Patterico's Pontifications


Rove Resigns

Filed under: General,Politics — Patterico @ 5:33 am

The Wall Street Journal reports that Karl Rove is quitting at the end of the month:

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 revealed his plans in an interview with Paul Gigot, editor of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page.

He wants to spend more time with his family.

“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.

Who will be the evil genius behind Bush’s every move?

Uh, besides Dick Cheney, that is.

P.S. Michelle Malkin notes that Rove considered leaving a year ago, and invites us to use our imagination:

Imagine how much better off the White House and the Republican Party might be now if he had, in fact, left a year ago.

And Allahpundit takes her up on the invitation:

The die on Plame had already been cast by then and Jorge Arbusto surely wouldn’t have needed Rove around to get him excited about shamnesty, but who knows what it might have meant to the U.S. Attorney scandal and to the strategic masterstroke of pulling the ripcord on Rumsfeld the day after the election instead of weeks before.


P.P.S. Gigot’s interview with Rove is here.

58 Responses to “Rove Resigns”

  1. I liked him remaining there just because he infuriated the Left so much.

    JD (815fda)

  2. Somewhere, Jason Leopold curses the darkness. And Fitzgerald.

    Pablo (99243e)

  3. Is Leopold and truthout still standing by their imminent indictment story? Or are they still on the lack of the indictment proves the conspiracy meme?

    JD (815fda)

  4. For the record, you lefties…

    Karl Rove: Still not indicted.

    And indeed JD. Anything that causes Lefties to foam at the mouth has to be a good thing.

    Scott Jacobs (c0db90)

  5. […] Sister Toldjah, Michelle Malkin, Volunteer Opinion Journal, Right Voices, Pirate’s Cove, Patterico’s Pontifications and Hot Air with an open […]

    Neocon News » ... but who will haunt their nightmares now? (aaa2c9)

  6. Is MM serious? We could not have found a better lightning rod/whipping boy to deflect criticism of the President than Rove if we had synthesized one from individual amino acids. The President has a number of dodos around him but Rove is not one of them.

    nk (119c34)

  7. Rove was always that bogey-man, used to describe anytime the Left screwed up, blame it on Rove. From my perspective, he was not all that effective, and had really failed in the 2nd term to strongly stand up to the Left. But, to the Left, he was responsible for everything from Anthropogenic Global Warming to Hurricane Katrina to genocide in Darfur. It was always good to have the Left so fixated on, and scared of, Rove. I guess it was easier for them to just blame Rove than to look inwards.

    JD (815fda)

  8. “I’m not staying or leaving based upon what pleases the Mob.”

    How apropos. RICO on the horizon?

    Semanticleo (4741c2)

  9. 8 posts…

    Took them 8 posts to start the wet-dreaming of indictment post announcement…

    Scott Jacobs (c0db90)

  10. “wet-dreaming of indictment”

    Curiosity about the particulars is particularly
    scarce on the right. “More time with his family”
    doesn’t work.

    Semanticleo (4741c2)

  11. How did I know when I clicked on Semanticleo’s comment on the sidebar that I would see a cut and paste?

    Here’s a much better link.

    nk (119c34)

  12. Considering the number of things Libs have placed at Rove’s feet, it’s just really hard to get worked up about anything.

    Maybe if you folks hadn’t spent the last several years (at least) claiming he was the physical embodyment of Satan, we’d care…

    Scott Jacobs (c0db90)

  13. SemenCleo – Did you bother to read the article you linked to? It specifically notes that the testimony that immunity is being sought for is not potentially damaging to Rove. Links like yours are from the Gleen Greenwald school of linking to articles that do not say what you purport them to say.

    JD (815fda)

  14. SemenCleo is suffering from PRE-Indictment Rove Resignation.

    JD (815fda)

  15. ..the strategic masterstroke of pulling the ripcord on Rumsfeld the day after the election instead of weeks before.

    I don’t get that. Is he being sarcastic? I thought firing him for political reasons was terrible. Bush should have fired Rumsfeld long before–he is a patriot but botched the post-invasion strategy. If Bush thought he was doing a good job, why were we losing!? As I say, I don’t get it.

    Patricia (824fa1)

  16. Patricia – We were not losing.

    JD (815fda)

  17. Now is a good time for Rove to resign simply because no Democrats have called for his resignation in the past few weeks.
    He couldn’t very well resign when Dems were calling for him to, could he?

    MayBee (81efac)

  18. How apropos. RICO on the horizon?

    Jason? Is that you, Jason?

    Where you been, buddy?

    Pablo (99243e)

  19. I thought firing him for political reasons was terrible.

    And firing him after the election when there was no political gain to be had from it was moronic.

