New Faces Abound in Bush White House

Nation's Cities Weekly, January 15, 2001 | Go to article overview

New Faces Abound in Bush White House


With the arrival of the Bush Administration, there will be all new faces at the White House and in most political positions within the federal agencies.

The President-elect is surrounding himself with an experienced senior White House staff made up of fiercely loyal friends and insiders from his six years as governor of Texas and others who served in his father's and the Reagan and Ford administrations.

Karl Rove, Bush's senior advisor Andrew Card, his chief of staff, and Karen Hughes, his senior counselor, will have equal power with specific assigned responsibilities. They are being referred to as the "White House troika of advisers." Karl Rove in a recent interview said that Card "will be the first among equals."

Card served as U.S. Secretary of Transportation and deputy White House chief of staff for President-elect Bush's father and as the director of the White House office of intergovernmental affairs under President Reagan. He will handle the business of governing and day-to-day operations.

Card has decided to shift the functions of the White House office of intergovernmental affairs, responsible for coordinating with state and local governments, to the policy office. Joshua Bolten will be in charge of intergovernmental affairs in this office as assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff for policy. Bolten served in the former Bush Administration as general counsel to the U.S. trade representative and as deputy assistant to the president for legislative affairs

Working under Andrew Card, Clay Johnson, one of President-elect Bush's most trusted aides throughout the Governor's Texas administrations, was first named director of the transition team, and subsequently has been appointed as assistant to the President for presidential personnel and deputy to the chief of staff. He will be in charge of the new administration's selection of more than 3,000 political appointees to fin key positions in federal agencies as well as ambassadorial slots.

Karen Hughes, named counselor to the President, served as director of communications for Governor Bush's presidential campaign. She has been charged with broad authority to create a public face for the new administration, and will oversee White House communications, scheduling, speechwriting and the press office, and will control where the president goes and what issues merit public appearances.

The third member of the troika, Karl Rove, has been Bush's top political strategist for years. AS senior advisor to the president, he will control strategic and political decision- making. He will be responsible for the White House offices of political affairs, public liaison, and a newly created office of strategic initiatives that will handle long-term planning.

Vice president-elect Richard Cheney is expected to have unprecedented power within the new administration and may override the power centers under Card, Hughes and Rove.

Other newly appointed White House staff include: Alberto Gonzales, White House counsel, who was a justice with the Texas Supreme Court, Texas secretary of state and worked as general counsel to Gov. Bush; Nicholas Calio, assistant to the president for legislative affairs, who held the same job in the senior Bush's White House; and Lawrence Lindsey, assistant to the president for economic policy, a former member of the Federal Reserve Board. Lindsey also served in the former Bush administration as a policy advisor to the president.

The Bush Cabinet

For his closest cabinet advisors, George W. Bush has selected one very close friend and other individuals with experience in past Republican administrations (Bush, Reagan and Ford). His four closest advisors have extensive private and public sector managerial expertise.

His close friend and advisor, Don Evans, CEO of a large independent energy company, has been nominated for the position of Secretary of Commerce. …

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