August 13, 2007

Rove Hits The Road (Update & Bump)

The Karl Rove era will come to a close at the end of this month, as George Bush's key aide has told the Wall Street Journal he will return home to spend time with his family. For any other departure, that would sound like a euphemism for "I got canned". For Rove, who has served as Bush's effigy for many of his critics, the wonder is how he managed to put up with the abuse for so long:

Mr. Rove, who has held a senior post in the White House since President Bush took office in January 2001, told Mr. Gigot he first floated the idea of leaving a year ago. But he delayed his departure as, first, Democrats took Congress, and then as the White House tackled debates on immigration and Iraq, he said. He said he decided to leave after White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten told senior aides that if they stayed past Labor Day they would be obliged to remain through the end of the president's term in January 2009.

"I just think it's time," Mr. Rove said in the interview. "There's always something that can keep you here, and as much as I'd like to be here, I've got to do this for the sake of my family." Mr. Rove and his wife have a home in Ingram, Texas, and a son who attends college in nearby San Antonio. ...

Mr. Rove has advised Mr. Bush for more than a decade, working with him closely since Mr. Bush first announced he was running for governor of Texas in 1993 and serving as chief strategist in his presidential campaign in 2000. Before joining the White House, he was president of Karl Rove & Company, the Austin, Texas-based public affairs firm he founded. Mr. Rove first became involved in Republican politics in the 1970s.

Rove originally wanted to depart in 2006, but didn't want to be seen as leaving as a result of the midterm elections. That fits his character; Rove is a fighter, a sort of happy warrior who loves being in the middle of debates and political fights. Had Bolten not drawn a bright line among Bush's staff, he may never have pulled the trigger on his departure.

(An aside: this is the first clear indication to the conspiracy theorists on the Left that Bush doesn't intend to declare himself Emperor. More will follow.)

What will Rove do now? According to Paul Gigot, whose interview produced the WSJ's scoop, he'll write a book about his White House experiences. That should sell millions, and he'll need the money; he's paid off all the legal bills, but more may come. His resignation probably won't stop Congress from demanding his testimony, especially now that he plans to write a book that will touch on the most sensitive details of political action in the White House. Rove may also teach in Texas.

It sounds as if he's through with political consulting. He's done it for a couple of decades, and the high-profile and high abuse of the last seven years has burnt him out. That didn't stop him from putting out a few predictions and valedictory advice for the GOP in the Gigot interview. Among them, he predicts that the Democrats will nominate the "fatally flawed" Hillary Clinton -- no great surprise -- and that the Republicans will beat her.

CQ readers will remember that I have had the pleasure -- and I use that word deliberately -- of meeting Karl Rove twice, once in DC and once here in the Twin Cities. On both occasions, Rove kept the room laughing while displaying a remarkable recall of numbers and polling trends. Despite everything that had been launched at him, Rove obviously relished his work and enjoyed talking about it. He pulled no punches, and he answered every question asked of him. Many of us were skeptical of his optimism in 2006, and correctly so, as it turned out, but he never took offense or belittled anyone for it.

His departure will no doubt be the subject of celebration for the president's most vociferous critics, but I think they'll wind up missing him more than the president's supporters. They won't have Rove to kick around any more, and after the shock wears off, it will become apparent how silly all the Rove-kicking was from the beginning.

UPDATE: Let's not get into another round of Plame rehashing, OK? Also, Karl Rove once told me that he reads CQ, so he may take an interest in the comments here. And if he does, perhaps I can persuade him to contact me for an interview on CQ Radio. The e-mail address is on the sidebar, Mr. Rove ...

UPDATE II & BUMP: Some people believe that Rove got pushed out rather than left of his own volition. He responded in typical fashion to CNN:

Karl Rove said Monday his resignation as President Bush's senior political adviser was not forced and that he plans to spend his post-White House career writing a book and teaching.

Perhaps Bush's most powerful White House aide, Rove submitted his resignation to Bush on Friday, he told CNN's Suzanne Malveaux in an e-mail.

When asked for his reaction to those who say he's being "run out of town," Rove responded, "That sounds like the rooster claiming to have called up the sun."

"Rove got fired" has to be one of the sillier memes that will arise in the aftermath of his departure. Why would he get fired now? All of his potential vulnerabilities have been exploited by the media and the Democrats to the nth degree already. Firing Rove would not gain the White House anything. If Bush wants to hold onto Alberto Gonzales, he's not about to fire Karl Rove.

Michelle Malkin has an intriguing post this morning on the Rove phenomenon:

Gigot lets Rove defend himself and his legacy, and what I see, alas, is the mark of self-delusion and blindness that has damaged the White House and the Beltway GOP. Rove pats President Bush (and himself) on the back for the disastrous Medicare entitlement expansion and the aborted Social Security reform effort. ...

Not a word here about the Harriet Miers debacle, the botching of the Dubai ports battle, or the undeniable stumbles in post-Iraq invasion policies.

And not a word about the spectacular disaster of the illegal alien shamnesty, which will be the everlasting stain Rove leaves behind.

I'd argue that in this instance, Michelle's making the same mistake as many on the Left do about Rove. Karl Rove did not make policy -- he just structured the President's message to win as much support for Bush policy decisions as possible. I highly doubt Rove selected Harriet Miers or his immigration policy; those decisions originated with Bush. I would agree with her about the lack of political preparation on the Dubai ports deal, but I'm not so sure that Rove was the man to blame for that as much as it was Andy Card and the White House press team.

