Rove, Fitzgerald, And The Fall Election
Image courtesy of the New York Times
The Post’s Jim VandeHei has a Page One out this morning on Rove’s grand jury appearance yesterday, with the most noteworthy item being that Rove and his flaks aren’t sure if he is in the clear anymore. The second most noteworthy thing in this story is that someone close to Rove, probably his attorney Robert Luskin, is openly leaking what Rove said and was questioned about in nearly four hours of testimony yesterday. I don’t think that will go down too well with Judge Reggie Walton, who is already unhappy with Scooter’s defense team for being a little too mouthy about the discovery tug-of-war between them and Patrick Fitzgerald’s office.
Fitzgerald doesn’t care about political calendars, and as the New York Times story indicates today, there may not be any resolution to Rove's status for months. Although many of us would like to see Rove indicted sooner rather than later, the optimal time for such an event is not now, but just as Congress heads off to its summer recess at the end of July. If you will recall, back in 2002 the Democrats went off on their summer recess and did nothing to set the negatives against Bush in August for the fall campaign during the Washington information vacuum, allowing Rove and Andy Card a free shot at rolling out their fall product that year, the Iraq war drive.
Along these lines, the best thing for the Democrats this year, aside from setting the negatives now during the early summer on Bush’s record and the pitfalls of an Iranian attack, would be for Fitzgerald to kneecap Rove at the end of July with an indictment, thereby crippling the White House’s fall campaign and giving the Democrats all the talking points they need during the recess to keep voters focused on the need to install real checks and balances against this corrupt regime. It will be difficult for the White House to talk up another war and redirect the country’s attention one more time if the man who sold us the last war on lies is indicted for his role in covering up those lies, especially if the Democrats by then have reinforced the need for new congressional leadership month in and month out leading up to the recess.