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Global Forum - Karl Rove - The Triumph of William McKinley


Old Parkland

Karl Rove, a best-selling author, political advisor and former White House staffer, has been famously involved in presidential elections and the Republican Party in the modern era.

But, lately, he hasn't focused exclusively on the 2016 presidential election. The 1896 contest, with its parallels to current politics, also has had the attention of the longtime Republican advisor.

In that last election of the 19th century, the Republicans nominated Civil War hero William McKinley while the Democrats chose noted orator William Jennings Bryan. McKinley won the popular count by less than 700,000 votes but his 271 electoral votes, compared to Bryan's 176, demonstrated a successful formation of a powerful and enduring coalition of voters in well-populated states.

As Rove has said, ''McKinley's transformative political strategies and campaign tactics offer important lessons for both political parties today who face a similar landscape and many of the same challenges.'' Rove's latest book is The Triumph of William McKinley: Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters.


His own political history includes being involved as a guiding force in one of the most contested presidential elections in history -- the 2000 race between Texas Gov. George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore.

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