Andy Card Out, Mr. "DOA" Budgets In As White House Chief Of Staff
“I’m satisfied with the people I’ve surrounded myself with. We’ve been a remarkably stable administration, and I think that’s good for the country.”
--Bush, at last week’s press conference
Following up on Pessimist's post below, only in the Bush Administration could the man who gave us the Harriet Miers nomination and the Katrina response leave to spend more time with his family, and be replaced by a man who has been responsible for misleading budgets that are described by those in his own party as dead on arrival. Yet that is what we have this morning, when Bush suddenly announced the resignation of Andrew Card as White House Chief of Staff, to be replaced by Joshua Bolten, formerly the White House Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Bolten has many lowlights to his career at the head of OMB, including swelling budget deficits, lying to Congress about supplemental appropriations and putting forward budgets that intentionally withhold information from the public. Perhaps his greatest entry in the Hall of Shame was his work in lying to Congress about the true cost of the Medicare Part D drug benefit.
For his part, Card resigns after five years of 16-18 hour days, and being a good soldier the entire time. He also resigns a day after it was revealed (by someone) that Karl Rove has been cooperating with Patrick Fitzgerald’s office, by helping the prosecutor “find” hundreds of White House emails that had previously not been provided by Alberto Gonzales to Fitzgerald. Since Card was considered by some to be a possible source of information on Valerie Plame to the journalists who were dragged into the smear Joe Wilson campaign, Bush's announcement of Card’s departure is a little interesting, especially since Card was being talked about as a replacement for Treasury Secretary John Snow. The official line now is that Card approached Bush several weeks ago and suggested that he step down, an idea Bush allegedly accepted over the weekend. Card will stay aboard until April 14th, so he isn’t running out the door, which will deflate to a degree the theories that there is something else going on. But Bush had just said recently that he was happy with his team and rejected calls for a staff shake-up, which of course he allegedly just agreed to over the weekend.
It should also be noted that the relationship between Card and Rove wasn’t as close as the relationship between Bolten and Rove, and this move does nothing to change the dynamics and problems facing the White House on Capitol Hill, as Bolten will have no more influence over Bush and Rove than Card did, and perhaps less. But it does ensure that Rove has total control once again.
One last question: is Card taking a bullet for the Dubai ports deal fiasco, a deal that has already seen Bush withdraw the name of Dubai Ports World executive David Sanborn yesterday to head the Maritime Administration a month after the White House told us that Sanborn was the best qualified person for the job? Or, as some have suggested, was the announcement made today to shift attention away from the latest British memo disclosure yesterday on Iraq?
Image courtesy of MSNBC.com
Hat Tip to Judd at ThinkProgress