    Pablo (99243e)

  20. i’m sorry to hear about this. rove was like a tin can tied to the president’s tail, and i wanted him there for the duration.

    assistant devil's advocate (102cf5)

  21. i’m sorry to hear about this. rove was like a tin can tied to the president’s tail, and i wanted him there for the duration.

    Do you see, now, Semanticleo, blubonnet, alphie and AF? ada’s showing you the right way to do it.

    nk (119c34)

  22. I know, JD, I said “were” losing. I agree we’re not losing now but it sure looked bad before Bush changed leadership.

    Patricia (824fa1)

  23. I’m not convinced that Rove had as much influence with Bush as some believe. Bush actually makes decisions himself, Karen Hughes still advises from Texas, and there is at least one other person in Washington (and undoubtedly there are more) who provide significant input.

    I tend to take Rove at his word that he’s thinking about his family … and one way to do that is to accept a high-paying job that wants his White House connections for the next 2 years.

    DRJ (bfe07e)

  24. [Homophobic comment from Jason Leopold fan deleted. — P]

    f***patterico (19dab4)

  25. Clean up, aisle 24…

    H2U (81b7bd)

  26. #24 – You are a statesman of the highest order.

    I have always wondered why the fixation on Rove. He has been blamed for everything under the sun. Near as I can tell, he has a pretty good grasp of electoral politics, and that his influence is pretty much limited to same.

    He is neither the great visionary that some on the Right make him out to be, nor the Great Satan as viewed by the Left.

    JD (815fda)

  27. The right way to do what, nk?

    alphie (015011)

  28. “Curiosity about the particulars is particularly
    scarce on the right. “More time with his family”
    doesn’t work.

    Comment by Semanticleo ”

    Have you ever heard of college tuition ? Of course not. Some of us send children to college and government salaries are not that high. Rove’s son is starting college. I also think he has little remaining influence plus Bolten asked everyone to either leave now or stay until the end of Bush’s term.

    Mike K (6d4fc3)

  29. Why would it matter what he was choosing to do, Miss Cleo? Does he owe you, or anyone, an explanation?

    JD (815fda)

  30. He still owes ‘cleo the instructions for her decoder ring.

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  31. #14: SemenCleo is suffering from PRE-Indictment Rove Resignation.

    LMAO at both the full comment and the nickname.

    Paul (f54101)

  32. Man I can hear that jackass braying again in the distance. Somewhere around comment #27.

    Paul (f54101)

  33. Paul – Thanks.

    JD (815fda)

  34. Your welcome, JD. As a show of appreciation, you can replace my monitor screen. 😉

    Paul (f54101)

  35. Rove is an interesting question. Forget all the lefty crapola about “Darth Vader” etc. He is a very skilled political operative, who has by and large been willing to stay in the background and keep his mouth shut–at least for public purposes.

    Contrast the James Carvilles, Rahm Emanuels, Paul Begalas and Sidney Blumenthals on the left; all of whom believe that they are skilled political operatives (with varying degrees of accuracy in those self assessments).

    The difference is that when these guys were working for their left side candidates, there was too much talking by them about them. That’s a self inflicted wound–which also wounds the candidate.

    There’s always the possibility that things will go awry in a political campaign and the focus turns from the candidate and his positions to his operative/spinmeister (and if you are of the lefty persuasion, “Pupppeteer” for the “McChimpBushHalliburtonler”). That’s a bad thing when that happens–and it’s even worse when it happens because the operative opened his mouth or did something to focus attention on himself.

    Rove may or may not be the dark evil monster that he’s painted as (I happen to think he’s just an exceptionally skilled player)but he never made the mistake of opening his public mouth and focusing attention on himself.

    I’ll be sad to see him out of the game–but I’d bet at least a buck or two that he’ll be playing deep and quiet in the backfield of some other GOP team within a couple of years.

    Mike Myers (2e43f5)

  36. Rove wanted to court the Latino vote, rather than just claiming Republicans had Latino support. The bid failed, utterly. Bush’s immigration amnesty “compromise” substantially hurt GOP recruiting and fundraising. The nativist instincts of the base of the Republican party probably cost Karl his gig.

    Either that or Larry Flynt has something.

    steve (ddc6a9)

  37. Or, steve is one of those conspiracists that equates conservatism with racism. Or, KKKarl Rove is soon to be indicted, so Bu$HitlerCo is distancing themselves from him now. Or, he is resigning to take attention away from the mess that is Iraq. Or, KKKarl is suffering from PRE INDICTMENT STRESS SYNDROME (PISS) and could no longer handle the stress. Well, you get the point (except for SemenCleo).

