Karl Rove, the architect of President Bush's two national campaigns and his most prominent adviser through 6-1/2 tumultuous years in the White House, will resign at month's end and leave politics, a White House spokeswoman said this morning.
The White House said his departure was unrelated to the investigations.
My timing is impeccable, as I just read over the weekend Josh Green's lengthy and excellent piece on the Karl Rove in this month's Atlantic. I was going to write something about it, but Scott Horton has beat me to the punch and his thoughts are worth citing:
In the end a presidency is assessed on criteria other than the obvious ability to win elections. Even Rove understands this. “We’ve laid out an agenda, we’ve laid out a vision, and now people want to see results,” he says at a briefing at the Washington St. Regis that Green uses as an opener. That means, for a “war president,” his conduct of a war, but also his implementation of domestic policy. The mismanagement of the war will certainly tar Bush and Rove, particularly because the accounts now emerging show political know-it-alls who refused to take the advice and assessments of their generals in the field. In the post-9/11 world, a real leader would have seen the opening for bipartisanship and would have put the government on a solid foundation. However, for Karl Rove it was a tantalizing opportunity for partisanship run wild. The perfect chance to steamroller the opposition. Other political tacticians have used wars to silence and assail their domestic political opponents—indeed, the accounts of Greek antiquity are filled with such episodes—but America has had relatively little experience with this. Up to the arrival of Rove.
And so Rove may be gone, but he'll hardly be forgotten. We'll be picking over his and his master's legacy for years to come.