November 29, 2004


President to overhaul economic team quickly: Aides said President Bush is seeking a more skilled economic team that can relate better to Congress and be more effective in dealing with financial markets. (MIKE ALLEN, 11/29/04, Washington Post)

The aides said the replacement of four of the five top economic officials -- including the Treasury and Commerce secretaries, with only budget director Joshua Bolten likely to remain -- is part of Bush's preparation for sending Congress an ambitious second-term domestic agenda.

Administration officials previously had signaled they would move gradually to replace the economic team, but the White House now is indicating it may move more quickly to convey a fresh start. Aides also indicated Bush is considering reaching beyond the kind of administration loyalists who will staff key national security posts in the second term.

Republican officials said Bush's economic team has been weaker than his national security advisors, and that the president believes he needs aides who can relate better to Congress and be more effective in dealing with financial markets and television interviewers. A more skilled team is essential, the aides said, because of the complex and politically challenging agenda of overhauling Social Security to add private investment accounts and simplifying the tax code. [...]

One senior administration official said Treasury Secretary John Snow has been invited to stay as long as he wants to, as long as it is not very long. Friends say Chief of Staff Andrew Card is one possibility to replace him. Bolten also could move over.

But Republican officials said Bush is also considering well-known officials from outside the administration, including New York Gov. George Pataki, a Republican. Conservatives are pushing for former Sen. Phil Gramm, a Republican from Texas.

Certainly hard to believe Andy Card plans to spend four more years at the grinding job of Chief of Staff.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 29, 2004 10:42 AM

Although a completely miserable existence, Chief of Staff to the President of the United States is in many ways my dream job. If any of you are ever elected, I would be delighted to serve, particularly if you are sufficiently great to be dismissed as a dunce.

Posted by: David Cohen at November 29, 2004 11:00 AM

I want to be press secretary.

Posted by: oj at November 29, 2004 11:06 AM

According to West Wing all of the admin jobs are noble. Leo appears to be the power behind the throne while CJ gets beat up by the press and her peers.

Commerce should be eliminated. Pataki named to cabinet doesn't bode well for the GOP retaining the NY governship or knocking off Hillary in '06. Gramm as Treasury Secretary could be good but I remember some decent arguments when he retired as to why he wouldn't do well in a cabinet position. And I agree with the article that Bush's economic team has appeared weaker than the foreign policy team.

Posted by: AWW at November 29, 2004 11:09 AM

The dream job is Fed Chairman. You get to make absolutely confusing, contradictory statements before Congress, the press, the President, etc and everyone treats you like a god.

Posted by: Bart at November 29, 2004 11:23 AM


Unless your name happens to be G. William Miller.

Posted by: jim hamlen at November 29, 2004 12:08 PM

But it was self-evident that he was arithmetically challenged once he ran out of fingers and toes.

Posted by: Bart at November 29, 2004 12:17 PM

Well, he probably understood economics better than Mr. Peanut (who should have know better, being a small businessman).

But I suspect Carter went into politics as revenge for not succeeding in the military.

Posted by: jim hamlen at November 29, 2004 11:04 PM