President Bush's top political adviser has resigned. VOA's Paula Wolfson reports, Karl Rove will leave his key White House post at the end of the month.

Karl Rove is the man who convinced George W. Bush to run for governor of Texas in 1993, and was considered the mastermind behind his successful 2000 run for the presidency, and his 2004 re-election campaign.

Now, after seven years and almost eight months at the White House, President Bush says Rove is leaving.

"Karl Rove is moving on down the road," announced President Bush.

The announcement stunned official Washington. It came as President Bush was leaving the capital for an August vacation at his Texas ranch. Characteristically, Rove was at his side.

"We have been friends for a long time," he added. "And we are still going to be friends. I would call Karl Rove a dear friend."

Throughout his tenure in Washington, Karl Rove was known as the president's most trusted adviser on politics and policy.

He was singled out for praise in the president's 2004 election victory speech.

"I was impressed by how hard and how skillful our team was. I want to thank [Republican] Chairman Mark Racicot, the Campaign Manager Ken Melman, and the Architect - Karl Rove," he said.

President Bush has also referred to him as "boy genius." But critics have another nickname for Rove, they call him "Bush's brain."

Rove's tenure was not without controversy, he was under scrutiny for months in the investigation surrounding a CIA operative, whose identity was revealed to reporters. More recently, he has been called to testify before Congressional committees looking into the firing of nine federal prosecutors.

Rove made no mention of those controversies as he prepared to head home to Texas.

"I am grateful for being able to work with the extraordinary men and women you have brought into this administration. And, I am grateful to have been a witness to history. It has been the joy and honor of a lifetime," said Rove.

Rove said he has asked his wife and son to put up with a lot during his years in politics, and now it is time to focus on them. He said he will miss his work at the White House, but added he will continue to be an advocate for the president and his administration.