Hiller Instinct: Karl Rove Controversy
The Hiller Instinct: Hiller Instinct: Karl Rove Controversy
Look closely and you can almost see the smoke around President Bush and his deputy chief of staff Karl Rove, but there's still no fire.
For more than a year, the White House has dismissed speculation Rove helped identify undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame, after Plame's husband, Joseph Wilson, suggested Bush exaggerated intelligence to justify invading Iraq.
"It is absurd to suggest that this White House would seek to punish someone for speaking out with a different view," White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said in October of 2003.
But that's not what McClellan was saying today:
"I look forward to talking about this at some point but it 's not the appropriate time to talk about those questions while the investigation is continuing," McClellan said.
What's changed is the now confirmed news Rove was the source for at least one report about Plame, which could be big trouble for Bush who promised more than a year ago to fire anyone who leaked the name of a CIA agent.
"I don't have any idea, I'd like to. I want to know the truth," President Bush said in October of 2003.
Democrats, over-powered by Bush and the GOP in Washington, sense a potential political perfect storm: a chance to weaken the President, question the integrity of the war in Iraq, and wound, or even kill, the architect of his political success.
So it’s no surprise that leading democrats today began calling for Rove's head.
"The White House's credibility is at issue here and I believe very clearly Karl Rove ought to be fired," Sen. John Kerry (D – Mass) said.
And standing next to Kerry, another potential president candidate agreed.
"I'm nodding," Sen. Hilary Clinton (D – NY) said.
What Democrats want more than anything else is a "Rove-gate," another White House cover-up that will force another Republican president to tell the nation what he knew, and when he knew it.
But right now, they're mostly blowing smoke, because there's no smoking gun.
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