Thursday, April 20, 2006

Scottie Gets Beamed Up

And Karl gets a slap on the wrist. With Karl Rove's foreign policy role taken over by the Brooks Brothers rioter, and Scottie sent home to spend more time lying to his family, the administration herd is being thinned considerably. It's anyone's guess as to who'll be next.

Dare we hope?


Blogger Management said...

Rove Relinquishes Some Control in Shake-Up

By TERENCE HUNT, AP White House CorrespondentWed Apr 19, 6:40 PM ET

White House political mastermind Karl Rove surrendered a key policy role Wednesday and press secretary Scott McClellan resigned in an escalation of a Bush administration shake-up driven by Republican anxieties.

Rove gave up his responsibilities as chief policy coordinator, a position he assumed just over a year ago that strengthened his influence over matters ranging from homeland security and domestic policy to the economy and national security. The promotion had left him stretched too thin in the eyes of some officials, as the White House grappled with mounting problems.

With Wednesday's change, Rove will be able to focus more on politics, fundraising and big-picture thinking with the approach of the November congressional elections, officials said.

A major force in the administration from the start, Rove still is expected to have a big voice in policy but not the day-to-day oversight. Those responsibilities will shift to Joel Kaplan, who was promoted to deputy chief of staff from the No. 2 job in the White House budget office where he had served as Joshua Bolten's lieutenant.

Bolten took over Friday as chief of staff with authority to do whatever he deemed necessary to stabilize Bush's presidency, and he has moved quickly with changes.

With the Iraq war hanging over Bush, the White House has been rocked by mistakes and missteps — from an ill-fated Supreme Court nomination to a bungled response to Hurricane Katrina — that have resulted in the president's plunge in the polls to the lowest point since he took office. Nervous Republicans told Bush he needed fresh people with new ideas.

McClellan, the press secretary for nearly three years, was the public face of the White House and a vulnerable target in an administration trying to show off new people. He had been bloodied by contentious press briefings and media criticism about an administration loath to give up information.

"The White House is going through a period of transition. Change can be helpful, and this is a good time and good position to help bring about change," McClellan said, his voice choked with emotion as he stood alongside Bush outside the White House. "I am ready to move on."

In recent months, McClellan had told people he enjoyed his job and wanted to stay for the long term. He said Wednesday he started to think about leaving in the past few weeks and concluded, with a new chief of staff, that it was a good time to go. He and Bush came to a decision in a meeting Monday in the Oval Office.

"I have given it my all, sir, and I have given you my all, sir, and I will continue to do so as we transition to a new press secretary," McClellan said.

"It's going to be hard to replace Scott," Bush said. "But, nevertheless, he's made the decision and I accept it. ... Job well done."

Bush patted McClellan on the back and they walked together across the South Lawn to the president's helicopter to begin a trip to Alabama. But the aircraft couldn't get off the ground because its radio failed, and they had to take a motorcade.

McClellan will remain until a successor is named. Possibilities mentioned include Tony Snow, host of a program on Fox News Radio, Dan Senor, former coalition spokesman in Iraq, Trent Duffy, former White House deputy press secretary and former Treasury spokesman Rob Nichols.

More changes are expected. White House officials have done nothing to discourage speculation that Treasury Secretary John Snow is leaving. Bush's communications chief, Nicolle Wallace, also is expected to depart because her husband has taken a new job in New York. Changes also are expected in the White House lobbying shop run by Candida Wolff.

The shake-up began with the March 28 resignation of Andy Card, Bush's longtime chief of staff, and his replacement by Bolten. Just this week, Bush has named a new budget chief and a new trade representative and is moving toward choosing a new domestic policy adviser

Kaplan, the new deputy chief of staff, will take over from Rove as coordinator of policy developed within the Domestic Policy Council, the National Economic Council, the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council. A trusted aide to Bolten, he will be the new chief's right-hand man.

"Joel Kaplan is a man of great talent, intellect and experience who possesses a deep knowledge of policy and budget processes," Bush said in a written statement.

Rove and Joe Hagin, who oversees White House administration, intelligence and national security, will remain as deputy chiefs of staff.

Rove still is under investigation by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald for his role in the leak of Valerie Plame's CIA identity.

The episode also brought problems for McClellan. He at first denied Rove had played any part in the leak, saying he based his account on Rove himself. But later it was revealed that Rove had been a source for at least two reporters.

McClellan said Kaplan would focus on the day-to-day management of the policy process. "And so this really frees Karl up to focus on bigger strategic issues," the spokesman said. "He will continue to be a crucial voice and trusted adviser on policy ... as he has since the beginning of this administration."

10:28 PM  
Blogger Management said...

Dean on Karl Rove's Demotion


From the DNC Press Office

Washington, DC - This morning, Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove was demoted and forced to give up "oversight of policy development" in the White House. Another close Bush confidante, former Bolten deputy Joel Kaplan, will take over Rove's policy portfolio. [Associated Press, 4/19/06] This news comes on the heels of White House proclamations of major staff reshuffling that have led to new faces in the West Wing, but no changes to the President's failed policies.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean issued the following statement:

"After having his hand in nearly every bad Bush policy decision and nearly every scandal that has consumed the Bush White House, it is not surprising that Karl Rove was demoted this morning. But, a demotion is not enough. From the collapse of the President's scheme to privatize social security to Rove's involvement in the outing of a covert CIA agent's identity while he still holds a security clearance, the President has abundant reason to fire Karl Rove.

"The Bush White House is merely engaging in window dressing. President Bush doesn't seem to understand that you can't just change the window dressing, you have to make changes in the Bush Administration's policies which have undermined America's security - from the economy to health care, our families and the war in Iraq."


10:29 PM  
Blogger Management said...

New WH Policy Chief Was "Brooks Brothers" Rioter
By Justin Rood - April 19, 2006, 1:31 PM

To the Burberry ramparts!

The man Bush tapped to fill Karl Rove's spot as his policy wizard is none other than Joel Kaplan, who took part in the infamous "Brooks Brothers riot" of 2000. That's when a bunch of Washington GOP operatives, posing as outraged Floridians, waved fists, chanted "Stop the fraud!" and pounded windows in an effort to intimidate officials engaged in the Florida recount effort.

In George Bush's Washington, there's no shame in staging a fake protest to undermine a democratic election, apparently: last year, the Washington Post's Al Kamen noted that "the "rioters" proudly note their participation on resumes and in interviews." Kaplan was even the one to cheekily dub the fracas the "Brooks Brothers Riot."

10:30 PM  
Blogger Management said...

Rummy screws up Iraq, ignores 10 years of war planning, and incurs the wrath of generals who seldom speak up about anything. And what does the Dear Leaker do? He has the McClellatron 3000 tell the press corps that Rumsfeld is doing a heckuva' job!, then issues his own statement to try and shut everyone up. So what if it turns out Rummy knew all along that detainees were being tortured?

What's next for Rummy? Probably a Medal of Freedom!

10:36 PM  

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