Bush makes the policy and the appointments, and men like Rove sell them. You can't blame the salesman for the product.


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» Rove Leaving The White House from bRight & Early
The WSJ is reporting the Presidential adviser Karl Rove will be leaving the W… ... [Read More]

» … but who will haunt their nightmares now? from Neocon News
Yes, it’s true. The day that so many liberals wished and hoped for has finally come. Well, almost. Karl Rove, White House political advisor and sometimes eater of left-wing souls, has announced that he will resign at the end of August. It is a bi... [Read More]

» Sudden Timing Of Karl Rove’s Departure Surprises And Intrigues Most from The Moderate Voice
White House political maven Karl Rove’s sudden and unexpected announcement via a friendly news organization (the Wall Street Journal) that he’ll quit at the end of the month because it’s time has been met with surprise. And few belie... [Read More]

» Sudden Timing Of Karl Rove’s Departure Surprises And Intrigues Most from The Moderate Voice
White House political maven Karl Rove’s sudden and unexpected announcement via a friendly news organization (the Wall Street Journal) that he’ll quit at the end of the month because it’s time has been met with surprise. And few belie... [Read More]

» Sudden Timing Of Karl Rove’s Departure Surprises And Intrigues Most from The Moderate Voice
White House political maven Karl Rove’s sudden and unexpected announcement via a friendly news organization (the Wall Street Journal) that he’ll quit at the end of the month because it’s time has been met with surprise. And few belie... [Read More]

» Ready for Rove II? from Macsmind - Conservative Commentary and Common Sense
The Rove is gone: “Karl Rove, President Bush’s longtime political adviser, is resigning as White House deputy chief of staff effective Aug. 31, and returning to Texas, marking a turning point for the Bush presidency. Mr. Rove’s depart... [Read More]

» MSM Editorials on Rove from Hennessy's View
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Comments (67)

Posted by docjim505 | August 13, 2007 6:53 AM

So, who will be the new bete noir for the left? Or will they simply continue to use Karl Rove, spinning increasingly loony theories that he's running the scenes from Ingram and that Bush DOES intend to become emperor, ruling his right-wing Christian bigot homophobe crusader empire from Texas instead of Washington?

Posted by Tom Shipley | August 13, 2007 6:55 AM

I don't think the Rove kicking around was/is silly at all.

He represents all that is wrong with politics... he IS attack politics. He's what makes Americans cynical about Washington. It started with passing out stolen democratic fund-raising invitations to homeless in Chicago and was nicely bookended with the outing of a covert CIA agent.

Washington is a better place with Rove gone.

Posted by Scott Malensek | August 13, 2007 7:04 AM

Yeah, Rove deserved to be bashed, tried, and otherwise scapegoated for Sec. Armitage's leaking of Plame's name.

Yeah, that's it.

The world would be a better place if people actually cared about real justice rather than scapegoating. The guy might as well have had a yellow Star of David on his shoulder for all the witch-hunting the modern progressive/national socialists did to him.

Posted by Gwedd | August 13, 2007 7:09 AM

Ummm... which "covert CIA agenbt" was it that Mr. Rove outed? I don't remember him outing anyone. In fact, there hasn't been any covert CIA agents outed by this President or anyone on his staff.

You couldn't possibly be talking about the Plame affair, since she was neither outed nor covert. Just another CIA employee. The special prosecutor said so.

Of course, the leftists will never let facts get in the way of their silly little stories. That's the hallmark of their politics. Create a fictional world, live in it, and react violently and vociferously to anyone who points out the obvious to them.

Oh well.....

Posted by docjim505 | August 13, 2007 7:11 AM

Tom Shipley,

PUH-LEEEZE! I can appreciate that you don't like Rove. I even agree that he played rough. But please spare us the implication that ROVE is responsible for why Americans are cynical about politics. Do the names Carville and Begala ring any bells? How about Clinton? Does the phrase "bimbo eruption" bring back any memories? The Clintons and their team played hardball; they were good at it. It is, fortunately or not, the name of the game. Until Americans from both sides of the spectrum put their feet down and say, "I'm not voting for a candidate who plays dirty pool", we're going to continue to have it.

Posted by Immolate | August 13, 2007 7:13 AM

Rove wasn't nearly as ruthless as the Clintonistas, but being somewhat competent, he didn't have to be. I suppose he will continue to be a black beast to the fringies either until someone else can harness their imaginations or the antichrist arrives.

We owe Karl Rove our thanks for his excellent work and for putting up with the most horrific and unhinged abuse that any political advisor has ever suffered in that position, although I think it probably, at least usually, made him laugh.

I do wonder if the derangement will slowly leak out of BDS now that the only man smart enough to fuel Bush's misunderestimation won't be advising him anymore. I wonder who they'll blame it on if it turns out George the younger isn't as dimwitted as they thought, even without Karl to prop him up?

Posted by Nedra Lee | August 13, 2007 7:13 AM

LOL! Shipley, you are the epitome of a troll.
Don't any of your own blogs want you? Rove is enjoying all your venom and actually calls for more.

Moron and Idiot rolled into one - that's what you are.

Posted by Tom Shipley | August 13, 2007 7:14 AM


I'm not going to turn this thread into another debate about Plame's outing, but I'll say this:

Rove, Armitage and Libby all told reporters that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA within days of the publishing Joe Wilson's op-ed and within days of Dick Cheney questioning whether CIA agents often send their husbands on junkets.

All three men outed her to reporters. It doesn't matter who was first. It doesn't matter that Armitage and Rove were the sources for Novak's column that outed her to thousands of people. It only matters that they passed on to a reporter (someone not authorized to know Plame was an agent) that she worked for the CIA.

Rove most definitely was one of the people who outed her.

Posted by Gary Gross | August 13, 2007 7:20 AM

In my opinion, a giant has left the stage. Let's not forget Rove's GOTV system. That will certainly be part of his legacy.

Posted by Tom Shipley | August 13, 2007 7:24 AM

Moron and Idiot rolled into one

A mordoit? midiot? iditoron?

Posted by Captain Ed | August 13, 2007 7:28 AM

Let's not have this thread turn into another lengthy rehash of the Plame scandal, OK? We've done that to enough threads at CQ. Anyone who feels compelled to do that should go back and find one of them, and comment there.

Posted by M Smith | August 13, 2007 7:54 AM

Novak: Rove confirmed Plame's identity

The CIA Director also confirmed in a written statement that she was a covert agent at the time of Novak's disclosure.

See, you're entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts... and Rove's fingerprints are all over everything that happened in this administration.

Posted by The Yell | August 13, 2007 8:10 AM

I'm glad you guys spelled out this wouldn't be another Plame outing debate thread. Otherwise, your back-and-forth on that issue would have been misconstrued.

"He said he decided to leave after White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten told senior aides that if they stayed past Labor Day they would be obliged to remain through the end of the president's term in January 2009. "

And thus, pass up juicy consultant fees for Election 2008. Unless Rove's folks buy an RV they won't be seeing all that much of him for the next two years...

Posted by Scott Malensek | August 13, 2007 8:10 AM

If Rove's fingerprints are all over everything bad in this administration (giving a free pass here with no malice at all towards Armitage and others), then everything in the Administration should be just hunky dory now. Happy faces all around. Nothing but chocolate rivers and gumdrop trees.

Rove's a scapegoat, just like Feith, or anyone else the left freaks out about.

Posted by syn | August 13, 2007 8:24 AM

The problem is Captain that even though you politely ask the children stop beating up the puppy they never seem to listen and continue to bash the poor thing to death.

I do wonder what will happen to those poor things afflicted with BDS once President Bush officially ends his term come January 2009. Where will all their rage go since they will have failed in their desire to defeat the liberation of Iraq, failed in their desire to impeach the President, the VP or their advisors, and generally failed at making any sense at all.

Posted by Tom Shipley | August 13, 2007 8:33 AM

Rove has certainly come to epitomize more than he probably is. But one thing I do believe he has done is, if not spearhead, turn into an art form the politics of division. That will be his lasting legacy.

Posted by Mark E. | August 13, 2007 8:38 AM

Mr. Rove,
If you are reading this I want to humbly ask that you do something unthinkable. Re-fight the case for Saddam Hussein's removal based on what's been found postwar. It would give the necessary political capital to end the war properly if you can make your case. It's worth a shot.

Posted by Pam | August 13, 2007 8:41 AM

Good Luck Karl. I don't know how you've put up with the abuse all these years. I may not have agreed with the administration much in the past couple of years, but I respect your loyalty and service. There aren't a lot of people anymore that could put up with the crap that has flown around in DC and stayed with it.

Posted by Deb | August 13, 2007 8:41 AM

well, M Smith, while you obviously mean to insinuate that Rove's "fingerprints" have something to do with some unnamed crimes, "all over" this administration, many of us are very grateful that those Rovian fingerprints (legal fingerprints, mind you) are all over the 2004 election of George Bush, not John Kerry, as our President and Commander-in-Chief.
Lord only knows what AQ would have done to America by now had the Dems been in charge of our military strategic decisions and communications intelligence.
(And yeah, I'm one of those security/soccer moms, a college professor--hard sciences, thank you-- one who had always voted straight ticket Dem until OBL and the Pearl beheading and the blame-America-first cries cleared my vision, and one who, for the time being, will continue as a single-issue security voter, i.e. Republican, until my former party repudiates their far-left, Kos-directed political power grabs and is unafraid to say aloud, "No more cowering; we are taking the battle to the islamic terrorists, and we are united as Americans in this endeavor ".... which is to say, no time soon will your party have my vote.)
The 2004 election made your blood boil, we realize, expecially after assuming the 2000 Rovian-directed election was "stolen" and so thus caused endless irrational attempts to smear Karl Rove and our nation's President with "fingerprints" innuendo, but it doesn't change the fact that this administration has put our country's security first, not politics, and our country has been safer with them at the helm.

Posted by Mark E. | August 13, 2007 8:44 AM

Mr. Rove,
If you are reading this I want to humbly ask that you do something unthinkable. Re-fight the case for Saddam Hussein's removal based on what's been found postwar. It would give the necessary political capital to end the war properly if you can make your case. It's worth a shot.

Posted by John | August 13, 2007 8:44 AM

Tom -- Go back and watch the 1993 documentary "The War Room". James Carville and Paul Begala mastered the art of the permanent campaign over half a decade before Rove hit the national scene.

The difference was that since James and Paul helped a Democrat win the White House, their obessions/transgressions in turning the presidential race into a 24/7/365 event were either overlooked by the big media or in many cases even celebrated for their bold, new strategy. It only became a crisis for the American system when similar tactics were used against the Democrats.

