NBC's Kelly O'Donnell notes that advisers said Rove has been talking to President Bush about his possible resignation for "a long time, about a year." The view inside has been there has always been a "big project to work on and his strategic abilities and our need for his support kept him here." Advisers acknowledge there is "never a good time to leave, just the 'right' time."
Rove tells O'Donnell that he does not plan to advise or work with GOP contenders or the eventual nominee, "I don't see taking a role in a 2008 presidential campaign." Rove has previously described himself as "a Bush man" when he said he did not have interest in assisting another Republican candidate.
Per the Wall Street Journal, which broke the story, Rove's resignation will be effective August 31. "Mr. Rove … told [Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Paul] 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."
More: "In the interview, Mr. Rove said he expects Democrats to give the 2008 presidential nomination to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, whom he described as 'a tough, tenacious, fatally flawed candidate.' He also said Republicans have 'a very good chance' to hold onto the White House in next year's elections."
Rove's resignation is bad news for Dick Cheney. Congressional Dems aren't going to stop investigating just because Rove's left. But without Rove in the White house, targeting Rove doesn't have the same cache. Look for Cheney now to get all of Congress' ire.
Rove isn't the only current/former member of the Bush Administration getting attention. The Atlantic Monthly has a piece from former Bush speechwriter Matthew Scully, who accuses then-White House chief speechwriter Michael Gerson of taking credit for words he didn't write. The Washington Post: "In Scully's account, Gerson did not come up with the language that made him famous. 'Few lines of note were written by Mike,' Scully says, 'and none at all that come to mind from the post-9/11 addresses -- not even 'axis of evil.'"
By the way, with its stories on Rove and Gerson, this month's Atlantic Monthly is quite an issue…
And remember Linda Chavez, who had to have her nomination for Labor secretary pulled after she admitted to paying an illegal immigrant for domestic services? Well, the Washington Post does an extensive examination of her political activities and discovers: "Chavez and her immediate family members have used phone banks and direct-mail solicitations to raise tens of millions of dollars, founding several political action committees with bankable names: the Republican Issues Committee, the Latino Alliance, Stop Union Political Abuse and the Pro-Life Campaign Committee. Their solicitations promise direct action in the 'fight to save unborn lives,' a vigorous struggle against 'big labor bosses' and a crippling of 'liberal politics in the country.' That's not where the bulk of the money wound up being spent, however. Of the $24.5 million raised by the PACs from January 2003 to December 2006, $242,000 -- or 1 percent -- was passed on to politicians, according to a Washington Post analysis of federal election reports. The PACs spent even less -- $151,236 -- on independent political activity, such as mailing pamphlets."
Our question: Is Chavez alone? Or are their other professional advocates that have a similar record of NOT using the money they've raised.