Exit Card, Rove Flips?
March 28, 2006 6:39 AM   Subscribe

Intrigues at the White House: Andrew Card, Bush's longtime chief of staff -- the guy who briefly interrupted the President's reading of The Pet Goat one rough morning in 2001 and took heat for the Katrina and Dubai debacles -- is out, replaced by budget director "Yosh" Bolten, the one-time founder of a club called "Bikers for Bush." Meanwhile, is Rove rolling over for Patrick Fitzgerald, and if so, what's the angle?
posted by digaman (61 comments total)
Yes, I thought it was "My Pet Goat" too. Who knew?
posted by digaman at 6:43 AM on March 28, 2006

Certainly the press will give props to Bush for his decisiveness (because of or despite - take your pick - his recent pronouncement that there would be no changes to his team) and call this as a bold new direction for the Bush administration. In the short and medium term, however, I doubt it will earn him more than a couple of points in approval rating.

Boy the picture of Rove, gasp. He certainly is an ugly motherfucker, isn't he? He is more or less the physical embodiment of his soul.
posted by psmealey at 6:45 AM on March 28, 2006

And "Yosh" Bolten is a darned good bowler to boot!
posted by digaman at 6:45 AM on March 28, 2006

He certainly is an ugly motherfucker, isn't he?

He'd still beat Cheney in the swimsuit contest.
posted by digaman at 6:47 AM on March 28, 2006

separated at birth.
posted by crunchland at 6:50 AM on March 28, 2006

On Bolten, from the "bowler" profile:

"He's soft-spoken but very clear thinking," said Karl Rove, Bush's chief political adviser. "I love him in an entirely appropriate way."

Oh, behave, Karl!
posted by digaman at 6:50 AM on March 28, 2006

"Mr. Bush today praised Mr. Card, citing 'legislative achievements from education to Medicare,'"

He keeps using that word achievement, but I don't think it means what he thinks it means.
posted by OmieWise at 6:55 AM on March 28, 2006

Was Card undone by the wrath of Bush's most longtime adviser?
posted by digaman at 6:55 AM on March 28, 2006

"What's the angle?"

Rove is trying to stay out of prison and he's willing to screw anyone over to make that happen.
posted by bshort at 6:56 AM on March 28, 2006

"I love him in an entirely appropriate way."

That's hilarious! Good thing he qualified it!
posted by sonofsamiam at 6:58 AM on March 28, 2006

...the one-time founder of a club called "Bikers for Bush."

Was he supposed to have founded it a few more times for good measure?

In all seriousness I fail to see anything intriguing about the situation. Anything that may be shuffled about will be purely cosmetic. I find the medias' fascination with this issue to be absolutely inane. They talk about them like it's a sports team, he needs to "change his lineup", there's "fatigue in the whitehouse", they "need some new blood". Who pays these people to write this shit?
posted by prostyle at 7:00 AM on March 28, 2006

But is he "screwing" Cheney? That seems unlikely to me.

The Washington Note adds confirmation to the "Rove sings" report on RawStory.
posted by digaman at 7:01 AM on March 28, 2006

I pay myself in invisible donuts to write this shit, prostyle. My use of the word "intrigue" was much more about Rove. You make a good point.
posted by digaman at 7:03 AM on March 28, 2006

When times get tough on the pirate ship it becomes every man for himself. It's the Dick Cheney - Karl Rove death match, almost as much fun as if they were doing battle in a steel cage.
posted by caddis at 7:08 AM on March 28, 2006

From a 2001 BusinessWeek profile of Bolten called "Bush's Stealth Missile":
That's why it's so easy to underestimate the power Bolten wields. Among his responsibilities, Bolten coordinates all Administration policy initiatives, closes deals on Capitol Hill, and since September 11, chairs a new, high-level committee. He has played a pivotal role in issues ranging from anti-terrorism legislation to health-care policy...When Bush faced imminent defeat in the battle over a patients' bill of rights this summer, Bolten turned up the heat on Charlie Norwood (R-Ga.), the House's point man on the issue. After Norwood finally agreed to a deal acceptable to Bush, Bolten marched him into the White House briefing room to announce the compromise--before Norwood's erstwhile allies could try to talk him out of it. One senior Republican aide says Bolten's "extremely tough" tactics could cost Bush over time. "Bolten sacrificed an ally to make sure the President didn't have a [political] loss," the staffer says.

