Karen Hughes: Karl Rove’s Kryptonite

The White House may be bringing Karen Hughes back to Washington to fix America’s image abroad but Chief of Staff Andy Card probably wishes she’d help him out with the administration’s image here at home. Considering the President’s plunging poll numbers and the Plamegate scandal, Card must be breathing a sigh of relief that she’s back in the administration at all. Remember, in 2002, when he bared his soul to Esquire magazine about why he was so freaked over Hughes’ departure:

“She’s leaving when the president has one of the highest approval ratings on record. From here, it can only go down. And when it does, you know who they’re going to blame. They’re gonna blame Andy Card!”


“The key balance around here has been between Karen and Karl Rove. That’s what I’ve been doing from the start of this administration. Standing on the middle of the seesaw, with Karen on one side, Karl on the other, trying to keep it in balance. One of them just jumped off.” He throws himself onto the couch to demonstrate, then he exhales again and talks about how he might restore balance, a balance that he knows will be needed if this presidency is not to suffer. “I’ll need designees, people trusted by the president that I can elevate for various needs to balance against Karl. They are going to have to really step up, but it won’t be easy. Karl is a formidable adversary.”