August 14, 2007 / by emptywheel


Novak Mourns His BFF

Jeebus. Yesterday’s departure press conference was unnecessarily weepy. But this is embarrassing.

The most useless speculation today in Washington is whom White House chief of staff Josh Bolten might choose to replace Karl Rove. He is genuinely irreplaceable.

The whole column is steeped in deep resentment, resentment of those Republicans who have suggested that getting rid of Rove will help the Administration.

Rove was a principal target of congressional Democrats even beforeFebruary 2005, when he became deputy chief of staff in addition tosenior adviser to President Bush.But the combination of the duties intensified the assault on him.Prominent Republicans of late have privately expressed a desire that heleave government, hoping the move might diminish the intensity of theDemocratic assault.


Rove is one of the canniest and most successful managers in Americanpolitical history. Yet he is viewed within his own party’s ranks,especially on Capitol Hill, as part of the problem afflicting the Grand Old Party.

Which resentment Novak then turns on Bush himself. First, he portrays Rove’s departure as a surrogate for a Bush impeachment (mourn not, Bobby! We’re still counting on the impeachment itself!)

Since there will be no impeachment proceedings against the president, Rove has been the best available surrogate. Nowonder that a leading Republican has been asking around whetherferocious Democratic partisans in Congress might ease up if Rove wereno longer there to kick around.

But Novak’s resentment of Bush comes out more clearly when Novak describes how Rove took a complete loser and turned him into President.

Rove is unique, a rare political mechanic with a comprehensiveknowledge of American political history. As an obscure young campaignconsultant in Austin20 years ago, he embraced George W. Bush — who had failed in bothpolitics and business — and gave him a plan to guide him into theWhite House.

Shorter Novak: "Bush, Rove made you, you little shit. And this is the thanks you give him?"

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