The lame duck becomes a lonely duck

They say in Washington that no one’s indispensable, but for the Bush White House Karl Rove comes close. Now, in another blow the White House didn’t really need, Rove has announced that he is resigning at the end of the month and returning to Texas.

The White House didn’t even try to put a good face on it. “Obviously, it’s a big loss for us,” said deputy press secretary Dana Perino.

For 14 years, Rove has been George W. Bush’s top political adviser and close confidante, and although he held the title of deputy White House chief of staff he was clearly the most influential of the president’s aides.

Rove said he was leaving because his nominal boss, Chief of Staff Josh Bolten, had told senior staff that if they stayed past this Labor Day they were honor-bound to stay on until Bush left office in January 2009. But some suspect he was weary of sparring with Democratic-run congressional committees that have been relentlessly investigating him.

Rove was accorded a Rose Garden appearance with Bush and then flew off to Texas with the president aboard Air Force One. He leaves Washington still as cheerfully optimistic as Bush. Rove believes the Republicans will retake Congress, retain the White House and that Iraq will improve.

His own plans are to write a book and stay out of electoral politics. He said, and this is a little hard to believe considering the likely demand for his services, that he will not work on a campaign or endorse a candidate in 2008.

Inside the White House, Rove helped Bush by framing issues, often successfully, like the first-term tax cuts, sometimes not so successfully, as in the second-term immigration reform. His principal role was political strategist, for which Bush gave him the nicknames “The Architect” and “Boy Genius.”

He engineered victories for Bush and the Republicans in 2000, 2002 and 2004, but his magic deserted him in 2006 when he predicted a GOP victory right up until the Democrats gained control of Congress.

Since then, Bush’s inner circle has almost completely dispersed. He has lost his top domestic counselor, budget director, chief attorney, political director, top adviser on strategic initiatives and two deputy national-security advisers, and that’s on top of the earlier departure of his first press secretary and his national-security adviser to be secretary of state.

Bush’s final year in office is going to be his most difficult in terms of getting things done.


  1. Electric Bill

    If Bush’s last year in office will be the most difficult in terms of getting things done, that’s a good thing for America. The less he gets done the better we all are for it. But what about Cheney? He doesn’t need Rove or anybody else to advise him in skullduggery and evil. He just manifests it.

  2. LurkingFromTheLeft

    But if it walks like a duck…

    …and quacks like a duck –

    …it must have a dick –

    …pulling on its ‘chen’ –


  3. Sonorous Pest

    If it’s true that Rove attended five colleges and never completed any of them or never got a degree from any of them only shows, in my humble opinion, a lack of commitmen,t and bailing out on his buddy now, just re-enforces that opinion. Good by Rove, and may the wind always be in your fat face.

  4. Donnat

    It’s just the last cockroach scattering as the beam of light from a congressional investigation is shined on it. I don’t believe Rove would put his family ahead of his politics in any situation except one where he’s facing jail time.

    Good riddance.

  5. SEAL

    History seems to be establihing that Bush’s successes have been achieved in spite of Rove, not because of him. Bush has always surrounded himself with loyalists, giving no consideration as to their competence. I believe the most glaring example of this was his attempt to appoint Harriet Myers to the supreme court. Consequently, he has continually found himself facing the aftermath of fuckups such as Katrina.

    The lesson here is that all of the failures belong to Bush. His policies and his decisions carried out by people that never questioned but obeyed. People that would offer advice Bush wanted to hear. People so loyal they would lie to protect him. Why should we think Rove is any different? Was it really his “genuis” that caused Bush to succeed? Or is it his incompetence and bad advice that has placed the Bush Administration in danger of being exposed for criminal conspiracy.

    How smart can Rove be when he leaves the White House claiming that the republicans will win the presidency and retake congress in the next election? No one else in the whole wide world believes that. And let us not forget that he revealed the name of a undercover CIA operative to the press. Actually, it was his confiming that information already revealed by another “source” that made it possible for the press to print it. That was the dumbest thing he could possibly do. That is treason in time of war! Only the unity of the republican party and their control of the press saved his and Bush’s ass on that.

    In hindsight, the only reason Bush has been successfull was through the unfailing support of the republicans in congress. A classic example of success through party unity and it continues even after losing the majority control of congress. His only failures came at the hands of the party. The immigration bill Bush wanted, for example.

    Frankly, I think Rove was just another incompetent loyalist that caused Bush many problems and not the “boy genius” everyone credits him to be.

  6. Jeffrey B.

    The rats are all abandoning the U.S.S. Titanic. “Quack, quack….” and then there were none!