View Full Version : White House shake-up touches McClellan, Rove

Dave Lane
04-19-2006, 11:33 AM
White House shake-up touches McClellan, Rove
Press secretary McClellan: 'Change can be helpful'

Wednesday, April 19, 2006; Posted: 1:08 p.m. EDT (17:08 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A shake-up in President Bush's administration widened Wednesday as White House press secretary Scott McClellan announced his resignation and a senior administration official said longtime Bush confidant Karl Rove will no longer oversee policy development.

News of McClellan's exit comes shortly after the departure of longtime White House chief of staff Andrew Card and amid calls by retired U.S. generals for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

During an appearance on the South Lawn with Bush, McClellan announced his departure after two years as press secretary saying his departure was right during a "time of transition." (Watch McClellan's throat-strained announcement -- 2:43)

"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. He's expected to remain on the job until his replacement is named.

CNN has learned from multiple Republican sources that new White House chief of staff Josh Bolten reached out to Fox News anchor Tony Snow several weeks ago at the White House. Snow, who was a speechwriter for former President George H.W. Bush, had no comment on the story. (John Roberts says the job of White House press secretary "can eat you up.")

Republican sources familiar with Bolten's conversations about staff changes said people of interest to replace McClellan include former Treasury spokesman Rob Nichols and former Pentagon spokeswoman and current CNN contributor Victoria Clarke. Clarke dismissed the suggestion on CNN several weeks ago.

As for Rove -- the powerful architect of Bush's two presidential campaigns -- a senior White House official told CNN that Rove will no longer focus on policy but will be involved in long-term strategic planning as a deputy chief of staff and a senior adviser.

The official said the Joel Kaplan, now a deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, will move to the White House as deputy chief of staff for policy.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, who leads the Senate Democratic campaign effort, said the Bush administration has "never separated politics from policy and that's been one of the reasons for its undoing. Late is better than never but the key for the White House will be getting a new person in charge of policy independent from Karl Rove who understands that policy is not simply politics."
'Honor and privilege'

McClellan said it had been "an extraordinary honor and privilege" serving the president.

"The White House is going through a time of transition," McClellan said. "Change can be helpful. This is a good time and a good position to help bring about change. I'm ready to move on. I've been in this position a long time and my wife and I are excited about beginning the next chapter in our life together."

Bush thanked McClellan for his service to the country.

"His is a challenging assignment dealing with you all on a regular basis and I thought he handled his assignment with class, integrity," Bush said. "He really represents the best of his family, our state and our country. It's going to be hard to replace Scott."

Later, accompanying Bush aboard Air Force One on a flight to Alabama, McClellan entered the press cabin and shook hands with reporters, according to The Associated Press.

Someone said it was a sad moment, and McClellan replied, "It is sad on some level," AP reported.

McClellan said he would accompany Bush on a trip to California this weekend and remain on the job for a couple more weeks.
Bush: 'I accept it'

McClellan took over the position in July 2003 after his predecessor Ari Fleischer resigned. McClellan served as deputy press secretary under Fleischer.

Speaking to Bush, McClellan said, "You've accomplished a lot over the last several years with this team and I have been honored and grateful to be a small part of a terrific and talented team of really good people."

"He's made the decision and I accept it," Bush said.

The announcement came during the first full week on the job for Bolten, who told senior White House aides Monday to be prepared for personnel changes in the coming days to "refresh and re-energize" the Bush administration after months of declining approval ratings and political reversals.

In another administration staff shift, Bush announced Tuesday that Rob Portman, the current U.S. trade representative, would take Bolten's former post of director of the Office of Management and Budget. (Full story)

Susan Schwab, Portman's deputy, is to take his place.

04-19-2006, 11:55 AM
Where did you get this, Dave?

04-19-2006, 12:01 PM
Where did you get this, Dave?


04-19-2006, 12:05 PM