After the recent resignation of Karl Rove, media outlets speculated on what the rest of President Bush’s term will look like without “the Architect.” The President is “fighting lame duck status,” reported the AP. In response, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow shot back: “As the president has said many times, he’s going to sprint to the tape.”
But even Tony Snow doesn’t want to be around for that sprint. In an interview with the conservative Hugh Hewitt show, Snow signaled that he will not stay until the end of the term. He also mentioned that there are “probably a couple” of other high-level resignations “coming up in the next month or so.”
HEWITT: Are there any other resignations upcoming, Tony Snow?
SNOW: I think that probably…as Josh said the other day, he thinks there are probably a couple coming up in the next month or so. [...]
HEWITT: Your intention to go the distance, Tony Snow?
SNOW: No, I’m not going to be…I’ve already made it clear I’m not going to be able to go the distance, but that’s primarily for financial reasons. I’ve told people when my money runs out, then I’ve got to go.
Snow’s upcoming departure makes him one of a bevy of top administration officials who, since November, have left their posts. ThinkProgress has compiled a list of some of the key resignations:
- White House Senior Political Adviser Karl Rove
- White House Counselor Dan Bartlett
- White House Budget Director Rob Portman
- White House Counsel Harriet Miers
- White House Political Director Sara Taylor
- White House Director of Strategic Initiatives Pete Wehner
- White House Deputy National Security Adviser J.D. Crouch
- Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty
- Acting Associate Attorney General William Mercer
- Justice Department White House liaison Monica Goodling
- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
- Army Secretary Francis Harvey
- Joint Chief of Staffs Chairman Peter Pace
- Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson
- U.N. Ambassador John Bolton
- USAID Director Randall Tobias
With so many key staff departures, the AP reports that “Bush has decided he might get more done in his final months by going it alone,” making increased use of executive orders and veto power.
UPDATE: Former Clinton chief of staff John Podesta writes on this subject. From this morning’s Washington Post: “Did the edict from White House chief of staff Josh Bolten that anyone still working by Labor Day was expected to stay until the end really influence Rove’s decision to leave? That’s an edict I did not and would not issue, because I assumed that the people who gave 110 percent every day wanted to be there to make a difference, not because of obligation.”