Rove Versus Wave

Karl Rove, President Bush's top political adviser, addresses an audience of Republican supporters in Lake Geneva, Wis., in this April 9, 2005, file photo. AP

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
There's a new fight brewing in Washington, called Rove versus Wave. You heard it right -- Rove versus Wave.

As evidenced in the White House press briefing Monday, the wave is the media and Rove is Karl Rove, the senior advisor to President Bush.

Rove's status within the Republican Party is mythic. He is the man whose brains, tactics and discipline have brought conservatives to the promised land of unequaled power in Washington.

The wave is the press who detect a crack in the oh-so-substantial foundation that is the impenetrable White House. The wave's sole purpose is to determine if that foundation is concrete or sand.

The White House during the Bush years has characterized itself as beyond reproach. The administration has made clear any leaker found giving up the CIA agent Valerie Plame will be fired. There's no ambiguity there. No wiggle room.

Whether or not there is a line between Rove and Plame is the question. Newsweek says Time magazine's Michael Cooper had a conversation with Rove about Ambassador Joe Wilson's wife in July of 2003 without naming Valerie Plame by name. But, why did that conversation take place? And for whose benefit? Rove's lawyer says it was to dissuade Cooper from running a false story about Vice President Cheney.

Well, maybe it's time for a little transparency. The wave has an important job here -- to wash free the truth. If Karl Rove has nothing to hide, then this should be little more than a splash in the surf.



Harry's daily commentary can be heard on manyCBS Radio News affiliates across the country.


By Harry Smith
  • Bootie Cosgrove-Mather

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