WASHINGTON, Mar. 29
Dictionary.com defines "shake-up" (even without any adjective such as "major" or "huge") as "A thorough, often drastic reorganization, as of the personnel in a business or government...the act of imposing a new organization; organizing differently (often involving extensive and drastic changes)."
Television coverage of Josh Bolten's planned elevation to the job of White House chief of staff tended to use the phrase "shake-up," while many of the newspaper ledes, editorial writers, and Senator Lott seemed to see less than that. But the fruits of the overnight labor of 750 redeployed Googling monkeys contain these must-read gems:
The New York Times Rick Berke reports "Republican sources close to the White House say Mr. Card's replacement by Mr. Bolten is just the beginning. In the coming days, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld will be fired, and replaced by former Colorado Senator Gary Hart, a Democrat. In addition, Mr. Bush will further reach out to the opposition by replacing his Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael O. Leavitt with California Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a long-time critic." LINK
The Washington Post's Ed Walsh has this: "White House aides say that on Thursday, Bush has invited the congressional leadership of both parties to a Rose Garden event at which he will announce a budget summit to commence on April 1 at the officers club at Andrews Air Force Base at which 'everything will be on the table' to reduce the deficit, according to sources who asked not to be named because they were not authorized to speak about the announcement. Asked if 'everything' included possible tax increases, one Administration official said, 'Bush gets it now. He knows in his heart that taxes must be raised -- it's just a question of how much.'" LINK
Newsday's Susan Page says, "It was at a Georgetown dinner party that Mr. Bush secretly attended last week where he realized that a major shake-up was required. Guests, including the president, stayed up late into the night swapping Capitol Hill gossip and talking about the 2008 presidential campaign and the Sidwell Friends admissions process." LINK
Evans and Novak report, "Knowledgeable Republicans say that Mr. Rove will no longer play a role in policy decisions, but will simply coordinate the president's fall travel schedule on behalf of congressional candidates, primarily in the South, the only region in which Bush retains any of his popularity." LINK
Dana Hill of ABC News writes, "Mr. Bush's new spokesman will be Mike McCurry, who performed the same job for President Clinton and is close to White Houses Communications Director Nicolle Wallace." LINK
And the Wall Street Journal's Al Hunt scoops this, "Bush has told friends that Bolten's first assignment will be to come up with an exit strategy for getting 80% of American troops out of Iraq by September 1." LINK
The major shake-up and its changes come just in time for the White House, since House and Senate Democrats target what they call President Bush's "dangerous incompetence" on security issues while proposing what they call a "tough and smart" alternative at a 1:00 pm ET press conference at Union Station in Washington, DC.