August 13, 2007

So long, Karl.

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.

I suppose it's too much to hope that he'll be greeted at the state line with a summons for his past voting misdeeds.

So why did Rove leave now? Was it just a hankering for August in Texas? Or was there something more? Here's a happy thought, courtesy of Josh Marshall:

Now, I have to admit that when I first saw this, given the way it was announced I figured it was just one of those late in an administration departures. Lots of big wigs don't stay around until the final day of an eight year term. They leave to get a jump start on the rest of their lives and leave it to the B Team to round out the second term.

But then I thought, who am I kidding? Am I channelling Jay Carney? The innocent explanation is never right with these guys.

Of course, if there's more to this resignation, it's not necessarily that easy to narrow down the list of possibilities since Rove is connected to pretty much every instance of high-level wrongdoing. And then there's the extra added wrinkle that if anything the White House's ability to keep Rove off the witness stand is decreased, if only marginally, by his leaving the White House. With the recent news of cutbacks on funding of human intelligence in the intel budget, there's the possibility that there were no more CIA agents whose cover could be blown and he decided to move on to greener pastures.

So what do you think? Why now?

Maybe he pulled a Claude Allen. Hey, you never know with these guys. Burka has some related speculation.

Well, whatever it is Karl Rove plans to do in his now-more-copious free time (I'm rooting for him to write a math textbook myself), he may be gone from Washington but he's not been forgotten. If there is something more to this than mere homesickness, we'll find out soon enough.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 13, 2007 to National news

I'm not sure why folks think that there is a big mystery here. Rove is a campaigner. It's the August before a Presidential election year. He's leaving the White House so that he can work on campaigns.

The question is, which campaigns is he going to work on.

Posted by: Jeb on August 14, 2007 10:06 AM