Card Resigns as Chief of Staff; Bolten Picked as Replacement

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), March 29, 2006 | Go to article overview

Card Resigns as Chief of Staff; Bolten Picked as Replacement


Byline: Joseph Curl, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

President Bush yesterday announced the resignation of his chief of staff, Andrew H. Card Jr., who had served in the White House's most demanding staff position for more than five years - the second longest run in presidential history.

Mr. Bush appointed another longtime White House staffer, Joshua B. Bolten, 51, to fill the position. Mr. Bolten is the director of the Office of Management and Budget and a former deputy chief of staff under Mr. Card.

In an early morning televised announcement from the Oval Office, Mr. Bush said Mr. Card had come to him "and raised the possibility of stepping down."

"He thought it might be time to return to private life," Mr. Bush said, adding that he decided to accept Mr. Card's resignation after a weekend stay at Camp David, the presidential retreat, with his longtime aide and confidant.

"I have relied on Andy's wise counsel, his calm in crisis, his absolute integrity and his tireless commitment to public service," said Mr. Bush, who is known for prizing loyalty.

"The next three years will demand much of those who serve our country. We have a global war to fight and win."

Mr. Card, 58, stood stiffly with his hands by his sides as Mr. Bush praised his years of service through the September 11 attacks, two wars and a string of crises and legislative challenges. In brief comments, Mr. Card quoted the Bible, saying the time has come "for a new season."

Gripping the podium, Mr. Card, his eyes welling, said in his farewell: "You're a good man, Mr. President, and you do great things."

"Working in the White House is a tremendous privilege. It's almost beyond description, the great privilege it is to work at the White House. But it is even a greater honor to serve as the president's chief of staff, especially to you, Mr. President," Mr. Card said.

"Mr. President, as a chief of staff, I know I was a staffer, and now I look forward to being your friend."

Mr. Card's exit came amid calls from Republicans for a White House shake-up. Many conservatives have been angered by what they see as the "tin ear" of the administration in recent months, pointing to the Supreme Court nomination of White House counsel Harriet Miers, quickly derailed by conservatives, and the backing of an Arab company's bid to operate terminals at six U.S. ports.

Democrats seized on the ports deal as proof that Mr. Bush has gone soft on security. The company dropped its bid because of the opposition.

But a senior White House official said Mr. Card's resignation - and the president's decision to accept it - had nothing to do with the Republican clamor for change. …

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Card Resigns as Chief of Staff; Bolten Picked as Replacement
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