Posted by Scott Malensek | August 13, 2007 8:45 AM

"Rove has certainly come to epitomize more than he probably is. But one thing I do believe he has done is, if not spearhead, turn into an art form the politics of division. That will be his lasting legacy."

Ignoring the idea that Carville, Begala, or even Chris Matthews and such people are hardly uniters, please describe how Mr Rove lead the charge in divisive politics.

I'm interested.

Posted by Bennett | August 13, 2007 8:52 AM

I think getting kicked around by the opposition is part of the job description for someone in Rove's position so I doubt he was ever that much troubled by it. As I understand it, he's pretty good friends with his professional counterparts on the other side (e.g., Donna Brazile). I've always thought it would be interesting to read a book written by the two of them together on the 2000 election.

Posted by Mark E. | August 13, 2007 9:00 AM

Mr. Rove,
If you are reading this I want to humbly ask that you do something unthinkable. Re-fight the case for Saddam Hussein's removal based on what's been found postwar. It would give the necessary political capital to end the war properly if you can make your case. It's worth a shot.

Posted by Stormy70 | August 13, 2007 9:04 AM

Dear Rove, thanks for the Republican gains in 2002 and 2004. Too bad those boobs in Congress had to go and screw it all up.

Posted by phizzle | August 13, 2007 9:58 AM

What role will Rove play in the 2008 presidential election? Although he may be tired from the White House battles, it doesn't seem likely that he'll just retire to book writing when he's probably needed for the campaign. Some suggest that he's somehow a political liability for presidential candidates- does anyone really believe that considering his track record of success?

Posted by newbury | August 13, 2007 10:06 AM

Mr. Rove,
If you are reading this I want to humbly ask that you do something unthinkable to the nutroots and Democrats in Congress. Move up here to Canada and help give Stephen Harper a helping hand to stiffen his backbone and his political perspicacity. He really needs the help.

And, there will be, for you, a further personal advantage. You will be outside the reach of any subpoena (disgracefully) issued by any BDS affected congresscritter. And I think that a congressional subpoena becomes invalid when the new Congress is installed. Which will about when the dhimmicrats suddenly recognize that all of the things they blame GWB for not 'fixing' still remain to be dealt with...

Posted by Pho | August 13, 2007 10:07 AM

I wish him luck in what he decides to do next. Heaven knows he's put up with more than his share of grief. Mostly because he's effective, and that's the most mortal sin you can commit as a Republican. Once you're proven effective the media and the left will never forgive you for it.

Posted by Jeanette | August 13, 2007 10:14 AM

Michelle Malkin jumped the shark a long time ago.

Good luck in your new endeavors, Mr. Rove.

Posted by Mark E. | August 13, 2007 10:14 AM

Mr. Rove,
If you are reading this I want to humbly ask that you do something unthinkable. Re-fight the case for Saddam Hussein's removal based on what's been found postwar. It would give the necessary political capital to end the war properly if you can make your case. It's worth a shot.

Posted by Stormy70 | August 13, 2007 10:26 AM

I agree, Jeanette. Michelle is never satisfied with anything.

Posted by LaMano | August 13, 2007 10:40 AM

I attended a fund-raising speech by Mr. Rove in Paradise Valley, AZ during the run up to the 2004 election. It was a terrific speech and he is a bright and interesting fellow. Very down to earth and entertaining.

At the time, he spoke of the importance of SCOTUS appointments. How right he was.

The room was engaged and energized.

Thanks Karl.

Posted by bio mom | August 13, 2007 10:50 AM

Michelle Malkin is the perfect example of how conservatives are often their own worst enemies. Laura Ingraham is another example. The requirement for pure ideology before they will give their support hurts more than helps their causes. The hysteria over Dubai ports was embarassing. So was immigration. Also, the medicare prescription drug program is a demonstrable success, cost much less than expected, and will help ultimately to lower our health care costs. It is so easy to sit on the sidelines in front of a computer and carp. I salute Karl Rove and I continue to thank and appreciate President Bush. He towers above the little nit-pickers on both sides of the political spectrum.

Posted by gbear | August 13, 2007 11:01 AM

Thank you Mr. Rove for putting up with the childish "loyal opposition" for as long as you did.

Posted by Ray | August 13, 2007 11:04 AM

Mr. Rove should run for public office, perhaps in a campaign to unseat Mr. Kennedy in the Senate. Even though he couldn't possible win, this would induce mass hysteria amongst the liberals and would be fun to watch.

Posted by RBMN | August 13, 2007 11:05 AM

It's also possible that Rove is quitting to demonstrate the high level of his opposition to some decision that's been made by the President. Maybe a decision to cave in on something that Rove sees as crucial. Not likely, but another possibility.

I think Rove is more idealistic than we'd know from just reading the press--more so than the President.

Posted by LarryD | August 13, 2007 11:16 AM

For Rove to be responsible for half of what the "progressives" blame him for, he'd need the mind-control powers of a Sith Lord.

Like the New York Times blaming others for their spelling mistakes, so many "progressives" can't admit to making any mistakes, and have blamed Rove instead. Which is why their learning curve is flat.

Posted by Georg Felis | August 13, 2007 11:36 AM

(begin Tongue in Cheek mode)
In a response to the resignation of Karl Rove, the Democrats have offered the following concessions if he would agree to stay on an additional year:

Congress and the House would restrict themselves to only five (5) subpoenas per Democratic member per month instead of the normal twenty served to Mr. Rove. Previously filled out subpoenas will be bundled into paper logs and used to heat the Vice-Presidential residence as a source of alternative energy for the next six years.

