George W. Bush’s senior White House advisor Karl Rove told the Wall Street Journal‘s Paul Gigot in an interview published this morning that he would be resigning his position effective August 31 — “14 years after he began working with Mr. Bush on his campaign for Texas governor, 10 years after they began planning a White House run, and after 79 months in the political cockpit of a tumultuous presidency.”
Said Rove: “I just think it’s time. 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.”
The paper notes that though Rove has had a target on his back for some time, his opponents have been unable to strike it solidly: “He has survived a probe by a remorseless special counsel, and lately a subpoena barrage from Democrats for whom he is the great white whale. He shows notable forbearance in declining to comment on prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who dragged him through five grand jury appearances. He won’t even disclose his legal bills, except to quip that ‘every one has been paid’ and that ‘it was worth every penny.'”
Gigot also notes that Rove claims his reputation as Bush’s “architect” is inflated: “‘I’m a myth. There’s the Mark of Rove,’ he says, with a bemused air. ‘I read about some of the things I’m supposed to have done, and I have to try not to laugh.’ He says the real target is Mr. Bush, whom many Democrats have never accepted as a legitimate president and ‘never will.'”
Rove also predicts Bush will head back up in the polls, closer to 40%, and that “a tough, tenacious, fatally flawed candidate” by the name of Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination.