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Karl Rove Celebrates Heritage; Doesn't Give in to Attacks from Democrats

Updated on October 1, 2009
Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean is a freelance writer and author. Her inspiring memoir "Having Faith" is available on Amazon. She resides in North Dakota.

Karl Rove recently attended the Norsk Hostfest and was inducted into the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame. While in North Dakota to celebrate his Scandinavian roots, he did not give in to attacks from democrats saying, "I am going to let the comments of the Democrats stand unanswered. Let them say what they want to say. I am going to stay focused on what we share as Scandinavian Americans." He also refused to respond to Dems at a news conference.

"I would rather keep politics out of this," Rove said. "This is about our shared experiences as Americans. It's an honor to be invited. I am honored to be inducted."

Earlier this month, the executive director of the North Dakota Democratic Party called the former deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush, a "political attack dog" and criticized the Republican governor of North Dakota, John Hoeven and also Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, for consenting to introduce Rove at the induction ceremony. Hoeven ended up declining because of a send-off for the National Guard troops.

During his seven years in the George W. Bush Administration, Rove was one of two Norwegian Americans in the White House. The other was Navy Rear Adm. Mike Miller, a Minot native who previously was inducted into the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame.

Norwegian Flag
Norwegian Flag

Karl Rove's Scandinavian Roots

Rove was selected to be inducted into the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame because of his Norwegian roots. His great-great-grandfather, Olaf Rove, was a Norwegian immigrant. While living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the early 1900s, he helped other Norwegian immigrants make their way to America.

Karl Rove recounted that when he was in the White House, he had his grandfather's passports and diplomatic certificate as the vice counsel for Norway framed and hanging on the wall. These caught the eye of the Norwegian ambassador who was able to find documents relating to Olaf Rove. These documents showed that when Norway gained its independence from Sweden, Olaf Rove was asked to be the Norwegian counsel in America, similar to ambassador today. All he had to do was move to New York and give up his American citizenship. Olaf Rove's response was that he could not give up his citizenship, "it was too dear a price."

The Scandinavian Hall of Fame

The Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame is a way to honor persons of Scandinavian descent in North America who have great achievements in their field and/or whose efforts have contributed significantly to the betterment of mankind.

Past inductees include: Buzz Aldrin, Walter Mondale, Charles A. Lindbergh, Eric Sevareid, Byron Dorgan, Charley Pride, Peggy Lee. Ralph Engelstad, and Theodore Roosevelt Association and Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, among several others.

Norsk Hostfest

The Norsk Hostfest is the largest Scandinavian Festival in North America. It is a time for Scandinavians to come together to celebrate their heritage and their ancestors' immigration into America. The Festival is usually held during the end of September/beginning of October in Minot, North Dakota. Every year they have great entertainment. This year's line-up included Reba McEntire, Clint Black, George Jones, Ray Stevens and Frankie Vallie. They also have several attractions, shopping and a lot of authentic Scandinavian food.


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    • Cari Jean profile image

      Cari Jean 7 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      sheila b. - I concur! Thanks for stoppin' in!

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 7 years ago

      I wish politics didn't enter every aspect of our lives.

    • Cari Jean profile image

      Cari Jean 8 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      Storytellersrus - I do know that all Norwegians are not alike. As I know there are probably a lot of Scandinavians who do not like Karl Rove. North Dakota is a mystery to a lot of people and that's why I like to write things like this - to give people some info about this great state!

      Where are you from in ND?

      Love homemade lefse!

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 8 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      I am 100% Norwegian and I do not have much in common with Karl Rove. All Norwegians are not alike, Cari Jean. My sister in law who was born in Norway wishes he would disown his heritage he makes her so embarassed. Sorry. But I do love my North Dakota roots. My family has attended Hostfest often and I make my own kranzekaka and lefse.

    • Cari Jean profile image

      Cari Jean 8 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      Thanks James. Yeah, I was surprised too about Charley Pride!

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      This is an interesting story! I'm glad I read it today. I was surprised to see Charley Pride up there. :) Thank you for the good article.

    • Cari Jean profile image

      Cari Jean 8 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      Personally, I think Karl Rove is a genius. Thanks for reading, breakfastpop.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 8 years ago

      I find Karl Rove to be very well spoken and informed. He reacted with dignity in his decision not engage the democrats. Nice Hub.