Karl Rove has told the WSJ that he's going to quit at the end of August.
Mr. Rove, who has held a senior post in the White House since President Bush took office in January 2001, told Mr. Gigot he first floated the idea of leaving a year ago. But he delayed his departure as, first, Democrats took Congress, and then as the White House tackled debates on immigration and Iraq, he said. He said he decided to leave after White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten told senior aides that if they stayed past Labor Day they would be obliged to remain through the end of the president's term in January 2009.The old "for the sake of the family" excuse, for a man who has lived and breathed poltical machinations since his college days, just doesn't ring true for me. I just don't see someone like Rove being able to walk away from it all. And I don't think anyone will be surprised if he resurfaces elsewhere, still involved in the GOP election machine.
"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."
It may be a case of ensuring he is an "ex-official" by the time his skeletons in the cupboard are fully exhumed, of course, as has been the case with many another Bush official who has quite "for the good of The Family". It's been a hallmark "fall on your sword" loyalty move for Republican heavyweights this last six years and there have been plenty of indications in various congressional investigations recently that where there's been allegations of wrong-doing - for instance of serious Hatch Act violations - then Rove has been instigator and director.
Or it may be that, as he's returning to Texas, he has his eye on a new Texas Republican dimestore cowboy to promote. There are persistent rumors down here of Gov. Rick Perry positioning himself for a veep run. Personally I think Perry is more ambitious and less aware of his own inadequacies than that and may be looking to emulate another ambitious and inadequate Texan governor.