On the eve of his rumored fourth testimony before Patrick J. Fitzgerald's grand jury, things are not looking so good for our chubby little smear muffin. Even the bookies have turned on him:
With Karl Rove's future as White House Deputy Chief of Staff in serious doubt, Sportsbook.com is the only online sportsbook to offer updated odds on the long-running scandal that continues to plague the Bush Administration. Current odds are 1-2 that Rove will have to leave the White House in the wake of an ongoing criminal investigation, and 3-2 that he will not.I've been watching talking heads on TV all day (yes, I turned it on again) sputtering about how Bush will be devastated by the loss of his "brain."
The significant shift from the opening odds of 1-6 that Rove would not be dismissed or resign is a reflection of the grand jury's increased focus on Rove and of the growing consensus that he will not emerge unscathed. Recent testimony from jailed New York Times reporter Judith Miller may have given the grand jury reason to doubt previous statements made by Rove regarding the leak.
There is another camp of people who think Bush is only too ready to cut Turd Blossom loose. People from the Beltway in-crowd who have seen the delight Bush takes in personally taunting and humiliating Rove (which he does publicly and frequently by all accounts) think that this is the inevitable result of the single most damaging blow to Rove's career -- when the meme "Bush's brain" entered the popular lexicon.
"Think about it," said a source who has watched Dubya treat Rove like some white, puffy version of Mr. Bill. "If anyone had called Stephanopolous 'Clinton's brain,' how do you think Clinton would've felt? But because it's Bush, nobody considers it."
The psychology certainly fits. Preznit Horse Cranker quite obviously has an ego that can barely be constrained within the Crawford city limits, and his reputation as C Plus Augustus has got to rankle. It would have looked too much like Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation was leading BushCo. around by the nose to dispense with Rove when Matt Cooper's article came out, but the sports books are not the only ones who are predicting that Dubya will soon find a convenient moment to throw Rove under the bus, if only to prove he can function without him.
Fitzgerald may be the hangman, but it looks like Dubya's tying the noose.