Karl Rove hält weiter die Zügel in Washington in der Hand
--- Bushs Oberspindoktor Karl Rove wird immer mehr zum Mr. Unersetzlich im Weißen Haus. Verstärkt kümmert er sich jetzt auch um die Pläne, das Sozialversicherungssystem zu renovieren, berichtet die New York Times: "All roads lead to Karl," said Kenneth J. Duberstein, a Republican lobbyist who was the White House chief of staff under President Ronald Reagan and is now part of Mr. Rove's vast network of informal advisers and intelligence gatherers. Under one of his hats, Mr. Rove is running a sophisticated campaign on behalf of the president's Social Security proposals, employing all the components of the national political machine built to re-elect Mr. Bush. Under the other, he is overseeing policy meetings where the administration's senior officials analyze the competing Social Security proposals, bone up on arcane economic concepts and plot how to hit back at the substantive arguments made by people on the other side of the issue. Other presidents have had powerful advisers with a hand in both politics and policy. The most-cited model in recent times is James A. Baker III, who had a wide-ranging portfolio in the administrations of Mr. Reagan and Mr. Bush's father, and went from political operative to treasury secretary, to secretary of state, then back to overseeing a presidential campaign. But the intensity of Mr. Rove's involvement in politics and policy makes his current status unusual and gives him remarkably broad authority inside the White House and out. And in giving Mr. Rove his new title, Mr. Bush, freed from the need to think about re-election, seemed to acknowledge what everyone in Washington knows: that in this administration, as in all others, politics and policy are inextricably intertwined. "Karl Rove is the crossing guard at the intersection of policy and politics," said Marshall Wittmann, a senior fellow at the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, who previously observed Mr. Rove for years as an aide to Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican, and as legislative director of the Christian Coalition. "He blends political hack and propeller head in a way no one has ever achieved," Mr. Wittmann said. "No one is going to question his political expertise or his policy expertise. The question for him is always one of hubris."