COMMENTARY by Paul Gigot: The Mark of Rove
By PAUL A. GIGOT
Mr. Gigot is editorial page editor of the Journal.
August 13, 2007; Page A15
These are the days of Republican doubt, with President Bush fighting an unpopular war, Congress in opposition hands, and a 2008 presidential field trailing Democrats in nearly every poll. But don't tell that to Karl Rove, Mr. Bush's political alter ego, who even as he prepares to resign from the White House after six and a half years sees recovery ahead.
Sitting in the book-lined living room of his townhome on Saturday afternoon, a relaxed, cheerful and typically rambunctious Mr. Rove hands over two sheets of paper on which he has tapped out a pair of outlines. One says "Up to Now," and summarizes what he thinks are the achievements to date of the Bush presidency. The second, "Months Ahead," lays out an agenda for the next year and a half.
"He will move back up in the polls," says Mr. Rove, who interrupts my reference to Mr. Bush's 30% approval rating by saying it's heading close to "40%," and "higher than Congress."
Looking ahead, he adds, "
As for the Democrats, "They are likely to nominate a tough, tenacious, fatally flawed candidate" by the name of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Holding the White House for a third term is always difficult given the pent-up desire for change, he says, but "I think we've got a very good chance to do so."
If that quinella pays off, however, Mr. Rove will have to savor it from somewhere other than his West Wing office. He's resigning effective Aug. 31 -- 14 years after he began working with Mr. Bush on his campaign for
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