The Wall Street Journal reports that Bush’s deputy chief of staff and senior adviser Karl Rove will be resigning at the end of the month and will return to Texas. “I just think it’s time,” Rove said in the interview. “There’s always something that can keep you here, and as much as I’d like to be here, I’ve got to do this for the sake of my family.” White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said, “Obviously it’s a big loss to us. He’s a great colleague, a good friend, and a brilliant mind. He will be greatly missed.”
UPDATE: Bush was expected to make a statement Monday with Rove around 11:35 am ET. Later Monday, Rove, his wife and their son were to accompany Bush on Air Force One when the president flies to Texas for his vacation.
UPDATE II: “Even as he discussed his departure, Rove remained characteristically sunny. … In the interview, Rove predicted Bush will regain his popularity, which has sunk to record lows because of the war in Iraq.”
UPDATE III: Even while Rove has been talking about finding the right time to depart for a year, Bill Kristol never saw it coming. On Fox News this morning, Kristol said:
Karl’s departure is pretty sudden and for me, pretty surprising. … Karl Rove loves politics. He’s awfully smart. And September’s going to be an awfully big month for the presidency. It’s odd that he’s not going to be there.
UPDATE IV: Rove plans to write a book on the Bush presidency, a move which President Bush is encouraging:
He’d like to teach eventually, but he has no specific job plans, save to write a book on the Bush years, which “the boss,” as in Mr. Bush, “has encouraged me to do.”
UPDATE V: Rove said his “biggest error” was “not working soon enough to replace Republicans tainted by scandal.”