President's Chief of Staff Resigns

Andrew Card, President Bush's chief of staff, is resigning. He reportedly will be replaced by Josh Bolten, who now serves as director of the Office of Management and Budget.


We have news this morning on a shakeup at the White House. President Bush's chief of staff, Andrew Card, has resigned. President Bush is expected to speak in just a few minutes about that. NPR White House correspondent Don Gonyea joins me now. And Don, this is a pretty surprising announcement, isn't it?

DON GONYEA reporting:

It's a surprise that it is coming today. It's not such a huge surprise that now that we hear someone is finally leaving the White House staff, the president's inner circle, that it is Andy Card. As you know, there have been calls from members of Congress, and from, you know, columnists and others out there saying that what this White House needs is a shakeup, is some new blood. And much of that speculation was on Andy Card leaving.

MONTAGNE: Refresh us about Andy Card and role that he has played in this administration with the president.

GONYEA: Well, Andy Card is an old Washington hand. He served in Mr. Bush's father's administration. He is a former transportation secretary. He started working for this president before he was president. He managed the convention, and was a key player during the transition to office back in 2000, and he has really been seen as a steady hand, a guy who works long hours and has really had the credibility of the rest of the staff to avoid infighting and backbiting, and all sorts of things like that that often plague a presidency. So, he gets a lot of credit for that. I can also tell you that he has served in this job for so long, I think only Dwight D. Eisenhower's chief of staff, Sherman Adams, had served longer in the position.

And it's, you know, traditionally, a very grueling position, so it is pretty astounding that he's been keeping these hours and riding herd as he has for so long.

MONTAGNE: Right, and who is expected to replace him?

GONYEA: Joshua Bolton is going to replace him. This is not the outsider that a lot of people have been calling for. Joshua Bolton is currently the director of the office of management and budget. He's been in that job since 2003. Prior to that, he was Any Card's deputy chief of staff at the White House. So, they are bringing another insider in, somebody who everybody in the White House knows already.

MONTAGNE: And for those who have been calling on the president to bring in new leadership, is this what they were looking for?

GONYEA: Well, it's not the president's core that's being shaken up. It's not guys like Karl Rove or Dan Bartlett, so it remains to be seen if they'll be satisfied. It is also still possible that more new blood could be coming in from the outside. You know, a Washington gray beard, as it's been described, to kind of help get a handle on things at a very troubled White House, now.

MONTAGNE: Thank you very much, Don.

GONYEA: My pleasure.

MONTAGNE: That's NPR White House correspondent Don Gonyea.

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