Karl Rove's Gloomy Picture of Federal Government (Jeff Hankins' Publisher's Note)

by Jeff Hankins  on Monday, Oct. 22, 2012 12:00 am  

After scaring us with the political outlook for the country, Rove had the audience spellbound with his recollection of very nonpolitical details of spending Sept. 11, 2001, with President Bush. Everything that had been ordinary while traveling on Air Force One and Marine One suddenly became scenes from the movie "Air Force One," with F-16 fighter jet escorts, high-speed takeoffs and the like.

The fears about what wasn't known in the immediate aftermath of the planes hitting the World Trade Center towers were extraordinary. The assumption was that the president was also a target and his whereabouts was known, so the rush to get him off the ground in Florida was unprecedented.

Rove's most poignant moment was describing how a man in a business suit came up to him in the Atlanta airport a couple of years later and said he was with Rove on 9/11. It turned out the man was one of the two fighter pilots on the wings of Air Force One who was prepared to intercept a missile.

It reminded me that political and national security issues are closely related, yet altogether different when a crisis arises.

(Jeff Hankins can be reached via e-mail at JHankins@ABPG.com, followed on Twitter @JeffHankins and connected with at Facebook.com/Jeff.Hankins and Linkedin.com/in/JeffHankins.)



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