April 21, 2006


Bush Counsel May Be Next in Shake-Up (ELISABETH BUMILLER and JIM RUTENBERG, 4/21/06, NY Times)

[R]epublicans said that Tony Snow, a commentator for Fox News and a former speechwriter for Mr. Bush's father, was in negotiations for the job of White House press secretary. Mr. Snow would replace Scott McClellan, who announced Wednesday that he was resigning. [...]

Republicans close to the White House said Mr. Bush was the driver of the changes made so far, including the decision to ask Mr. Rove to focus primarily on the midterm elections.

"This is not Josh, this is Bush," said the Republican close to Mr. Bolten. "Bush is very good at using other people as a vehicle to get things done."

Republicans said Mr. Bolten has been focused on finding a new White House press secretary with good contacts in the Washington news media and a deep understanding of how they work. [...]

Associates of Mr. Snow, 50, said he has been weighing whether he and his family are up for the rigors of such a demanding job.

Mr. Snow had surgery for colon cancer last year and is awaiting an clearance from doctors before making a deal, according to people with knowledge of his deliberations who spoke on condition of anonymity because they did not want to upset private discussions at a sensitive time.

Mr. Snow's deliberations played out on Fox News on Thursday night, when be acknowledged the downside of the job. "You get a massive cut in pay," he said, adding that a press secretary can get treated "like a piƱata," and that the job would cut into time with his children.

On the plus side, he said, "You become part of something that's very rare, which is an inner White House circle."

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 21, 2006 2:16 PM

Tony's developed a nice edge since his surgery. I hope his docs ok the gig.

Posted by: ghostcat at April 21, 2006 5:37 PM

Wow--this would be the closest Bush has come to admitting a mistake. Tony's been ripping the Bush team since '04 for not being more agressive and talking more. It would be a 180-degree turn from the current press secretary strategy, which is just to repeat the party line over and over again. I kind of like it, because it treats the press corps as if they're irrelevant (yup), but having a nice, fiery-yet-polite true conservative up there woudl be more entertaining, which can only help Bush.

I would be a big, big fan of this.

Posted by: Timothy at April 21, 2006 6:06 PM

Tim, Are you sure Tony is a true conservative?

He's been around Washington for a long time and is friends with people like Sid Blumenthal, whom he defended during the Clinton Grand Jury flap.

Snow is handsome, polite and well-informed, but the press secretary shouldn't be a star and the story shouldn't be about him. He's there to tell the White House version of the news, not his own analysis.

I think Scott was a very good press secretary and his very blandness defanged the attack dogs in the White House press corps very deftly.

Like everyone else, I'd love to see someone like Ann Coulter draw and quarter the arrogant vultures of the fourth estate and hang the pieces out for the avian vultures to snack on, but that would be childish and would set the president's causes back even further.

Posted by: erp at April 21, 2006 6:26 PM

I'm more sure of Snow's conservative credibility than Coulter's.

Posted by: Timothy at April 22, 2006 2:40 AM

I was conparing Coulter and Snow's public personas, not their conservatism.

Posted by: erp at April 22, 2006 11:01 AM

I will say that Ann Coulter, at times, does leave you with the impression that her conservatism is but a mere part of the schtick. Her latest book that is coming out is but another example of that.

Tony Snow, however, just about assures you of his conservative "street cred" every time he speaks. Though I still think he'd be taking a pay and status cut if he took this gig, OJ:)

Posted by: Brad S at April 22, 2006 1:50 PM