Karl Rove said he's 'lived in fear' of Barbara Bush
Eric Mayes
Published: Wednesday April 2, 2008

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Karl Rove, former Deputy White House Chief of Staff, says he's always been intimidated by First Lady Laura Bush and that he has "lived in fear" of erstwhile First Lady Barbara Bush for 37 years.

"Laura Bush intimidates me," Rove tells GQ magazine in an interview for the May edition. "All the Bushes well, most of the Bush men marry incredibly strong women, and they all intimidate me."

He even found the grandmotherly wife of the previous President Bush scary.

"Barbara Bush, I've lived in fear of for thirty-seven years," Rove says.

He seems less afraid of Clinton, giving a very frank assessment of the candidate and her campaign, which he says has been badly managed.

Calling Clinton "fatally flawed," Rove said many voters perceive her as a phony.

"You know, she went through the period where she had the calculated laugh, she went through the period where she had the calculated accents, and you build that on top of a person who already has the reputation that anything she says is calculating," Rove said. "That's what her problem is.

It's not her only problem, according to the secretive man some say manipulated the media and outed former CIA operative Valerie Plame.

She also has a sense of entitlement that can annoy people, he said: "You know, the sense of 'This is mine, I deserve it; we're the Clintons, this is ours.' And I think that really caused a lot of people to say, 'You know what? It's not yours.' And do we really want to go back? The '90s were nice in a lot of respects, but do we really want to go back to all that drama?"

But, the former Republican official adds that Sen. Barack Obama is getting off easy in this campaign.

"I don't think they hold him to the same standards," said Rove.

Former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle has said Rove's criticism is an indicator of Clinton's success.

"I would take Karl Rove's criticism as a badge of honor," Daschle quipped in 2007.

"You're not a good Democrat unless you've been criticized by Karl Rove at least once," Daschle added. "Thank you Karl. Do it again."