Thursday, March 17, 2011

Jackal for America's Warlords - Atwater

Harvey LeRoy "Lee" Atwater was a hardhitting below-the-belt political operative for Reagan and the elder Bush. After steering Bush's election in 1988 (with the aid of Willie Horton and assorted unsubstantiated claims against his opposition candidate's family), Atwater became Chair of the Republican National Committee.

In 1990 Atwater was diagnosed with brain cancer, and near the end of his life sought to apologize to assorted people. He claimed to be confronting his own foolish insensitivity, but he was strongly distrusted owing to his previous backstabbing. Atwater also cited "a spiritual vacuum at the heart of American society" -- but some believed his conciliatory efforts were simply spin. He died in 1991 aged just 40.