Those who have worked with White House strategist KARL ROVE can't say when he last took a vacation. Even gripped by a severe cold during the campaign, Rove was hooting into his headset. But this week the political guru will enjoy some R. and R. in Florida. He has little choice. This is a relaxed and productive White House (Damn it!), and chief of staff ANDY CARD wants it to stay that way. Top-level staff members--most of whom lost their postelection break to the Florida fiasco--are being told they must take time off. Card needles his staff members daily, insisting they submit vacation schedules as proof that they are headed for the BarcaLounger. The forced march has turned some victims downright mawkish. "It's wonderful," says press secretary ARI FLEISCHER, who will attend the New York Yankees' opening day. "It's human. It's normal." Next: enforced yoga?
--By James Carney and John F. Dickerson/Washington