"If Rove is forced to resign, it would be a major blow to a presidency already reeling from low approval ratings, the war in Iraq, rising gas prices and the aftermath of two Gulf Coast hurricanes.
Some Republicans suggest the investigation has already taken a toll, weakening and distracting Rove. Some even suggest the botched early response to Hurricane Katrina and the flash of indignation from the political right over the Harriet Miers Supreme Court nomination might have been averted had Rove been more hands-on.
Frank Luntz, a pollster and analyst who often works for Republicans, counsels against counting Rove out based on what may look like ominous signs from the grand jury.
'Rove has always been a survivor. He's brilliant at understanding the right thing to do at the right moment. He specializes in the ability to handle a crisis. What he has done for the president, I actually expect him now to do for himself,' Luntz said. 'He'll know what to do and what to say.'"
In other words, Rove will attack the opposition, obfuscate the details, disregard common decency, bribe the grand jury members, avoid the issues, and get himself out of taking responsibility for his own actions?