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View Diary: Bush's 2004 campaign manager, Ken Mehlman, comes out as gay (274 comments)

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    Larsstephens, tubacat, AreDeutz

    Although he was not Karl's biological father, Louis was the only father he had ever known because Karl's mother Reba had divorced very early in her son's life. In an interview with Wayne Slater and myself after he had guided the first Bush victory, Rove emphasized that he did not consider Louis his stepfather. "I don't call him Louis," he explained. "He's my father, my adopted father."

    Nonetheless, Rove was decidedly circumspect when we asked him questions about his family. Louis and Reba Rove's marriage fell apart in 1969 during Karl's senior year of high school in Utah. Rove told us it was somewhat of a mystery but his father came home Christmas Eve and then returned to Los Angeles where he had taken a job as a geologist with Getty Oil. The family was supposed to move to LA with Louis at the end of the year. "But for whatever reason, that didn't happen," Rove told us. "My mother, who was very good at explaining things without explaining them, said it was not going to happen."

    Karl seems to have inherited this particular talent from his mother. What he told us was fundamentally true; what he didn't tell us was the most important part of the story. Louis Rove had informed his wife that he was gay and that he was coming out of the closet and wanted a divorce. After he retired from his job in LA, Louis Rove moved to Palm Springs and befriended other retired gay men.

    Rove and his lieutenant Ken Mehlman, who ran the Republican National Committee, had targeted eleven swing states as locales to play out the wedge issue of gay marriage.

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