Saturday, November 18, 2006

I don't know what to make of the rumor that was reported by Think Progress yesterday-- that Karl Rove may leave the White House within weeks.

The story cited by Think Progress quotes "a key Bush advisor" who says Rove is an impediment to the bipartisanship Bush so desperately craves. Right there, credibility is strained. (Let's see: Since the elections, we've had Bush renominating John Bolton, resubmitting six far-right judicial picks, choosing an anti-birth control looney for a family planning post, and sticking with the stay-the-course message on Iraq. Yeah, right -- Bush wants to extend olive branches, but Rove just keeps forcing him to do these things, practically every day, and Bush just submits meekly.)

(By the way, Peggy Noonan also believes Bipartisan Bush is going to show up any day now; scroll to the end of her current column.)

But Bush, of course did make a testy joke that seemed to blame Rove after the electoral loss (I don't think it was good-natured; watch the video). Rove made Bush look bad. Rove made Bush unhappy. That can't be acceptable.

Surely it's just about time for Rove to leave so he can start doing whatever he's going to do in the 2008 campaign. (I can't believe he'll sit it out -- he's only 55 years old, and he's not going to want this campaign to linger on his record as his last act.)

Now, let me return to my recent obsession -- Giuliani. I think you might see Rove working for Rudy. Back in '05, Radar Online reported that Rudy was "working closely with Rove to build a Presidential platform against presumed Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton." More recently, Rudy hired an ex-Rove staffer as a fundraiser.

The Radar report said Rove was thinking of Rudy as a VP candidate. That I consider implausible -- Rudy's ego is massive; he'd never accept the #2 job. But I can believe that Rove sees Rudy as someone who can be molded into Flight Suit Man Version II -- a cartoon hero spouting patriotism and wielding wedge issues. I think -- I worry -- that they'd be perfect together.


UPDATE: Interesting theory from Steve Gilliard:

... I think Rove and Cheney are not long for the WH. Why? Poppy's men want them out of the way. They are in crisis mode, desperate to save Junior. Because someone just realized that the house committees are unfriendly ground for them.

Hmmm -- maybe. Maybe Dad would twist his son's arm, demanding bipartishanship (and the rejection of these two partisans) because too many investigations could get Junior and Senior in trouble.

But even if that's what's going on -- and I have serious doubts -- I think W would resist, because if there's one area in which W probably is a sophisticated and subtle battler, it's playing off Mommy against Daddy. For W, I think Rove and Cheney are pseudo-Barbaras -- hard-assed, uncompromising, and stubborn. I think W would hear out objections to Rove and Cheney from Poppy's people, just as he's lewtting Baker's Iraq group meet, but, just as he's resisting any notion of withdrawing from Iraq that may come from Baker, I think he'd resist personnel ideas from Poppy. So if Rove is on the outs, it's because of W, not Dad.

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