November 17, 2004


A Hawk in Bush's Inner Circle Who Flies Under the Radar: Stephen J. Hadley, selected to be the next national security advisor, backs missile defense and is skeptical of arms control pacts. (Paul Richter, November 17, 2004, LA Times)

Because of Hadley's strong ties to Rice and to Vice President Dick Cheney, another former boss, his selection appeared to signal that Bush was looking to further consolidate foreign policy decisions in the hands of his inner circle. Friends and analysts predicted that the 57-year-old lawyer would help the president manage those choices, rather than try to accumulate influence for himself.

"He's very thorough, he's very careful … and I think he'll try to make the office work more efficiently," said Kenneth L. Adelman, a former official in the Reagan administration who knows Hadley well. "He isn't and wouldn't claim to be a strategist like [Henry] Kissinger."

Like others in Bush's inner circle, Hadley has demonstrated his loyalty. His most highly publicized appearance during Bush's first term came when he effectively took the blame for the president's mistaken claim in the 2003 State of the Union address that Iraq had sought to purchase uranium in Africa.

The assertion attracted controversy in July 2003, when it was disclosed that the Central Intelligence Agency had sent the White House two memos raising doubts about the uranium claim. Hadley appeared before reporters at the White House to say that he should have read the memos — and should have kept the erroneous 16 words out of Bush's speech.

"It is now clear to me that I failed in that responsibility," he said. Immediately afterward, Bush aides stressed that Hadley retained Bush's complete confidence and would stay on the job.

On Tuesday, as he announced the selection, Bush called Hadley a "man of wisdom and good judgment" who had "earned my trust."

Bush Nominates Spellings for Education Secretary (Michael Muskal, November 17, 2004, LA Times)
Margaret Spellings, another confidant from President Bush's days as governor of Texas, was nominated today to become secretary of Education. [...]

Spellings, 46, is responsible for the development and implementation of White House policy on education, health, labor, transportation, justice, housing and other elements of Bush's domestic agenda, according to her official biography. She has deliberately kept a very low profile.

She has been called "the most influential woman in Washington that you've never heard of," by Karl Rove, the president's political strategist.

Like some other recent nominations to Bush's second-term Cabinet, Spellings shares a past with Bush. She worked for six years for then-Gov. Bush as the senior advisor to develop education policy. She is credited with such state programs as the push to raise reading scores and with the Student Success Initiative, designed to eliminate social promotion.

Her work was the basis for Bush's No Child Left Behind program that Spellings helped put together from the White House. [...]

The White House also announced that Harriet Miers, the president's deputy chief of staff, will replace Gonzales as counsel. Miers was Bush's personal lawyer in Texas.

If you're going to require loyalty, as this President does, you do well to reward it, as this President does.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 17, 2004 1:27 PM

Gosh darn it, that "16 words" canard is back? It's quite clear that nothing that Bush said in that sentence has been found to be false. Sheesh, and the media wonders why their credibility is in the toilet.

Posted by: brian at November 17, 2004 1:50 PM


Thanks for the update. Facts and accusations fly by me so fast, I forget what has happened in the last 3 years so I took the article's accusation as true. Even at this late date I wish the President's PR machine (Rove, I guess) would make an effort at stamping out these sorts of remarks.

Posted by: h-man at November 17, 2004 2:45 PM

Mr. Judd: How about a contest to see who correctly picks the cabinet member who gets demonized to fill the vacuum Ashcroft leaving creates?

Posted by: Buttercup at November 17, 2004 4:51 PM


If he keeps appointing women, blacks, Latinos and combinations thereof they may be stumped. Luckily they've got Cheney for about another year.

Posted by: oj at November 17, 2004 5:50 PM

oj: What about Herman Cain? He's adamantly pro-life, though maybe he doesn't say "Jesus" enough to make the left think they can persuade enough people he's scary. He unquestionably deserves a national position.

Posted by: brian at November 17, 2004 7:04 PM


They should definitely find a high profile way to keep him in Republican politics. And Rove should be recruiting Harold Ford and Cory Booker.

Posted by: oj at November 17, 2004 8:03 PM

What is Cory Booker up to these days? I had forgotten about him in all the NJ miasma of late.

Posted by: jim hamlen at November 17, 2004 11:24 PM