Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Card Bolten 

Andy Card out, Josh Bolten in:
BIG NEWS FROM BUSH. White House chief of staff Andrew Card has resigned after five and a half years on the job. His replacement, Office of Management and Budget Director Joshua Bolten, has a strong domestic policy background, as well as close ties to the president. Peter Baker reports:

Resisting Republican advice to pick a seasoned Washington veteran the way Reagan brought in former Senate majority leader Howard H. Baker Jr. when his own presidency was listing in his second term, Bush characteristically picked someone he knows well and trusts implicitly.

Bolten was policy director of the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign in 1999-2000, during the brief era of compassionate conservatism, and spent his first two years in the White House as assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff for policy at the White House. I've heard good things about him from Democratic and Republican policy professionals in the past; his move to the OMB was once described to me as a symptom of the slow brain drain out of Bush's domestic policy apparatus that began mid-way through his first term, as the president's attentions shifted abroad.

UPDATE: That said, Bolten's not exactly fresh blood on the ideas front, having played a major role in last year's Social Security debacle.

As Garance said, Bolten's not fresh blood or a "heavy hitter" like Howard Baker or a Bob Dole type. Bolten was even NJ Governor Corzine's Chief of Staff, while the two were with Goldman Sachs. So, not exactly credentials that would make conservatives happy. Interesting choice. I actually like Bolten because he's got a bit of a non-partisan background, and is supposed to be a nice guy. I don't necessarily think it was a good choice for Bush. Then again, when has he made a good choice? And, does anyone really care who the Chief of Staff is?


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