Rove bowing out

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 13, 2007

Rove bowing outIt isn’t exactly shocking that Karl Rove is resigning as the deputy White House chief of staff; it’s that point in President Bush’s second term when many can be expected to flee the nest of a lame-duck administration. But it is surprising ó and hard to believe ó that Rove plans to stay out of politics for the 2008 election. He’s considered a consummate political strategist, someone who loves every aspect of the game, from bare-knuckled campaign brawling to the behind-the-scenes brokering of legislative deals. It’s hard to imagine him giving it all up cold turkey. Given the GOP’s loss of its congressional majority in 2006, Bush’s inability to muscle through pet projects such as immigration reform, his sagging poll numbers and Rove’s involvement in the leak of a CIA agent’s identity, it may be that the “Boy Genius” needs a breather after 14 years as Bush’s closest confidant and adviser. But as for a political animal like Rove actually sitting on the sidelines during the upcoming campaign, don’t bet it.