Rove: 'I'm Moby Dick'

"Bush's brain" will transplant back to Texas.

ByABC News
August 13, 2007, 9:24 PM

Aug. 13, 2007 — -- Struggling politically, with no love lost for him from Capitol Hill, White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove announced Monday that he will leave the Bush administration by the end of the month. The man called "Bush's brain" by Texas reporters said he would transplant himself back to Texas "for the sake of my family."

Near tears, Rove said that he was "grateful to have been a witness to history. It has been the joy and the honor of a lifetime."

Standing with President George W. Bush in front of White House reporters, he told the president that "at month's end, I will join those whom you meet in your travels, the ordinary Americans who tell you they are praying for you."

The president said, "We've been friends for a long time, and we're still going to be friends."

The president has many nicknames for the chief strategist of his gubernatorial and presidential victories, including "The Architect" and "Boy Genius," as well as "Turd Blossom," a joking nod to Rove's successes in light of his humble beginnings.

Notably, few Republican presidential candidates or congressional leaders had much to say about Rove's departure.

The silence was telling in terms of how much the White House hopefuls resent how much their hopes are being complicated by the unpopular Bush administration, and how chilly relations have grown on Capitol Hill.

Congressional Republicans have long felt that the Bush administration never really "got" the Hill, and Rove especially never understood how to deal with members of Congress. He was rude to them, some said.

"For awhile, there he was, king of the Hill, and he shoved your face in it," a GOP official said. "He also had an enemies list as long as the New York phone book."

Asked on CNN's "American Morning" if he would welcome Rove to his campaign, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's first response was, "I would welcome anybody to my campaign at this point." And House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, issued a statement only upon request, offering that "I'm sure he and his family are looking forward to spending some well-deserved time together in Texas."

Democrats were not so laconic.

In statements, congressional Democrats assailed Rove "architect of a political strategy that has left the country more divided," in the words of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. with some implying that his leaving is tied to the bicameral congressional hearings about the controversy involving the fired U.S. attorneys.