This doco covers the career of the demonic, terrior-like Lee Atwater, credited with getting George H W Bush (one of the least appealing candidates in US Presidential history) elected in 1988 against the much more favoured, affable and photogenic George Dukakis. To achieve this feat, Atwater dredged never-before-seen depths of dirty tricks, using attack ads, smears, misinformation and downright lies. The campaign went down in history as the nadir of ‘New Right’ venality and an infamous low in political tactics. Bush was not re-elected in 92 and the 88 campaign was part of the reason.
It’s an interesting if skin-crawling tour through the life of a man with virtually no moral compass, obsessed with succeeding at all costs and possessed of a desperate drive for power and recognition, all of which was music to the ears of the Washington swamp. The film throws intriguing light on the latter years of the Reagan administration and the Iran-Contra affair that cast a shadow over it.
This is a tragic cautionary tale of what happens when a man gains the whole world but loses his own soul. When Roger Stone is the voice of reason and restraint in the film of your life, something is seriously wrong!