The shake-up that wasn’t

April 20, 2006 | By | Reply More

The Whitehouse yesterday announced the “resignation” of press secretary Scott McClellan and the reassignment of political advisor Karl Rove, and the news today has been obligingly calling it a “shake-up.”  This writer sees things differently.  First, whether or not McClellan left voluntarily (the reports are conflicting), what better way for the Whitehouse to create the appearance of a shake-up, without actually having one, than by changing press secretaries?  McClellan had no political or policymaking role, but he was the most visible person in the Whitehouse other than Bush himself.  Thus, his departure provides the biggest possible bang-for-the-buck:  maximum public show with minimal internal impact.

Rove’s reassignment is also easy to understand.  Rove’s role is being shifted away from policy-making roles (which have included such failures as Medicare reform, immigration reform, Katrina response, etc.) and back onto what Rove does best:  political strategy.  With Bush’s poll numbers in the toilet and his political agenda dying on the vine, with Tom DeLay and other Congressional Republicans being indicted, and with midterm elections right around the corner, is it any surprise the see Bush’s Brain focusing on political strategy?

The take-away message here isn’t about McClellan or Rove, it’s about paying attention to how the Whitehouse (and the MSM) classifies Bush’s actions:  the more the sound, the less the fury.  Another ‘mission accomplished.’

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Category: Politics

About the Author ()

Grumpypilgrim is a writer and management consultant living in Madison, WI. He has several scientific degrees, including a recent master’s degree from MIT. He has also held several professional career positions, none of which has been in a field in which he ever took a university course. Grumps is an avid cyclist and, for many years now, has traveled more annual miles by bicycle than by car…and he wishes more people (for the health of both themselves and our planet) would do the same. Grumps is an enthusiastic advocate of life-long learning, healthy living and political awareness. He is single, and provides a loving home for abused and abandoned bicycles. Grumpy’s email: grumpypilgrim(AT)@gmail(DOT).com [Erich’s note: Grumpy asked that his email be encrypted this way to deter spam. If you want to write to him, drop out the parentheticals in the above address].

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