- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Karl Rove, the architect of President Bush’s campaign victories in 2000 and 2004, will take on a wider role in developing and coordinating policy in the president’s second term, the White House announced yesterday.

Dubbed “Bush’s Brain” by political opponents, Mr. Rove has been promoted to deputy chief of staff, but will retain his title as senior adviser and continue to oversee political and intergovernmental affairs as well as strategic initiatives.

“Karl Rove is a longtime adviser and trusted member of my team,” Mr. Bush said yesterday. “His hard work and dedication have been invaluable. I appreciate Karl’s willingness to continue to serve my administration in this new position.”

White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters aboard Air Force One that Mr. Rove has “played an integral role in the strategy and policy development for a long time. So now, he has a more expanded role.”

The move was part of a shuffling of senior White House staff “going forward into the second term,” he said.

Deputy White House Chief of Staff Joe Hagin will take on an expanded role, representing White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. at White House meetings concerning intelligence, counterterrorism, counterproliferation and the Department of Defense and Homeland Security Council.

Mr. Bush’s former chief speechwriter, Michael Gerson, will become assistant to the president for policy and strategic planning and will have a lead role in advancing Mr. Bush’s “compassionate agenda,” such as faith-based initiatives. Mr. Gerson also will continue to oversee the writing of the president’s major speeches, now handled by chief speechwriter Bill McGurn.

A longtime deputy White House press secretary, Claire Buchan, will become chief of staff to new Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez. She will be replaced by the communications director at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Dana Perino, Mr. McClellan said.

But the biggest move was that of Mr. Rove, who had completed his prime task of putting Mr. Bush in the White House and getting him re-elected last year. As part of his duties, Mr. Rove will be in charge of coordinating policy among the White House Domestic Policy Council, National Economic Council, National Security Council and Homeland Security Council.

Mr. Rove will work to ensure that “we have an open and fair process for the development of policy and to make sure that policy is complementary and consistent within the various councils,” Mr. McClellan said.

“Karl will continue to oversee the intergovernment affairs, political affairs and strategic initiatives,” he said, adding that although Mr. Rove still will play a political role, former campaign strategist Sara Taylor recently was appointed to oversee political affairs.

The promotion of Mr. Rove angered top Democrats, including the chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Terry McAuliffe, who accused the White House of “political positioning.”

“Empowering Rove in this way shows that Bush cares more about political positioning than honest policy discussions,” he said. “Bush knows that Rove is neither an economic nor a national security expert. He is simply an ideological strategist who has a history of bending the truth and using dirty tricks to get his way. Clearly, Bush thinks political manipulation matters more than keeping the president honestly informed about the state of the country.”

The DNC sent an e-mail to White House reporters containing a slew of charges leveled against Mr. Rove over the years, including one that he was responsible for rumors circulated during the 2000 presidential campaign about Arizona Sen. John McCain, which said the presidential candidate was a homosexual and that his wife was a drug addict.

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