After staying with George Bush far longer than most advisers stay with any President, Karl Rove is finally stepping aside. Rove was Bush's chief campaign adviser, orchestrating two consecutive defeats of Al Gore and John Kerry. Usually such campaign managers work in relative anonymity, and Rove's tasks were no exception, making few speeches and rarely appearing in public other than in the background. H encouraged Bush to stick with his convictions in the face of leftist hysteria, driving the war against terror in the Mideast and attempting to reform Social Security in the face of Democrat outrage and Republican timidity. The Democrats, however, chose to depict Rove as their Public Enemy No. 1, trying desperately to pretend he had done something illegal, immoral, or otherwise reprehensible. To them, of course, he HAD done something terrible: He defeated them, twice, and then laughed at their hysteria each time they tried to claim they had been cheated or blamed various brainwhashing plots and other loony conspiracies. For that, Rove could not be forgiven, at least not by Democrats. Though most of the country found their actions humorous, they remained sullen and determined to destroy him. His departure from a man who is no longer allowed to run for te Presidency, has sparked debate on various news channels over what campaign he will join next. Fred Thompson's and Rudy Giuliani's campaigns seem the most likely destinations for the quiet but effective strategist. -------------------------------------------------- http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0807/5354.html Analysis: Rove bows out despised and deified By: Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen Aug 13, 2007 07:15 AM EST Updated: August 13, 2007 10:42 AM EST Karl Rove will leave George Bush's side this month one of the most controversial political figures in living memory. Karl Rove will leave George Bush's side this month one of the most controversial political figures in living memory. The verdict on his legacy will be similarly conflicted: He can claim credit for political victories of historic proportions, but also stands accused of policy failures and a strategy of divisiveness. Rove, in keeping with his ideological inclinations, announced his retirement plans on the conservative editorial page of the Wall Street Journal. Like many who call it quits and the number leaving the White House continues to rise as President Bush's term grinds to an end he cited a desire to return to family, for him in Texas. "I just think it's time," he told the Journal's Paul A. Gigot. Hes not wallowing in concern about how historys going to judge him theres no Nixonian or Clintonian obsession with the historical role, said Franklin Lavin, a former presidential appointee who has been a close friend for 35 years. He leaves with his head held high because he did the best job he could for his president and his country. He believes that over the long run, Americans will come to respect what the president is doing in the Middle East. Rove was as uncompromising and optimistic as ever in disclosing his departure, predicting a Bush resurgence and Democratic divisions over Iraq ahead. He expressed little regret and defended what many Republicans consider his most questionable decisions: pursuing a strategy that divided the country and provided little margin for error; trying to overhaul Social Security when his party did not want to; and pushing Bush to draw sharp lines on foreign policy and accuse Democrats of dangerous shortcoming on national security. Rove will soon be gone but it will be a long time before he is forgotten. One can not overstate how much Democrats loathe Rove and desperately want him dragged into numerous congressional investigations of the Bush White House. House and Senate Democrats are trying to force his testimony in the firing of U.S. attorneys. There is much more to come, Democrats tell The Politico. Rove said he fully expects accusations that he is leaving under pressure. "I know they'll say that," he told the Journal. "But I'm not going to leave or stay based on whether it pleases the mob."