WASHINGTON, Mar. 28
Insta-analysis from the vast majority of the Gang of 500 of Andy Card's departure and replacement as White House chief of staff by OMB heavy Joshua "Josh" Bolten:
-- A story about process, personality, and possible Bush weakness!!!! Let's GO!!!!
-- More changes are coming blah blah blah.
-- Bush caved to his critics, but not enough blah blah blah.
-- The President needs a gray-beard old hand with gravitas on Capitol Hill blah blah blah.
-- Andy Card was tired blah blah blah.
-- Sherman Adams blah blah blah.
-- Crank up the twin "Man in the New" pieces:
* Card: long hours, Bush loyalist, 9/11, Miers, Katrina, javelin catcher, impossible job, well-liked, low-key, "good man"
* Bolten: long hours, Bush loyalist, Bo Derek, motorcycle, banker, bachelor, impossible job, well-liked, low-key, "good man"
Second-blush analysis by the same group:
-- Bolten and Rove, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G, which is to say, they get along very well.
-- Not even a hint of a change in policy direction.
-- As smart as Bolten is, White House chief of staff is one of those jobs that you don't know if someone can do it until they do, no matter how much experience they have.
-- Who gets OMB?
-- John Podesta as Bill Clinton's chief of staff was plenty modern and quirky too, so let's not all overreact.
-- Stay tuned for more speculation from the "Bush caved" crowd sitting around tonight at the Cap. Grille.
Impervious to the views of the Gang, what they are saying in the White House:
-- President Bush and Andy Card could not care less what the "Bush caved" crowd thinks.
-- Some high-profile errors notwithstanding, Card quietly solved hundreds of problems a day that no one ever saw. He will be missed on that level.
-- But he will also be missed because he is without question one of the most beloved people to ever run a White House, thought of by his staff as one of the most selfless, kind-hearted and hard-working people in politics and government.
-- There is sincere hope that Josh Bolten, equally respected and admired by his colleagues, will help the team get back some of the mojo they need to turn around this ship of state.
-- Someone in the White House press office is going to have to be assigned to work full time on "Bolten: The Bachelor" profile pieces.
A House Republican leadership source tells The Note about Bolten: "It should be received very well....Bolten really worked with the Members this year and has their respect. We were wondering why he was spending so much time at the Members retreat in Maryland."
The Chattering Class, consumed through about 8 am ET this morning with immigration, will now be obsessed with White House personnel for at least a day.
In other meaningful news that will be treated as nearly meaningless in some quarters:
The Senate debates immigration reform at 9:45 am ET.
Sergio Bendixen, Sandy Close, Wade Henderson, and Dan Restrepo hold a press conference at 10:30 A.M. to discuss the findings of their poll of legal immigrants on immigration.