    JD (815fda)

  38. Steve, Bush has not changed his opinion on immigration, so the initiative did not cost Rove his job.

    He’s been in the administration pretty long for a policy advisor.

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  39. Steve,

    We really don’t know what Rove told Bush about the politics of immigration. I suspect Rove counseled Bush that rank-and-file Republicans want enforcement and border security (e.g., a fence); but I also think Rove told Bush that the GOP needs Hispanic voters. Frankly, however, I don’t think Bush acts like he cares what the Republican Party wants or needs. Bush’s position on immigration, amnesty, and open borders is one he’s held for years and years and even Karl Rove couldn’t change that. IMO it’s likely that Bush, not Rove, drove the immigration issue and is still driving it.

    In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Bush and Chertoff have decided to “show us all” that it was a mistake to defeat the immigration bill by ramping up immigration enforcement actions that separate families, harm employers, and get lots of press. Who knows? Maybe Rove decided he wanted out because he can no longer support Bush’s policies.

    DRJ (bfe07e)

  40. Rove wasn’t the cause of the 06 election losses – the Republicans at large were responsible. For six years they had an opportunity to really make some gains in terms of more substantial legislation. They decided reelection was more important and pandered to the base while they missed the opportunity to govern.
    To blame Rove is to ignore the real lesson behind the 06 losses.

    voiceofreason (6377ed)

  41. DRJ – Steve is in that class of people that thinks that Rove is some evil divisive genius that won with concepts like gay marriage and abortion only.

    JD (815fda)

  42. TV reports say he’s going to write a book with GWB’s blessing. Undoubtedly it will be a defense of the Bush administration. Starting it now will allow it to be finished before 11/08, with the hope that it will help the Republican cause in the presidential stakes.

    Or else he’s going to work for the GOP organizationally during the 08 campaign, attracting as little attention as he can.

    Or else he’s just decided he’s had enough.

    Those are the three most probable scenarios in my opinion.

    kishnevi (e73802)

  43. “[Rove] won with concepts like gay marriage and abortion only.”

    Hardly. Rove had little to finesse in either realm.

    Immigration cost him party cred. He was the White House’s point man in pressing Congress to back the program that would legalize the status of millions of illegal workers, convinced that anti-immigrant sentiment within the GOP was undermining the administration’s efforts to appeal to Latino voters. No other way Republican dominance had legs.

    steve (ddc6a9)

  44. Rove’s gone. It’s about freakin’ time.

    I could fill many pages with the reasons why I was never a fan of the so-called “brain.” The beginning was when nearly cost Bush the election during the 2000 campaign by not screening his campaign staff well enough to detect a Democratic mole (Yvette Lozano) who tried to FedEx Bush’s debate prep to the Gore campaign. But in the end, everyone found out what I recognized early on; Rove was ready to help the GOP win even if it meant shooting conservatives in the back, moving the party to a middle so mushy you could barely tell the difference from Democrats. This is what Californians (or, I should say, “Coll-ee-four-knee-uns”) are dealing with now.

    To that end, the Bush White House saved its harshest rhetoric and meanest attacks (“Vigilantes,” “elitists,” “people who don’t want what’s best for America”) for the people who wanted W. to succeed the most. When it came to defending itself against leftist slimings, the response was weak. As I wrote in Confederate Yankee last May when the whopper about the apocryphal Saxby Chambliss TV commercials showing Max Cleland next to bin Laden reared it’s ugly head:

    …I wrote that I don’t believe Karl Rove is a genius, and part of the reason I don’t is because the idiot just let lies like that propagate in the media without smacking them down with great prejudice…as I just did.

    Rove left it to the Rushes, the Hannitys, the Levins, the Ingrahams, the Tyrrells, and the National Review to counter damaging bad publicity. I called it the “Rove-a-Dope” strategy, but unlike Muhammad Ali’s rope-a-dope, it didn’t work in the end.

    L.N. Smithee (e1964d)

  45. LN Smithee – Patterico, and many others (like me) have long wondered why to even bother “defending” the Bush administration any longer when they appeared to have no desire to defend themselves.

    JD (815fda)

  46. Karl Rove was not the wizard he was made out to be. He had a certain political aptitude obviously but when all is said and done he really didn’t produce when the chips were on the table.
    Another thing if he had the influence on Bush he is supposed to have,he must assume a large part of the responsibility for the failures this administration has experienced. Ultimately the President has to shoulder what ever his administration has produced. Good or Bad.
    It doesn’t matter who is advising this President. George W is a bullhead who looks at events through Bush colored glasses.
    Take that to mean whatever you want it to mean.

    edward cropper (92bca7)

  47. NK, JD, and others:

    There are many things I don’t like about President Bush and his Administration. For instance, I disagree with Bush’s position on immigration but I can’t claim surprise. He’s always held these views.

