Here are two not necessarily contradictory views of the today’s announcement that Karl Rove will be released from his policy responsibilities.
First up, John Podesta writing for Think Progress:
Has Rove’s Security Clearance Been Revoked?
This morning, the White House announced that Karl Rove will step down from his policy post and resume his focus on the midterm elections. An important question has not been asked: Will Rove also give up his security clearance?
To this day, Rove has maintained his security clearance in spite of evidence that he mishandled classified information regarding Valerie Wilson’s position at the CIA. Rove was named as in the indictment of Scooter Libby as “Official A.”
In November, Newsweek wrote, “Having his security clearance yanked would not require Rove to resign as deputy chief of staff to President Bush. But it would prevent him from taking part in policymaking that relates to national-security issues, which would mean a much-reduced role in the Bush White House.”
Rove has now resigned his policy-making post and is focusing primarily on politics. Given Rove’s public intentions to make national security the focus of the 2006 elections, the White House should reveal whether Rove will be doing his political job while holding a security clearance.
Next we have Taylor Marsh of Firedoglake:
Rove to Rescue the Weakling in the White House
As the story goes, Karl Rove is losing his “policy position.” Oh, brother, the traditional media will fall for anything.
Let’s get real. With Tom Delay now disgraced, out of commission, his K-Street corruption exposed for all to see, someone has to take the top spot. Hellooooo, Karl. Now he’ll be the one to press the flesh, take the payola and try to turn around the impending disaster the Republican party is headed for in the mid-terms. Democrats, watch your back, because Bush’s brain is about to be set loose.
For my money, Taylor Marsh is spot-on. The Republican Party can see the handwriting on the wall, and they are headed for a massive defeat in November. They need Unka Karl out there raising money, firing up the base with the politics of division, and smearing the Democrats where they are the strongest.
Podesta raises an interesting issue. In any prior administration Karl Rove would have been stripped of his security clearance and fired when Matt Cooper revealed that Rove had revealed Valerie Plame’s identity to him. I don’t see a pompous ass like Karl offering up his perks on his own, nor do I see Chimpy asking his mentor to do so. The only way Rove is going to lose his security clearance is if he knows he is about to be indicted, or if he actually is indicted.
If we find out that Karl Rove has in fact lost his security clearance then we will know that Patrick Fitzgerald has given him a target letter.