Democratic members would be requested to turn in any voodoo dolls of Mr. Rove, as well as any pins in excess of twelve (12) inches long into the industrial-sized dumpster outside the building. The dartboard in the cloak room will remain and additional darts purchased to replace the ones pounded into the walls up to the fins.

Members of the press will restrain themselves while in the public eye from accusing Mr. Rove of any felonies or treasonous acts. There will be an exception for this in their news articles (of course) while misdemeanors and social errors may still be attributed to Mr. Rove via third parties or rumors.

Also both the press and Democratic members will in the future please restrain from throwing any stones in excess of 20 oz or the size of Mrs. Pelosi’s clenched fist at Mr. Rove or any immediate member of his family or his aides. That includes vehicles and residences. The stockpile of such stones will be found in Sen. Reid’s office, and have all been suitably examined and approved by Union representatives, and may be purchased at cost.

Acknowledgement will be made by both the House and Senate of Mr. Roves background as a homo sapiens, and any resolutions stripping him of human status will be removed from the floor. This also goes for resolutions criminalizing the title of Presidential Advisor, the last name of Rove, or Being Partially-Bald in Public.

It shall no longer be an offense punishable by defenestration to mention the name “Rove” without spitting, cursing, or kicking a dog while within the Capitol. Grinding teeth will still be permitted, and the Senate dental plan will be expanded to cover denture replacement not to exceed seven (7) sets per month.
(end Tongue in Cheek mode)

Congratulations Mr. Rove, I don’t know how you did it for so many years.

Posted by Del Dolemonte | August 13, 2007 11:52 AM

Joe Wilson said:

"I'm not going to turn this thread into another debate about Plame's outing"

LOL! Then why did YOU bring it up in the first place?

Posted by Immolate | August 13, 2007 12:16 PM

*mystical hand wave*
These aren't the diabolical plots you're looking for.

Posted by newton | August 13, 2007 12:22 PM

I bet you all that he will give Democrats the equivalent of a "Screw all of you!" on his last day at work.

Then, he will move on to other interesting things. Teaching here in TX must be fun. If he can explode some heads in Austin, it will be fine.

Good luck, Karl, and send Dem 'all a stink in their general direction!

Posted by Scrapiron | August 13, 2007 12:46 PM

I thought Rove might start to counter balance the idiots 'Peanut Carter and Slick' but soon relized that would only take up 5 minutes of his day, one day a week. The rest of the time he can spend naming names and acts of traitorism by the dhimmi's. He will definetly put interest in the 08 campaign, every dhimmi will be shaking in their boots (jackboots for Shrillary) wondering when the hammer will fall, and it will fall. He has many scores to settle with the dhimmi's that he couldn't settle while in the white house. Gonna be fun to watch.

Posted by Bill Faith | August 13, 2007 12:52 PM

UT Austin's Berkeley on the Colorado; you had to be a card carrying commie to teach history or PoliSci there even when I graduated (from the College of Engineering) 32 years ago. As hard as it is for this old Tea Sipper to say anything nice about A&M, Karl'd fit in a lot better there.

Posted by Lightwave | August 13, 2007 1:47 PM

"Bush makes the policy and the appointments, and men like Rove sell them. You can't blame the salesman for the product."

September is arguably the most important "sell" of this President's career: convincing America that we must stay in Iraq for as long as it takes to win.

Then again, Rove has been in charge of that sell for years now and hasn't really done the best job...if the GOP was still in charge of Congress, this wouldn't be an issue.

Blaming Rove may be shooting the messenger, but the message in Iraq is just as important as the war itself, and if the messenger isn't up to the job, then we need a new one. Perhaps Rove and the President finally decided to do this as an act of patriotism.

Posted by edward cropper | August 13, 2007 1:48 PM

Karl Rove certainly had some good days and bad. He is not the ogre pictured by the left or the whiz kid pictured by some on the right.
On the whole I think he was not all that much.
If he was as influential with the President as he is presented he has to accept a lot of the blame for Bush's blunders. He didn't make policy?
Hello, what do chief advisers do. They are the President's think tank and they plot and plan, research and make policy. The President obviously decides what becomes of it, but it is mistaken conjecture to say they do not make it.
Rove apparently was not the super political guru he was made out to be, and he certainly misled the President, albeit unintentionally.
We also cannot overlook Vice-President Cheney. He had the President's ear at all times.
This does not excuse the President. He ultimately must accept responsibility for his actions.
On the whole it probably would not have made any difference had Rove left any sooner. Bush's mentality is My Way or the Highway.
So be it Rove or someone else what we have is George W. Bush's Presidency warts and all.

Posted by brooklyn | August 13, 2007 1:58 PM

As much as I like Ms. Malkin, I feel she is completely misguided.

The punishment she provides, simply doesn't fit the crime, and seems unjustly hostile.

There is some jaded angst, a form of displacement, which has led her from seeing the larger picture, having a balanced objective insight, etc...

Mr. Rove was a part of an Administration, which faced one of the worst attacks on American Soil in Our Nation's History.

The Bush Administration is one of the primary reasons the USA is in such fine shape today.

The efforts to make the USA Safe, the Patriot Act, the NSA Program, going on Offense against the Radical Muslim Militants, etc...

Their sound Leadership, coupled with fine efforts domestically, such as the Tax cuts, helped this Nation at a sincerely difficult time.

Ms. Malkin seems to have become a pure cynic.

