The Note: Talking Is Cheap

"'No one has asked him what he told the grand jury. No one has deemed it appropriate,' said a senior White House official, who would discuss the Rove case only on the condition of anonymity. 'What you all need to figure out is, does this amount to a crime? That is a legitimate debate.' Still, some aides said they were concerned about the unknown. "Is it a communications challenge? Sure,' the official said."

The Los Angeles Times' Edwin Chen and Warren Vieth look at the White House strategy of letting the RNC talk while 1600 keeps quiet. LINK

Things to Note in this one: the blind SAR quote; the blind Senate chief of staff quote; and the fact that EVERYONE seems to be quoting David Gergen on this story -- in this case, he plays the Washington Wiseman card of "get it all out, fast."

The Los Angeles Times' Tom Hamburger and Peter Wallsten step back from daily duty to tell the world that George W. Bush and Karl C. Rove are very close, and the latter has a big portfolio. Most Notable here: Terry Holt on the record telling the world that Rove talks to the media. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's editorial board concludes its leader by saying "If there's any scandal at all here, it is that this entire episode has been allowed to waste so much government time and media attention, not to mention inspire a 'special counsel' probe."

"The Bush administration is also guilty on this count, since it went along with the appointment of prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in an election year in order to punt the issue down the road. But now Mr. Fitzgerald has become an unguided missile, holding reporters in contempt for not disclosing their sources even as it becomes clearer all the time that no underlying crime was at issue. As for the press corps, rather than calling for Mr. Rove to be fired, they ought to be grateful to him for telling the truth."

The RNC's "In Case You Missed It" release doesn't for some reason (!!) seem to include the graph above from the editorial, though it does provide a link to the full editorial. . . in case you missed it.

Note the interesting use of the word "appears" below from the editorial, and we would love to know where the Journal got the part about Rove having heard it from journalists:

"But it appears Mr. Rove didn't even know Ms. Plame's name and had only heard about her work at Langley from other journalists."

In his New York Times White House memo, David Sanger revisits those 16 words in the President's State of the Union address that initially got this into the public consciousness. Sanger also explores the premium the President places on loyalty and the close relationship he has with Karl Rove. LINK

The New York Daily News' Ken Bazinet uses tab-talk in his lede: "President Bush stonewalled yesterday as the White House struggled unsuccessfully to contain the controversy over Karl Rove's fingerprints on the outing of a CIA spy." LINK

Phil Singer's handiwork pushes the Rove story outside the Beltway…into Maryland, where his call for MD Lt. Gov. Steele to ask Rove to cancel a July 26 fundraiser gets John Wagner ink. LINK

Newt Gingrich hit every GOP talking point (Rove did nothing illegal, Wilson was repudiated by Senate Intelligence Committee findings, etc…) on a morning network news show this morning.

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