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Karl Rove leaves the White House in anything but victory. His legendary reputation was seriously diminished by the Republican defeat in the 2006 midterm elections, and has been eroded almost every day since then, as President Bush has struggled through his second term.
Karl Rove said the first thing he plans to do after leaving the White House is "go dove hunting in West Texas with family and friends, then drive my wife and the dogs to the beach."
A senior administration official described Rove's agony over the decision, and how "he and his family struggled" over it and why "this is a good as time as any."
"You're never going to replace him," said another senior administration official, adding that Rove served a "unique role."
Karl Rove plans to write a book about his days with Bush and eventually teach politics on the university level.
"Obviously it's a big loss to us, said deputy White House press secretary Dana Perino. "He is a great colleague, good friend and a brilliant mind."
Karl Rove, who has held a top position in the White House since Bush took office in January 2001, is to stand down on August 31.Both Karl Rove and Scott Jennings, who is a special assistant to the president and deputy political director, were subpoenaed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is investigating the fired attorneys case.