I'm back to work and the big news of the day was: Karl Rove is leaving the White House.

Here was the guy credited with being the chief strategist behind two successful elections for his boss as well as unprecedented congressional gains in 2002, now choking back tears alongside his President saying "good-bye."

I inquired with some sources and found that the timing of the departure, while not sudden, appears to be legit in that Rove simple felt this was the time to go.

But I have to question the timing of his farewell today after reading a front page article in USA Today, "Major Attacks Decline in Iraq."

The number of truck bombs and other large al Qaeda-style attacks in Iraq have declined nearly 50% since the United States started increasing troop levels in Iraq about six months ago, according to the U.S. Military command in Iraq.

The article also quotes Jack Keane, a retired General and mentor to Gen. Petraeus, as saying, "The enemy had the initiative and momentum in '06... We've got it now."

Clearly, Rove was not giving into the pressures of Democrat inquiries - some of which are still on-going. Rather, I think he simply chose the slow news cycle of August to make a natural exit. But in doing so today - a day in which there was significant news out of Iraq - did he realize that he would trump the story?

Every major evening newscast will lead with Rove tonight - and rightfully so because it IS the big news of the day. But didn't the White House know that would be the result?

I have to wonder: Was this a case of bad timing and a missed opportunity OR was it inneffective communication in knowing that the visit President Bush should have been making today, was perhaps a surprise visit to Baghdad before heading to Crawford.