Not Quite What We Had in Mind
from the NY Times.
Published: March 29, 2006
For months now, people have been urging President Bush to shake up his inner circle and bring in fresh air. Perhaps in response, the White House chief of staff, Andrew Card Jr., resigned yesterday. Mr. Bush opened the window — and in climbed his budget director, Joshua Bolten, who used to be Mr. Card's deputy.
If this is what passes for a shake-up in this administration, the next two and a half years are going to be grim indeed. This is a meaningless change, and it simply sends the message that Mr. Bush lacks the gumption to trade in anyone in the comforting, friendly cast of characters who have kept him cocooned since his first inauguration.
It's hard to figure out what unmet need this change is supposed to fill. There's been a lot of talk about how exhausted the original Bush team is. But Mr. Bolten ought to be as pooped as everybody else. It takes just as much energy to put together an out-of-whack, fiscally ruinous budget as it does to mess up an invasion or ignore a cataclysmic hurricane.
Mr. Bolten has been giving the president advice for years, and the result has been a deficit estimated at $371 billion. Perhaps he'll come up with a better approach in his new job. We've heard that under Mr. Card's watch, aides wound up showing Mr. Bush videos of TV news coverage of Hurricane Katrina to convince their boss that it really was a problem. Maybe Mr. Bolten can start the next budget discussion with some audiovisual aids — like an abacus.