Karl Rove Gives Up Policy Work; Conservatives Cheer

It’s hard to say anything bad about Karl Rove. But ever since he took on the expanded role of overseeing policy, President Bush’s team has had a string of disappointments. So it comes as a relief to learn that Rove will be stripped of his policy portfolio, reassigned to focus exclusively on politics.

Our sources inside the administration have been critical of Rove’s handling of matters large and small. Starting with Social Security in 2005 and culminating with the widely panned State of the Union address in January, Bush’s team seemed to abandon conservative ideas.

The biggest policy disappointment under Rove: a national energy plan. With Republicans primed to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling last year, the White House completely dropped the ball. Then came Bush’s “oil addiction” remark in the State of the Union address, which did more damage to ANWR drilling than any Democrat could have done.