She has a problem with being about to optimistically advocate for an agenda.

Remember when she called Ms. Meirs a 'BELLHOP'?

What purpose did that kind of garbage serve?

It is easy to be the critic, but having never governed, run for office, or managed, one must offer a little respect for those who are trying admirably.

The expression she provides is all too often overtly negative.

Almost as if she does not distinguish between the unethical Democrat deceit, and the honest efforts from some fine Americans.

For example, who botched the Dubai deal?

Conservative bloggers were the one's calling this sale of a company, quite bizarrely, the "selling of our sovereignty".

The hyperbole, misrepresentation, childishness was truly embarrassing to watch.

In fact, Ms. Malkin once aggressively proclaimed President Bush was not going to sign the Border Security Fence Bill, and was completely wrong.

She was looking for the worst, and it blinded her insight.

In fact, instead of advocating a reward for the Conservative Republican efforts in the Congress for delivering more border security, it seemed her rhetoric only further empowered the opposite by unfairly debasing the GOP.

Whatever happened to Conservatives taking personal responsibility?

Isn't Ms. Malkin just as responsible, as the rest of us, for failing to defend the Conservative interests in Washington back in 2006, keep Reid and Pelosi from taking power in Congress?

Does she believe Karl Rove and President Bush must do it all by themselves?

We see a number of Conservative Elite Pundits who have allowed themselves to become overtly negative, and self destructive in regards to those serving their interests.

Perhaps it is their own ego...

Part of being Conservative is to understand the difficulties of governing in Washington, and the imperfection of human beings.

Mr. Gingrich, for example, has become quite laughable.

This is a man who did NOTHING about illegal immigration when he was Speaker.

As if he has any right, to vilify others for doing more than he ever did.

And now, he seems more interested in bashing those, who bravely implemented the challenging policies he supported.

Did he think invading a formerly oppressed Nation of Millions in the troubled Arab World was going to be a picnic?

Doesn't this politician remember the difficulty involved, or the context of the Battle of the Bulge, Shiloh, or the Chosin Reservoir?

Long ago, the cynics abandoned President Reagan as well.

They were wrong.

So thankful for the efforts of Karl Rove, and the rest who have served in the Bush Administration.

Posted by Carol Herman | August 13, 2007 2:18 PM

Whatever Bush's legacy will be, Rove's leaving gives this president ROOM. If some think Rove was Bush's McLellan, so be it? The haters will probably fade when history comes in.

As to what I thought when I saw this headline on Drudge last night, is that CHENEY's baaack. The Vice President WILL BE CONSULTED.

We're also in the space that's left till the next election.

And, Drudge, last night said "something" interesting. (WELL, true. He ALWAYS does that!) But last night he said that Bush prefers GULLIANI, to all the other nominees out there for the GOP.

Is Rove going to San Antonio? His son's in college, there, now. And, the parents are moving toether, to be about 30 miles out of San Antonio. Parents. WOW. I said. Just when the nest gets empty for most folks; the Rove's are stepping in, and up to the plate. Sounds like a good idea, to me, too.

Can Rove now go to work for another? No. It wouldn't be JEB. But he said his wife would kill him, if he gets involved in another campaign.

Yet, that's Rove's strength!

He's the master of harnessing the energy to WIN the contest. And, ya just never know.

If the mainstream media is predicting one thing; I'm usually willing to bet against them. (Even though this makes my winnings fall into the "BLACK SWAN" territory.) It still beats getting crushed by the marketplace. And, Taleb's books are wonderful! MEAT.

Posted by Only_One_Cannoli | August 13, 2007 2:54 PM

Tom Shipley: But one thing I do believe he has done is, if not spearhead, turn into an art form the politics of division.

Maybe a stupid question but what is politics of division? The complaint about political divisiveness has always struck me as meaningless. The nation is divided on some important issues. Whatever divisions exist in the populace are reflected by our govt. reresentatives. Please tell me in what way did Karl Rove use divisiveness to his party's advantage?

Posted by viking01 | August 13, 2007 3:02 PM

I won't be at all surprised if Karl Rove's last day at the WH dovetails nicely with Fred Thompson's announcement of candidacy for President. Rove has completed his work for Bush 43 so it's time for him to look toward other challenges. He's also gaining more freedom to counter harassment by Leahy or other dirtbags.

I'm not one of those quick to blame Karl Rove for the 2006 election results. When Frist and Hastert stared at their belly buttons for several years then wondered how the opposition party and the opposition media redefined them it is no wonder congress changed hands in '06.

Now that Reid and Pelosi have shown they're incapable of running a snowball stand in winter it opens up many avenues for Rove to manage an effective GOP Presidential campaign for 2008. If so, DNC shill Chrissy Matthews had best postpone that badly needed bulging vein reduction surgery currently scheduled for his forehead.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 13, 2007 3:30 PM

I saw the update on Michelle Malkin, and all I can say is people like Michelle are the real RINOs.

They never miss an opportunity to stab Bush or Rove in the back even when it hurts Republicans more than helps them. She has her own agenda and it is not about the Republicans winning elections, it is about her selling books and getting her face on TV.

For instance, I do not see any of the major candidates out there campaigning to get rid of the drug prescription plan that she was whining about. The truth is that the people who use the program are already on Medicare and if they can not afford their medicine, just who does Michelle think is going to pay for their care? The taxpayer of course.

Michelle made a complete fool of herself over the Dubai incident because she knows nothing whatsoever about port terminals or shipping.

