The retreat has begun. On today's Hardball Republican Sen. Trent Lott all but threw Karl Rove under the bus. Lott told Chris Matthews this:
Look, [Rove] has been very successful, very effective in the political arena. The question is should he be the deputy chief of staff under the current circumstances? I don't know all that's going on, so I can't make that final conclusion. But, you know, how many times has the top political person become also the top policy advisor? Maybe you can make that transition, but it's a real challenge, and I think they have to -- I do think they need to look at bringing in some more people, you know, old gray beards that have been around this town for a while, help them out a little bit at the white house.
Lott may still harbor anger towards Rove for the lost of his leadership in the Senate, but his statements must be construed as a very visible Republican sending a message to the White House: We will not stand with you unless the political winds start changing.
But what was astonishing was the fact that Lott drizzled such contempt for Rove that he even shifted the critique to a question of experience. Gray beards?