Wednesday January 3, 2007
David Kuo used to be Ralph Reed‘s right hand man. He then became deputy director of President Bush’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, but he is now calling on fellow Evangelical Christians to take a break from politics. After suffering a life-threatening brain tumor in 2003, Kuo left the White House and went public with his disappointment in the apathy and inaction of the Bush administration. Now a professional bass fisherman and the author of Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction, Kuo talked with Campus Progress about his personal experience with abortion, the Dixie Chicks, ending genocide, and whether he has any friends left in D.C.
Campus Progress: Could you tell us a little about what inspired you to come to D.C. right after you graduated from college, and to start working in politics?
David Kuo: I was just one of those kids who always figured I would come to Washington. But then it was the personal experience of me getting my girlfriend pregnant and her having an abortion, right around 1989, 1990. It was that experience of trying to grapple with it that brought me to Washington. I came to Washington figuring I would work for a pro-life Democrat. But given the way things were politically, there wasn’t a chance that would happen. They sort of didn’t want me. Then I figured I’d work for Republicans. But they looked at my work with Ted Kennedy and the Robert Kennedy Center for Human Rights and went, you’re on crack right? So I ended up working for the National Right to Life Committee.
It’s really a courageous thing in D.C. to say anything that doesn’t fit into one party or the other, to not toe the party line. After working in the White House, you were able to criticize the administration for not doing enough to compromise, for not doing enough to realize justice. So, how are you? Do you still have friends here?
Yeah it is. D.C. is my home. There are times that I still wish it wasn’t my home, and I was running off somewhere that is very much not D.C. I remember when Natalie Maines came out and said what she said about the president. And I remember saying, ‘Oh what a bitch, what a horrible bitch. What a liberal slime ball.’