a policymaker? What personal and professional qualities do you think are necessary for a political strategist?

    6. President Bush has given Karl Rove the new title of "White House deputy chief of staff in charge of coordinating domestic policy, economic policy, national security and homeland security"? What roles and/or powers does this title give Rove?

    7. What information in the documentary most surprised you?

    8. Which of Karl Rove's strengths does the documentary present? Who tells us about his strengths?

    9. Which of Karl Rove's strategies were most successful in President Bush's election and re-election?

    10. What problems do Karl Rove's strategies present? Who in the film discusses these problems?

    11. Why do you think that the filmmakers felt that Karl Rove was important enough to have a documentary devoted to his life and work?

    12. Did the documentary influence how you think decisions are made in the U.S. government? Explain.

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