Rove--Maybe Not Indispensable

While many in the White House will be sorry to see Karl Rove go at the end of this month, some West Wing advisers disagree with the notion, promoted by Rove's fans, that President Bush's political guru is the indispensable man.

+ More

While many in the White House will be sorry to see Karl Rove go at the end of this month, some West Wing advisers disagree with the notion, promoted by Rove's fans, that President Bush's political guru is the indispensable man.

The advisers point out that no one is indispensable except the president himself. They say there's a bit too much adulation of Rove being spread by his admirers, making it seem as if the West Wing can't get along without him. Rove was popular internally, but Chief of Staff Josh Bolten is perfectly capable of rearranging the staff to have others do Rove's jobs, and morale won't be hurt, the insiders say.

Rove was only one of many voices that the president listened to, and many other members of the White House staff "interact with the president," adds a Bush confidant. "You get to say your piece."

That's why Bush has been able to hire and retain talented people, the confidant told U.S. News. "This creates instant chemistry"—which will remain a defining feature of the Bush White House despite Rove's resignation as deputy chief of staff, which he announced Monday.

—Kenneth T. Walsh