Last month, I pinpointed Arlen Specter as the most important man in deciding Alberto Gonzales’ future. Without the support of the ranking Judiciary Committee Republican, I argued, Democratic carps against Gonzales would read as Democrats “playing politics.”
Now, it seems the most important man in the decision was White House chief-of-staff Joshua Bolten. As Karl Rove contemplated resigning from the Bush administration, Bolten told him to do so before Labor Day, and that anyone remaining with the administration through Labor Day would be expected to stick around until Inauguration Day 2009.
Rather than face another year’s worth of hearings on the Hill, Democratic push-back on the more secretive and esoteric parts of the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act, and a Congress that seems to have grown tired of his act, Gonzales obviously felt his time had come.
I’m not sure whether Gonzales is a gambler, but he should be applauded for knowing when to walk away.