"I don't think it happened," Rove told me. "The president routinely does that kind of stuff. Now, I might have flippantly said it will show up on eBay." And: "When members of Congress fly on Air Force One, I've seen the president make phone calls from the limo" and sign "handwritten notes. That's his habit. He carries around a Sharpie and signs everything."
Armey spokesman Adam Brandon said Armey stands by the story. Sic transit guru. In 2000, 2002 and 2004, Rove was a genius, a GOP miracle worker. But after the 2006 election rout, he's like the all-star who struck out in a big game. Or in baseball vernacular, he's a bum. And no shot is too cheap to lob Rove's way.
Rove can leave Washington knowing that, when it comes to partisan politics, he gave as good as he got. Nonetheless, this White House gave up too easily. At time of war, the Bushies should have worked harder to include Democrats when the military was winning plaudits in Iraq. Also, Bush should have tried to enlist Democratic support on Social Security reform, just as he worked with Democrats on No Child Left Behind. That's what voters sent Bush to Washington for -- to get the job done.
Rove has a point when he talks about Democrats who never wanted Bush to win and worked to undermine success. But it doesn't matter. To get things done, great men find ways to win over their rivals and make them partners.
History won't care who called whom names. History cares who got the job done.