In many ways, the man dubbed "Yosh" by the President is a study in contradictions. He went to the same tony Washington prep school as former Vice-President Al Gore but drives to the White House in an old pickup. He has an Ivy League look yet played lead guitar in a high school rock band. And he's the soft-spoken single guy who turned heads in Bushland by hanging out with Bo Derek at the Republican National Convention.

posted by digaman at 7:12 AM on March 28, 2006

OmnieWise: Please tell me you've started a Princess Bride-related undercurrent to this whole story.
posted by Captaintripps at 7:13 AM on March 28, 2006

*"The President's Stealth Missile," rather.
posted by digaman at 7:13 AM on March 28, 2006

In following current White House protocol there should be indictments in a month on Card.

What does Rove consider "entirely appropriate", Jeff Gannon style perhaps?

Word is that James Baker got the call last week to, once again, clean up a Bush's mess. Some missions are doomed to failure Mr. Baker, don't take the job.
posted by nofundy at 7:14 AM on March 28, 2006

And from the conservative Insight Magazine (Washington Times) --

GOP revolt: White House told Rove is out of touch
An increasing number of House Republican members are urging President Bush to keep Karl Rove out of the driver's seat in the 2006 congressional campaign. GOP sources said House members have argued that Mr. Rove, White House deputy chief of staff and powerful Bush political adviser, is hampering what they believe could represent a comeback effort to retain control of Congress....'There's been increasingly greater ego and less substance in this man,' a senior GOP source said. 'He's caused so much needless friction between the president and Congress.'"
posted by ericb at 7:25 AM on March 28, 2006

Will the new Chief of Staff usher in a new era of White House transparency?

Bet the farm against it.
posted by digaman at 7:29 AM on March 28, 2006

Old grandmother had saying from Lithuania: when you are losing game, change rules....Bush, always one to stand by his pals, at long last has been forced to reshuffle the deck and hope for better hand.
posted by Postroad at 7:29 AM on March 28, 2006

they had been saying for ages that Card and Rove did not agree on anything. Bush is circling his wagons again, i'm thinking.
posted by amberglow at 7:32 AM on March 28, 2006

As Enron Corp. slid toward a bankruptcy filing, the White House's top economic, policy and communications officials mobilized to minimize the damage to financial markets and to the Bush administration, according to new disclosures to Congress.

In the days before Enron filed the largest bankruptcy case in history, Karen P. Hughes, Bush's counselor, talked to press secretaries throughout the executive branch about how to handle news media calls about the company. Weeks before that, Deputy Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten had spoken to an assistant treasury secretary about how Enron's failure could affect the energy and financial markets... Portions of the chronology document the deep ties between the Bush administration and Enron, including three phone conversations between former Enron chairman Kenneth L. Lay and Bush's senior adviser, Karl Rove... White House Counsel Alberto R. Gonzales says in a letter accompanying the chronology that he has identified no case in which Enron approached anyone in the White House "seeking help in connection with its financial difficulties prior to bankruptcy." He says the communications in the chronology "reflect only appropriate and responsible actions by government officials."

Oh, that Alberto Gonzales. So helpful, and always popping up at just the right moment! I wonder what his nickname is?
posted by digaman at 7:37 AM on March 28, 2006

Don't discount the possibility that Card's resignation is related to Rove's moves with Fitzgerald. The timing could be much more than coincidence. If the emails that burn Cheney also burn Card all of this is being done to prevent the trail leading to the President himself. Installing a new Chief of Staff now, before such revelations (should they come) could be an attempt at building a firewall between the Plame scandal and the President himself.
posted by spock at 7:48 AM on March 28, 2006

What you said, wise Mr. Spock. And that's why I posted them together.
posted by digaman at 7:56 AM on March 28, 2006

I liked the local news angle "This is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic".


And I hope Karl Rove can't sleep because he's so scared of his pasty white soft fat ass being sent to prison.

As we get closer to the midterm elections, more of the rats will start to scurry for dry land to escape the Bushtanic and its deadly suction to the bottom.
posted by fenriq at 8:02 AM on March 28, 2006

I don't have a hard time believing that Rove has been collecting ways to burn almost anybody that he has to, in order to protect his agenda/President. But I also have a hard time believing that Cheney is not similarly good at that game. Either Rove is better at the game, or he has more to fear from the Special Prosecutor than he does from Cheney's machinations (or both?).
posted by spock at 8:18 AM on March 28, 2006

Must be part of their three pronged strategy to increase their approval rating:

1. Shakeup the team, "get some new blood in", "gear up for the last mile" by replacing Card.
2. Give Crazy Zack Moussaoui the floor to bestoy upon us his "ripped from the headlines" onmibus admission of guilt -- even though it sounds completely bogus, like he's angling for lethal injection -- in conspiring with 911 hi-jackers to give the FBI a win in terms of prosecuting the War on Terror.
3. Play an oldie but a goodie: Release a lack of terror readiness report to scare the shit out of people.

