By Roger Stone BOOGIEMAN, the documentary on the life of Lee Atwater, produced and directed by Stephan Forbes, has opened in theaters across the country to well-deserved acclaim. The film is a balanced portrait of Atwater?s quest for power and celebrity and does an effective job of portraying his larger-than-life character. Lee Atwater and Karl Rove?..and Roger Stone all conducted campaigns directly from the Nixon playbook, pitting the common folk against the country?s elite and settling on and driving a central issue message that polarizes voters along those fault-lines. This is, of course, exactly what has been missing in the McCain campaign which seems to lack any central driving message, a fact made worse by the campaign?s daily release of a video which further defuses any consistent message from the campaign. The film?s interview with Reagan-Bush ?84 campaign manager Ed Rollins is almost completely self-serving bullshit. Atwater had more real campaign experience than Rollins when he joined the Reagan White House staff and Rollins was passed over for the role of Bush?s 1988 campaign manager not because he was undermined by Atwater but because Bush saw him for what he was; a lazy, incompetent bumbler. Jim Baker had seen enough of Rollins up close to know that he was not up to the job of running a presidential campaign that was not a reelection coast for a popular incumbent. Forbes takes some license by depicting Reagan as ?in trouble? in the South Carolina Primary in 1980. In fact, Reagan had won New Hampshire overwhelmingly and was rolling towards the nomination by the time the Palmetto State voted. Although it is true that Atwater perpetrated a dirty trick on former Texas Governor John Connally by promoting a story that Connally ?was trying to buy the black vote,? the film ignores the fact that there is no black vote in the South Carolina Republican Primary. Reagan?s real opponent in South Carolina was George Bush, but Atwater?s dirty trick against Bush, including a radio ad which smeared Bush as a supporter of gun control, is not mentioned in the film. The film also reminds us of how goofy and inept George H. W. Bush was as a candidate as well as the incalculable damage the Bushs, father and son, have done to the Republican Party. Sad is Atwater?s toadyism towards the Bushs who never regarded Atwater as more than the ?hired help.? A slow-zoom of Atwater standing in a giant crowd holding a sign that says, ?Atwater loves Bush,? is a demonstration of Atwater?s ability to take brown-nosing to a completely new level. Former Democratic National Chairman Terry McAuliffe makes the case that Reagan, Bush, and Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger would have been indicted and jailed in the Iran contra scandal if Bush had not won in 1988. Curiously, McAuliffe neglects to mention that he himself should have been indicted and jailed during the Clinton Administration for his participation in a Federal office space leasing scam in which he made hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars. Former Cheney Vice Presidential Aide Mary Matalin actually says in the movie that ?Lee Atwater and George W. Bush were both intellectuals who read many books.? This comment leads to howls of laughter in the Greenwich Village movie theatre where I saw the film. Where Matalin is correct is in her criticism of the perceived ?death bed contrition? supposedly experienced by Atwater. In fact, to his dying day Atwater would tell anyone what he thought they wanted to hear. Lee Atwater was a mastermind and a rogue, a genius and charlatan, a visionary and a liar, a character and caricature. He was perpetual motion and in a hurry to achieve his goals as if he knew that, like a shooting star, his time was short. Boogieman captures all of this and is must viewing for anyone who seeks to understand my former partner, Lee Atwater. To learn about Boogieman and where this film is playing, go to