She has been no help during the immigration debate. In fact if I really thought most Republicans were like Michelle I would have a hard time voting for Republicans and I am white.

And to still be complaining about Harriet Miers is too much. Bush had a right to choose his own nominee, no where in the Constitution does it say that loud mouthed self appointed hysterical pundits are supposed to be consulted.

Bush won two terms as President, Rove helped him do it. Other than promote herself what has Michelle done?

Even now when Rove is leaving office and no doubt the lefties will have a field day with the whole thing Malkin can not resist the impulse to make some smart ass comment. With friends like her the GOP does not need enemies.

Maybe she can do an article about how it was Rove's idea that Bush sell us out to Mexico and commit a treasonous act by failing to lay land mines at the border. blah blah blah.

I know that I wish she would retire and I am not a Democrat either.

Posted by Only_One_Cannoli | August 13, 2007 4:01 PM

TS, you and Mr. Kerry are on the same page:

“It’s a tragedy that an Administration that promised to unite Americans has instead left us more divided than ever before,” said. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Bush’s opponent in the 2004 race. “Without doubt the architect of that political strategy was Karl Rove, who proved the politics of division may win some elections but cannot govern America.”

I'm actually impressed by that quote. Kerry shows what a talented a politician he is -- his statement is forty-some words of intelligent-sounding total gibberish. Divisive is just another label used to dismiss an opponent's views.

Posted by RBMN | August 13, 2007 4:06 PM

Re: Terrye at August 13, 2007 3:30 PM

The difference between Michelle Malkin and President Bush is that President Bush actually examines the alternatives carefully before he stubbornly adheres to one position. Malkin generally just shoots first--asks questions later. She has a lot of company in that regard, unfortunately.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 13, 2007 4:35 PM


Well yeah and she does not know what she is talking about..Dubai would be a good case in point. She knows as much about port terminals and port security as I do about brain least I am smart enough not to pretend I have a license to practice medicine.

And what did she do for the debate on immigration other than create more drama as if there was not enough already.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 13, 2007 4:39 PM

There is another difference between them, Bush is actually responsible for running something. He is not just shooting his mouth off and posturing and finding fault with everyone else.

Posted by Gale Holbrook | August 13, 2007 4:46 PM

Captain Ed: Thanks for the post

Mr. Rove: Many thanks for your work. Best wishes to you and your family.

Posted by sleepyhead | August 13, 2007 4:57 PM

I wish Rove had replied to that CBS reporter "So you think you could have re-elected the president?"

Posted by Fight4TheRight | August 13, 2007 5:11 PM

Tom Shipley, you really got let go of those Gore and Kerry losses man! I mean, you've come often to this blog and put forth a difference of opinion, which is always welcome, but when the name, "Rove", comes up....good grief, you lose it! Now, granted, Rove was brilliant in his strategies and a very determined man , but in the end Tom, you have to just sit down and admit that you had two worthless Presidential candidates that the American people saw through like dingy linen.

Rove didn't beat your boys, your boys lost cause they were and are, subpar.

There! Now, don't you feel better already?!!

Posted by docjim505 | August 13, 2007 5:18 PM


"Politics of divisiveness" means "you don't agree with us and do what we say! And, worse, you use our own positions against us! WAAAAAHHHHH!!!"

Liberal wolves in sheeps' clothing would have us believe that "division" and "partisanship" are bad things. This is essentially a preemptive attack on their part designed to blunt any criticism of their policies and positions: if you criticize, you're being "divisive". O' course, division is, if not a sine qua non, then at least a fundamental characteristic of a free society. There are ALWAYS divisions, though they may not be especially pointed or argued over with much passion. "Divisions" are why we have elections: so that John Q. Public - God bless his ignorant bones! - can decide which side he thinks is best for himself and his fellow citizens.

When libs complain about "politics of division", it means that they've realized that the same smelly old fish they've been peddling for forty years aren't selling well anymore, so they've got to try to stop people from pointing out that they stink.

Posted by onlineanalyst | August 13, 2007 5:19 PM

Personally I admire and will miss the inimitable "MC" Rove. The video of Rove strutting to the rap that portrayed him as one dangerous dude was a perfect sendup of the ridiculous paranoia riddling Dem mythology. The absurd charges against him by the rabid Left could almost amuse me if they hadn't so misguided by their malignancy.

Best wishes, Karl Rove, and thank you.

Posted by Proud Kaffir | August 13, 2007 6:09 PM

The reason Rove resigned is quite obvious, despite all the devious theories being floated by the moonbats. Rove was receiving mountains of subpoenas from the Dems in Congress who have had him in their crosshairs for some time. While it is unlikely they would have ever cornered him, the subpoenas forced Bush to continuously assert Executive Privilege, a task that was becoming tiresome to both Bush and Rove. It kept him from attending to any other business.

Now that Rove is out of Washington, despite the Dem announcements that they would continue to pursue him, the Dems will have to find new targets. Rove will quickly become yesterday's news. His departure was probably another shrewd calculation to throw the opposition party off its plans.

Posted by John | August 13, 2007 7:00 PM

Michelle is simply fast becoming the distaff Paul Wyerich -- he who famously claimed in 1982 that Reagan wasn't conservative enough and within the next two years was leading the charge to write him out of the conservative movement entirely. It's one thing to have disagreements over policy, but you're not gonig to help your own cause if your first reaction to an event like this is to dig up and nitpick old disagreements.

