Karl Rove's decision to leave the White House at the end of the month makes perfect sense.
Besides getting a huge advance in a book deal, Rove will be contributing to President Bush's legacy by writing a book that will be more widely read if it comes out when Bush is still president.
As part of shaping Bush's legacy, he is going to be one of the key planners of the Bush library, where he will have a prominent position. Rove is a brilliant student of American history, surpassing the most erudite history professors. He will relish comparing Bush with other presidents.
Rove will still be available whenever the president needs his advice. In the meantime, Ed Gillespie, as counselor to the president, has begun to provide political advice that Karl otherwise might give.
At Gillespie's urging, Bush has responded more aggressively to attacks by the Democrats on his war policies and has taken them on over excessive spending. Pushed by Gillespie, Bush has made more public appearances. The fact that Bush flew to the site of the bridge collapse in Minneapolis shows he has learned since Hurricane Katrina that for political reasons, a president must make such appearances.
In an interview with Paul Gigot, who broke the story of Rove's resignation in the Wall Street Journal, Rove denied that his departure now is intended to avoid congressional scrutiny.
"I know they'll say that," Rove said. "But I'm not going to stay or leave based on whether it pleases the mob."