Compared to Karl Rove, Lee Atwater came across like a pussycat. In fact, that's what made him so nefarious. Rove looks evil, talks evil, and is evil. Atwater seemed to be in on the joke and kind of seemed like a nice guy - that is when he wasn't playing some of the dirtiest tricks of any modern political campaign.
This documentary was well done. It was so entertaining that it pulled SHR in. She didn't know much at all about Atwater and was actively rooting for his painful demise - which did happen of brain cancer at the age of 41, three short years after Bush's '88 victory.
Atwater was a complicated figure. How could he have had so many African-American friends in the music world when he was responsible for ugly race baiting tactics like the Willie Horton ad?
What effect did seeing his brother die in front of him from burning grease when he was a kid have on him? Did he really repent on his death bed or was he merely guilt ridden and afraid of eternal damnation for his sins?
I still can't get over the blues jam to celebrate Bush's victory. Creepy and depressing but I could not take my eyes off it.
The interviews are illuminating, the footage is fascinating, the pictures of a bloated Atwater as he neared death were astounding. If you have any interest in political documentaries, check this one out.
Directed by Stefan Forbes
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