Malkin hasn't yet strayed into Ann Coulter territory, where selling your books and promoting youself through outrageous statements becomes the numero uno job in your life (to mimic Coulter, Michelle would have to go to this year's CPAC event, say something deliberately derogatory to attract the mainstream media's attention so they can tar conservatives with a broad brush, and then when your actions overshadow CPAC's goal of giving the 2008 GOP presidential hopefuls a platform to speak, tell the those questioning your actions that the crowd reall came to the event to see you, not the candidates.)

Posted by Only_One_Cannoli | August 13, 2007 7:23 PM

docjim: When libs complain about "politics of division", it means that they've realized that the same smelly old fish they've been peddling for forty years aren't selling well anymore, so they've got to try to stop people from pointing out that they stink.


Posted by ron | August 13, 2007 7:31 PM

Many on this post got it wrong. Say what you will, Rove is leaving as a big loser, not some kind of misguided hero or victim to the Democrats and the media, as fantasized by many on this blog.

Rove lost Congress to the Dems, has set up a Democratic victory for the president for 2008, his Iraq War policy is a big failure. His wet-dream PNAC is a failure, Al Queda and the Taliban are on the rise, and America is more hated, despised and in more danger of terrorism than even before 9-11.

Few here care to name Rove's accomplishments, because there are none. He is just another extension of Bush Administration incompetence and stupidity.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 13, 2007 7:47 PM

The Republicans lost the election in 2006 without any help from Rove. The man is not responsible for Congress, they have their own campaigns to run, their own policy agenda and they made their own mistakes.

For instance they started that whole showdown over immigration leading up to that election because they were just sure it would help them, it did not, in fact hardliners lost.

Their corruption and scandals were their own and the Democrats were smart enough to run some moderates in more conservative districts. Ellsworth in Indiana is really quite conservative socially. So all that helped.

But Rove has been with Bush since 1993, and he was with Bush when the Republicans took control as well as when they lost.

And as far as stupid goes ron, when are you going to run for president and win. It is amazing how many people there are out there who think they can run their mouths about someone like Bush or Rove being stupid when half the people making the comments have nothing better to do than comment on blogs like this.

I am here, you are here, but I bet you money that Rove has too much to do to spend his time like this.

Posted by docjim505 | August 13, 2007 8:11 PM

ron wrote (August 13, 2007 7:31 PM):

Few here care to name Rove's accomplishments, because there are none. He is just another extension of Bush Administration incompetence and stupidity.

Yep. The man's a bumbling fool. Can't tie his own shoelaces. Total idiot. That's why the dems have hated him and tried so hard to get him thrown into prison for the past six years.

(rolls eyes)

I can't remember where I read it, but a quote comes to mind:

"The person who will be most honest with you is your enemy."

The dems hate Rove almost as much as they hate Bush. At election time, they feared him like the British in North Africa feared Rommel: "We don't know what he's going to do, but somehow he's going to kick our asses again!" Obviously, he was doing something right!

It is interesting to watch the different lib reactions to this news. There are two basic positions:

1. "I hate Rove. He's mean, and evil, and wicked, and-and-and he's Divided the Country (TM)! WAAAAHHHH!"

2. "Rove's a loser. Yeah, that's right, I said it! He's a loser. Loser-loser-loser-loser!"

Both positions demonstrate all the thoughtful maturity of your average five year old brat.

Rove has been neither the evil genius that some on the left believe, nor has he been a burden to the administration. He's obviously a bright man and a good political operative. I also must say that, thought it has often been maddening to see the dems' desperate attempts to smear and imprison Rove, it's been a real hoot watching that vein throb on Trashcan Chuckie Schumer's forehead whenever anybody even says the name "Rove!"

Posted by John Hinds | August 13, 2007 8:12 PM

So, politics is the art of the possible, right? Mr. Rove's practice of that art was a beautiful thing to behold. His efforts in concert with President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and Defense secretary Rumsfeld in particular were honorable, in the very highest traditions of leadership, and when you compare them with the alternative, it is more than obvious that America has again been the beneficiary of divine intervention.

These have been difficult years. Mistakes have been made, but they were honest mistakes, made by honorable men. They cost lives, yes, particularly because of ill advised rules of engagement on the battle field. An ideal leader, a "perfect" leader would have led the country to victory, vanquished the Islamist barbarians by now and we could move on to more important matters of dealing with real existential threats from Russia and China. Not to fear, though, I think this administration has laid a good foundation for future leaders who will write the next chapter in the march of history, the emergence of liberty, justice, truth, and good will.

Thank you Karl Rove for your truly invaluable service to this great country. You are a great American, and I am proud to welcome you back to Texas.

Posted by owl2 | August 13, 2007 10:00 PM

Dear Rove, thanks for the Republican gains in 2002 and 2004. Too bad those boobs in Congress had to go and screw it all up.
Posted by: Stormy70 at August 13, 2007 9:04 AM

Yes, those grand pointing Oversight critters and the absolute stupidity of some of the grand pundits. Malkin leads the pack and O'Reilly is giving her airtime to make fools of them both. She has turned into the almost exact counterpoint to Koskids and for some reason, he has not noticed. She doesn't even try to cover it up anymore. Tonight she made herself clear about Rove.

Well, she is as wrong as she is mean spirited. Thank you Mr Rove. Some of us appreciate this president, his positions and his spine. You didn't lose 2006. The critters and the Malkins did that little job.

Thank you for your service and enjoy the peace.

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