White House Chief of Staff Card Out, Bolton In
White House Chief of Staff Andy Card has resigned and Budget Director Josh Bolton has been named his successor.
AP White House Correspondent Terrence Hunt observes, “The move cames as Bush is buffeted by increasing criticism of the drawn-out war in Iraq and as fellow Republicans have suggested pointedly that the president bring in new aides with fresh ideas and new energy.” Indeed,
Card came to Bush recently and suggested that he should step down from the job that he has held from the first day of Bush’s presidency, said an administration official earlier. Bush decided during a weekend stay at Camp David, Md., to accept Card’s resignation and to name Bolten as his replacement, said the source who spoke on condition of anonymity because he did not want to pre-empt the president.
Now, it may be that all sides agreed that a shakeup was needed under the circumstances. Certainly, Fred Barnes and others have suggested it. Still, as important as the Chief of Staff job is inside the White House, it is virtually invisible to the general public. Unless Bolton comes up with some bold new policy initiatives, it is unclear how this move will bolster the president’s sagging poll numbers.
WaPo’s Peter Baker suggests “the move could presage broader staff changes as Bolten takes over an operation hobbled by political problems heading into a crucial midterm election season.” Or, it could be just one man stepping down after serving nearly three times the average tenure in the position. Apparently, Baker’s inside source is the same as Hunt’s.
Meanwhile, their NYT counterparts, David Sanger and John O’Neil, dismiss the move entirely, noting it “leaves in place Karl Rove, the President’s top political adviser, who is a deputy chief of staff. And it does not represent an infusion of new blood, since Mr. Bolten is also a longtime adviser, and served as a deputy chief of staff from 2001 to 2003 before becoming budget director”