Haraz N. Ghanbari  /  AP
A view of White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove's garage, as seen on the morning of Oct. 13.
updated 10/17/2005 4:01:21 PM ET 2005-10-17T20:01:21

He is “the architect” who steered George W. Bush to victory four times, twice as Texas governor and twice as president.

But can Karl Rove organize his own garage? Can the master of Bush’s political planning figure out where to put the ladders, paint cans and cardboard boxes?

Rove’s wife, Darby, raised the white garage door one morning last week to show journalists outside the million-dollar brick home that the deputy chief of staff, assistant to the president and senior adviser wasn’t home. All the interest came on the eve of his testimony Friday before a grand jury investigating who in the White House might have revealed the identity of a CIA operative.

There was no car in the garage. And the stuff left behind turned out not to be much different from what gathers dust inside most American garages.

The inventory, seen from outside:

  • Some cardboard file boxes stacked one on top of the other, labeled “Box .6,” “Box .4” and what appears to be “Box .7.” No sign of boxes 1, 2, 3 and 5.
  • What appear to be paint cans stacked alongside a folded, folding chair.
  • A rather large wood crate marked “FRAGILE” and painted with arrows indicating which way is up. On top of the crate, two coolers.
  • A tall aluminum ladder.
  • A snow shovel leaned in front of another cardboard box.
  • Wicker baskets inside of wicker baskets on top of a shelf running the length of the rear wall. Transparent plastic storage bins crammed with indiscernible stuff. Another cardboard box.
  • In one corner, the rear wheel of a bicycle sticks out, along with what appears to be a helmet.
  • Another ladder, this one green, leaning sideways.

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