Karl Rove, President Bush's close friend and chief political strategist, plans to leave the White House at the end of August, joining a lengthening line of senior officials heading for the exits in the final 1 1/2 years of the administration.
A longtime member of Bush's inner circle, Rove was nicknamed
"the architect" by the president for designing the strategy that
twice won him the White House.
Bush was expected to make a statement Monday with Rove.
"Obviously it's a big loss to us," White House deputy press
secretary Dana Perino said. "He's a great colleague, a good
friend, and a brilliant mind. He will be greatly missed, but we
know he wouldn't be going if he wasn't sure this was the right time
to be giving more to his family, his wife Darby and their son. He
will continue to be one of the president's greatest friends."
Since Democrats won control of Congress in November, some top
administration officials have announced their resignations. Among
those who have left are White House counselor Dan Bartlett, budget
director Rob Portman, chief White House attorney Harriet Miers,
political director Sara Taylor, deputy national security adviser
J.D. Crouch and Meghan O'Sullivan, another deputy national security
adviser who worked on Iraq. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was
forced out immediately after the election as the unpopular war in
Iraq dragged on.
Rove is expected to write a book after he leaves.
"He's been talking with the president for a long time - about a
year - regarding when might be good to go," Perino said. "But
there's always a big project to work on, and his strategic
abilities - and our need for his support - kept him here. He said
there's never a good time to leave, just the `right' time."
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)