William A. Jacobson, our friend over at Legal Insurrection, offers a generous defense of Karl Rove:
Bashing Rove is in fashion these days, but watch this video carefully. In addition to be a prolific fundraiser for American Crossroads, which played a critical role in the 2010 elections, Rove is one of the more articulate spokesmen for taking on the Obama message machine.
Rove's searing intellect always impresses, but Rove's weakness is that he routinely puts acquisition of power ahead of adherence to principle. And he’s an enemy of the Tea Party primarily because of the Tea Party’s anti-establishment bent.
His strategic brilliance notwithstanding, Rove’s grand era of big government “conservatism” backfired and helped to create perfect conditions for the rise of the Democrats in 2006 and 2008. Rove is too cynical, too short-sighted, and he puts cronyism before country.
Ceteris paribus, I’d always choose someone from outside of the Rove network for any position of government influence.