Despite denials by the McCain advisors, Time Magazine reports this week that Karl Rove is close, oh-so-close, to the McCain campaign:

A year after leaving the White House under the pall of an electoral setback and a congressional investigation, Karl Rove — hero of the right, scourge of the left — is back. With a twist.

In private, Rove speaks regularly with the McCain campaign, where his former protégé Steve Schmidt is now the manager. He’s also dialed in at the Republican National Committee, run by Mike Duncan, another former aide. And he still lunches two or three times a month with President Bush.

And Rove was heavily involved in McCain’s VP choice, running the whole show.

He’s ba-a-a-a-a-ack.