March 24, 2006
In Major White House Shakeup, Bush To Replace Rove and Cheney With Rove And Cheney
Rumsfeld to Stay On
President Bush today admitted that he would be making major changes to White House staff in an attempt to address flagging poll numbers and "fatigue." Bush focused on Karl Rove and Dick Cheney, who Americans have indicated are at the heart of some of the deepest and worst missteps the administration has taken, among them the faltering response to Hurricane Katrina and the shooting of people in the face.
Rove and Cheney are to step down by week's end, after which they will be reappointed to their current positions. "I am not afraid to make tough calls, admit mistakes, and correct them," said Bush. "This is a White House which is committed to growth and change."
Bush pooh-poohed suggestions that the shakeup was purely cosmetic, and more of a public relations gambit than a substantive makeover. "This Dick Cheney is not the same Dick Cheney who took office with me in 2001. For one thing, I understand he's had some implants."
He also suggested that Karl Rove had been chastened and reborn in the wake of criticism and by the stigma of having to give up his office, if only for two days. Rove himself said, "I'm an idiot one day and a genius the next." Bush said that Rove had been "half-right," but would not elaborate other than to say that "this time out," the White House would employ him every other day.
Bush refused to replace Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, either with Rumsfeld or another person, despite calls for his resignation in the face of his poor handling of the Iraq war and the Abu Ghraib scandal. "I don't think anyone could have foreseen that the Iraq war would have cost this much money or caused any loss of life."
Posted by Tom Burka at 11:12 AM