ABC News’ Ann Compton and Jennifer Parker report: With his hair gray and thinning, but his spirits good, Tony Snow relinquishes the White House press podium Wednesday.
There was a smattering of applause from Snow’s staff and a few visiting reporters in the rear of the room as the lanky press secretary took the podium for the last time.
"I love these briefings," he insisted, although this final encounter would drag on for nearly an hour, punctuated with some heated exchanges on whether the Iraq war is open-ended.
The outgoing White House press secretary said earlier today that he’s feeling better since chemotherapy for cancer has ended and he’s going on vacation with his wife and three kids before starting out on the lecture circuit to make some money.
President Bush announced Snow’s decision to resign from his job two weeks ago.
"I sadly accept his desire to leave the White House," Bush said on Aug. 31. "It’s been a joy to watch him spar with you. He’s smart, he’s capable, he’s witty … he’s able to talk about issues in a way that the American people can understand."
The president has chosen deputy White House press secretary Dana Perino to replace Snow.
Many reporters questioned whether Snow’s decision to leave had anything to do with his current battle with cancer but Snow said it was purely an economic decision.
The newsman-turned-Bush spokesman said he took a pay cut when he left a lucrative job as a host for Fox News for the White House press secretary job, and that the loans that he took to support his family have run out.
Snow survived colon cancer in 2005, but earlier this spring it returned to his liver.
He has been undergoing chemotherapy since doctors discovered the cancer in March.