Friday, March 30, 2007

Three senior White House aides leaving

The Wall Street Journal calls it "routine turnover," but the timing is interesting.

Peter Wehner, the head of strategic initiatives, and political director Sara Taylor are expected to be heading for the White House exits soon, according to a person familiar with the situation. Barry Jackson, a longtime aide to Karl Rove, also is thought to be leaving soon.

A WaPo profile of Wehner supports the idea that it's just routine. ""I've been here six years, and there was just the sense that it was time to go. We've been through a lot," Wehner said in an interview. "If you're not going to stay through to the end, you have to figure out when to get off the train."

But while that may be the underlying reason, the particular timing may be due to the fact that being in the Bush administration is just not much fun anymore.

Although none of those leaving says so publicly, it has been an especially exhausting presidency, one in which many on the inside have grown frustrated by the political and policy setbacks of Bush's second term. Some aides look to the remainder of the administration and see more gloomy times.

Barry Jackson has been a subject of scrutiny amid questions about White House officials' heavy use of outside e-mail accounts to conduct politically sensitive communications. And Sara Taylor had at least a guest star role in the prosecutor firings. One of her deputies, Scott Jennings, has a subpoena with his name on it awaiting the outcome of negotiations with the White House over whether and under what conditions he and five other senior aides will talk about the dismissals.

Meanwhile, over in La La Land, Alberto Gonzales again defended his conduct. Stating "I believe in truth and accountability," he said he had not resigned because he was "fighting for the truth."

Hmm. So it was in the service of truth that he lied to Congress? It was because he places truth on a cherished pedestal that he's had to revise his statements several times to account for inconvenient facts? It's because he holds truth (and accountability) dearer than life itself that he has refused to, in fact, be held accountable?

Got it.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think this presidency is any more exhausting than any other. It's typically the summer when people leave if they are going to. I recall one summer where almost the entire staff of President Clinton turned over.

Looks like more of the same: trying to make something out of nothing.

3/31/2007 5:26 PM  

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