Rovemort’s change of address

By Rick Perlstein on August 13, 2007 – 12:08pm.

The smart money says Rove is quitting ahead of one or more indictments, and here’s hoping. There is, however, precedent for speculating that he’s not really “leaving” at all.

The precedent, as is so often in this administration, is Nixonian. In the Nixon Library’s newly released tape of the President’s phone conversations shortly before, on, and after Election Day 1972, the longest is Nixon and Chuck Colson riffing out their second term plans-most especially for a new “information and counterattack capacity in the White House” that would be more durable, and better deniable, than the one that got them in trouble with Watergate.

The idea was for Charles Colson to leave the White House with great fanfare, as if riding off into the sunset after a job well done. He will establish a law firm that will actually be a political front working for Nixon: “I wouldn’t call it ‘Colson,’ something like that,” Nixon says; “I would just say, “Washington Associates,” or something..a good, high-sounding name.” It would serve as a base the usual Nixonian work of manipulating and intimidating the media; and, intriguingly, a new idea, establishing a new polling firm, scrubbed of its origins in the White House: “I mean, the point is, let’s just get the polling done our way.”

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