Karl Rove had not felt that way in years. The Democrat's mid term election victory of 2006 had had a profound effect on him to the extent that he considered it a personal defeat. For the past several years he had deftly manipulated the strings of the Bush Administration with such enviable results that friends and foes alike considered the results he obtained as the product of exceptional wisdom, courage and political vision.
He recalled that famous phrase by Winston Churchill that defined how he and President Bush felt about their accomplishments: 'Victory at all costs, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival.' But the election results had changed the survival angle; he kept thinking of his sizeable home mortgage and the mounting expenses of his several homes.
He mentally reviewed the magnificent scenario he developed for the invasion of Iraq. The very term 'War on Terror' was born at that time and profited from the country's revulsion and fear caused by the 9-11 attack on New York by the Al Qaida terrorists. Aided by a president bent on becoming a heroic statesman he had successfully installed in the American psyche the politics of fear and terror.
He had basked in the adulation, recognition and respect of the Administration, the media and the public in general. He smiled when he recalled the card sent to him by an admirer where he was portrayed wearing Superman's costume and flying above the White House.
The Mid term elections of the year 2006 put a stop to the aura of invincibility and self confidence that had been supported by victory after victory. All of a sudden he was on the outside looking in. He began to notice the subtle changes in the adoration of his peers. Gone were the respectful greetings, the obsequious comments and congratulations, and the stream of requests for advice on all matters.
Even the president seemed a bit distant. Gone were the effusive greetings and the constantly changing nicknames. Also gone were the impromptu lunches on the private second floor dining room and the informal coffee sessions in the Oval Room.
All these thoughts were parading in his memory as he sat before the window of his office and idly looked at the distant traffic on Pennsylvania Avenue when none other than the president entered his office.
"Karl, I hate to see you sitting in your big chair in front of your empty desk and spend hours looking out the window with that distant look in your beady eyes!"
"What do you want me to do, Mister President? Even before the elections I began to notice a sense of rejection exhibited toward me by almost everyone. Those elections have been my Waterloo! "
Well, you had it coming. You know, our good friend Doctor Phil always says that the fruit of self confidence is arrogance but that arrogance is really an expression of pusillanimity, whatever that is. He says that its unhappy results involve poor digestion and a touch of impotence. He also says that plotting and cooking up schemes taxes not only the brain but also darkens the soul, whichever comes first. Perhaps you should see a psychic doctor.
"You mean a psychiatrist."
"Whatever. Besides you are running out of brilliant ideas and clever solutions. Even Tony Snow comes up with good lies and beautiful smoke curtains. That kid is going places. But before the media notices your present condition we can perhaps arrange for an ambassadorship in some quiet place like Andorra, Burkina Faso or Belize where you can help the natives embrace freedom and democracy. You know, diplomatic status will probably keep you out of jail. ."
Old Karl listened to the Boss with some apprehension. He could not help feeling terribly jealous about Tony and disappointed that his razor sharp inventiveness seemed to have deserted him. Worse, he was about to be discarded like an old set of false teeth. Tears were already at the edge of his limpid orbs and he felt that another derogatory comment from the President, his idol, would produce an unstoppable flow of tears and another wave of heartache and anxiety. In a low voice he said:
"Is there anything you can do other than send me away?"
"How about a medal, Karl?"
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