What's the buzz on ... Karl Rove's resignation?

Each week, CNN.com takes a look at trends in the blogosphere by tracking one topic across gender and generation with the help of analysis tools from Umbria Inc. This week, we focus on the departure of White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove. Rove announced August 13 that he would resign from office effective August 31. Rove has been involved in many controversies throughout President Bush's two terms, including the Valerie Plame case and the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys. There has been speculation that Rove is jumping off what some bloggers say is the Bush administration's proverbial sinking ship. Rove said he will return to Texas and focus on teaching and possibly writing a book.

Overall opinion (August 8-14, 2007)

So what does this mean?
The majority of blog comments about Rove were negative, with a large share of liberal bloggers expressing disapproval of him. The timing of his departure was criticized, with some bloggers saying Rove was trying to avoid receiving more subpoenas while in office. A portion of liberal bloggers gave Rove credit for being a "great strategist," regardless of the way he used power while in office, but others also said they hoped Bush and Cheney's exits would soon follow. Many suspected Rove would still be working behind the scenes in politics, and figured his departure would not make a big difference in problems they see with the Bush administration. Bush has affectionately called Rove "Turd Blossom," referring to a perceived ability to handle difficult challenges, and this term appears in many bloggers' analyses. On the other side of the political spectrum, conservative bloggers made a slightly greater number of positive comments than negative comments. Conservatives who spoke positively of Rove said he helped build the conservative movement and applied skillful strategy, while others said he did more harm than good for the conservative cause. Some bloggers opined that liberals have "grotesquely inflated" Rove's power. Reactions from Democrats, including Sen. John Edwards' "Goodbye, and good riddance" statement, also drew negative comments.

In their own words
John Hawkins on Right Wing News
Rove is generally considered to be a political genius and undoubtedly, he knows a lot about politics and running a campaign. However, his reputation seems a bit undeserved given how disastrous the last 2 1/2 years of the Bush administration have been. I mean, if you're the primary political adviser to a candidate who hasn't even been polling consistently in the forties since early 2005, you're either doing a terrible job, the candidate is a nightmare, or some combination thereof.

Political Realm on Political Realm
Rove is the latest in a series of departures from within the Bush circle -- the most recent was Dan Bartlett, another adviser that had come to the White House from Texas. It signals that the Bush presidency is over, at least on the domestic policy front. The White House will likely spend the remaining months trying to keep the surge going in Iraq, while fending off Democratic attacks across the board. If it hadn't begun already, we're now clearly into the lame duck phase.

Ruth in a comment thread on intentBlog
Goodbye? Not so fast... There's a lucrative consulting/lobbyists career waiting for Karl, and he has already told us he will write a book... These guys have a way of appearing here and there all over the beltway and making huge amounts of money through sweetheart deals and speaker's fees.

Anjin-San in a comment thread on Outside the Beltway
I don't think anyone denies Rove's great talent for politics. But to what use [was] it put?

CNN works with Umbria, a company that collects and analyzes millions of online opinions and review postings every day.

More about Umbria's analysis


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