Karl Rove, “towering intellect” ??
I would say trhat the Bush administration’s failure to take on the MSM and their Democrat talking points on Iraq and the WMDs coupled with the failure of the Bush administration to adequately plan for a successor, along with the public perception to “make history” did the trick.
Cheney should have stepped down mid-way through the second term so that new face could have been selected and given a degree of experience to prepare for the 2008 election.
However, seeing how that administration functioned, they would probably have picked a compromise, RINO candidate to “appeal to everyone” and still have lost!
The man who was most responsible for the election of Barack Obama was George Bush, when he signed TARP.