    I don’t like many of Alberto Gonzalez’s actions as Attorney General but I admire his personal accomplishments and his loyalty to Bush, his friend and patron.

    I think Bush played politics to gain political capital with topics like funding/pork, education, steel tariffs, campaign finance, and possibly stem cells, and I don’t like that.

    I did not support Harriet Miers’ nomination to the Supreme Court and I view that nomination as one of Bush’s worst decisions as President, both politically and substantively. However, Bush is not a lawyer and I’m sure his view of the personal qualities a Supreme Court Justice should have is different than mine.

    However, I support President Bush on the war on terror and specifically the military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, and I’m grateful I have the luxury to be upset about things like immigration and Harriet Miers. These are not the issues I thought I would be worried about 6 years after 9/11. If I could go back to 2000 and 2004, I would absolutely vote for Bush again.

    DRJ (bfe07e)

  48. DRJ – There are many of us who feel exactly the same way, you just expressed it much more nicely than I would have. Well done.

    JD (815fda)

  49. My only quibble with Rove’s position in the WH is that I think he received too much of a policy portfolio for a guy who is really an election consultant — even if he is the best election consultant of his generation.

    His skill was in managing a campaign’s message, and getting the right voters to the polls in the right places — where the votes would make a difference.

    Why someone like that is given a position of influence on the mechanics of operating govenment domestic policy always baffles me, and both parties are guilty of it.

    wls (2458d8)

  50. Bush is keeping the borders open in the age of terrorism and suitcase nukes. I can’t understand how anyone could support him in this war.

    So Karl Rove is leaving. Good riddance. If he cared at all about the conservative cause, he’d have resigned in protest from this uber-RINO administration years ago.

    The really pathetic thing is that after six-and-a-half years of RINO governance, the GOP is on the verge of nominating someone for president who’s even more liberal than Bush.

    Alan (4c807d)

  51. Hugh Hewitt had an interesting discussion about Rove with Jonathan Alter today on his show. They don’t agree on much but ALter thinks a book by Rove will be very worthwhile. Alter is a lefty and thinks Rove was bad for the country but he had praise for him as a political guy. As far as policy is concerned, Mark Hanna, the strategist behind McKinley’s election, was elected to the Senate from Ohio so there is a history beyond that of Rahm Emmanuel switching over. Emmanuel did a good job with the Democratic Congressional campaign too. He recruited better candidates than the GOP did.

    Mike K (86bddb)

  52. Mike K: Emmanuel did a good job with the Democratic Congressional campaign too. He recruited better candidates than the GOP did.

    It appears that Emanuel took a page out of Rove’s book in recruiting Dems closer to the middle (that is, more to the right), and once they led the party to a majority in both Legislative bodies, relegated them to back-bench status. Remember how some pro-amnesty Democrats were miffed at the freshmen in their party not just going along to get along?

    L.N. Smithee (f00bfe)

  53. L.N. Smithee – The folks that Emmanuel recruited ran as Republican-lite. They talked tough on defense, fiscal responsibility, and moderation in general.

    JD (815fda)

  54. The folks that Emmanuel recruited ran as Republican-lite. They talked tough on defense, fiscal responsibility, and moderation in general.

    It’s Emanuel. And he recruited people who left the GOP because they said it had become too conservative.

    Such as Nancy Boyda of Kansas who in 2004 defeated incumbent Jim Ryan in spite of his campaign ads showing her taking part in protests against the Iraq War.

    steve (96082f)

  55. steve – So if the Democrats had to run Republicans to win, how can they, with a straight face, claim that there is some groundswell of support for their liberal positions?

    JD (815fda)

  56. Another aspect of Emmanuel’s recruits:
    Many of them ran to the right of their GOP opponent on immigration, and won. Another reason the “Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act” failed?

    And, whoever said that Rove was a Conservative?

    Another Drew (a28ef4)

  57. So if the Democrats had to run Republicans to win, how can they, with a straight face, claim that there is some groundswell of support for their liberal positions?

    Think purple. Better yet, name a state that’s *shifted* red in the last, oh, 9 years.

    The ‘Hannitized’ GOP Rove helped create lashed back and killed his immigration deal – possibly losing the Latino vote for Republicans for years to come.

    There’s no “groundswell” either way. And damn few expectations. Rove and Pelosi have this in common: It’s about getting elected, not about leading once elected. It is not about a fair assessment of the nation’s needs, but about positioning for the next campaign.

    steve (e649c2)

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