On the other hand, maybe Card quit because the Administration is about to do something so stupid and outlandish that even he won't go along with it.
posted by psmealey at 8:24 AM on March 28, 2006

I don't understand the Moussaoui thing at all. How did they not know he was so intimately tied to Richard Reid?
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:28 AM on March 28, 2006

Andy Card is a very distant cousin of mine and ever since I found out we're related I've been praying that he'd come to the light. We have a very famous mutual ancestor who I like to think would be pleased with this turn of events.
posted by Biblio at 8:31 AM on March 28, 2006

The again, Dan Quayle is also a distant cousin, so maybe that ancestor had some sort of Republican gene. Explains why I occaisionally feel the urge to dress up in a red white and blue track suit a la Jean Schmidt.
posted by Biblio at 8:33 AM on March 28, 2006

I just found out Biblio is a distant cousin of mine. His relationship to Andy Card and Dan Quayle are through marriage and neither is related to me.

Still, my cuz Biblio and I are looking into sharing a 69 Dodge Charger in orange with a Civil War motif.
posted by DragonBoy at 8:47 AM on March 28, 2006

The again, Dan Quayle is also a distant cousin, so maybe that ancestor had some sort of Republican gene.

Or perhaps it shows that money/politics and privilage are tied together?
posted by rough ashlar at 8:47 AM on March 28, 2006

I don't understand the Moussaoui thing at all. How did they not know he was so intimately tied to Richard Reid?

He wasn't. The guy's a nut with a death wish, and his latest confession is made-up crap that contradicts not only his original confession, but the torture-enhanced testimony of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. Reid wasn't even in the country, and his shoenabomber attempt was two months after September 11. Notice that Moussaoui doesn't name any of his supposed co-conspirators except the guy whose name has been all over the media for years.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:51 AM on March 28, 2006

Yo Dragon, I'd love to be your cuz, but a) I'm a she and b) I got the paperwork to prove I'm a member of this erm, prestigious, bloodline. The stars'n'bars aren't really our style. More of a small spring flower, if you know what I mean.

To redeem this totally derailling comment, let me just say that I can only hope Rove's "appropriate love" has led to pillow talk over the years that will bring him down. Yes, Jeff Gannon, I'm looking at you!
posted by Biblio at 8:53 AM on March 28, 2006

Appropriate Love would be a great name for a band. Maybe Karl Rove and Appropriate Love.

The songs could be about loving your brother but not in the Santorum-producing kind of way. And about externalizing your self loathing into a lucrative though completely amoral career.
posted by fenriq at 8:58 AM on March 28, 2006

"The Adventures of Biblio and DragonBoy; Rip-tearing across the countryside, solving problems with their mutual ancestors' instincts, and some good-ole'-boy common sence."

I'd watch it.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 9:02 AM on March 28, 2006

Two words: Jeff Gannon. Defend marriage.
posted by digaman at 9:03 AM on March 28, 2006

Wikipedia says Card was "not... politically controversial..." but before getting the White House gig he was Chief Executive Officer of the American Automobile Manufacturers Association (AAMA) comprised of Chrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation. Also, he was General Motors' Vice President of Government Relations. In other words, Card was a lobbyist of the highest order. Talk about the fox guarding the henhouse...

It's reminiscent of Cheney's secret energy task force meetings where he invited the heads of utility companies, oil, gas, coal and nuclear energy industries to set US's energy policy, except Card was there at every meeting on every topic, making sure that GM's interests were suitably protected. Card was to automakers what Cheney is to Halliburton.
posted by wsg at 9:11 AM on March 28, 2006

To Americans the worst quality a Presidential administration may possess is not corruption, underhandedness, or even incompetentence, (qualities this admin has manifested in hair curling boatloads) . No, the worst quality a Presidential administration may possess is that of being boring. Bush needs to be impeached for being boring and by boring I mean predictable and lack of imagination. It's almost like he wants to go down as the worst president ever. So let's see what happens next, Card gets indicted by Fitzgerald, Cheney comes under even greater scrutiny and retires due to "health". He get's indicted and sings against Rove. Rove "resigns". In a desperate act Rummy is removed (being hailed an American hero and all the utter CRAP) and Leiberman (like a fool) will step in as Sec. of Defense (so the Democrats can be blamed when come the 2008 election Iraq is still a great big bloody festering pus wound) even though I'm positivea big chunk of the troops will be removed this year as even more ALL OUT WAR gets declared on the media by the WH as an excuse for the mess. The Democratically controlled congress voted in this year will finally censure Bush and begin impeachment proceedings. But nothing will happen. A Democrat will be elected president and Bush will live the rest of his life being "decent" and "charming" haunted by none of his mistakes and trying to capture the Reaganesque type legend he is desperate for. War crimes charges or charges of gross incompetence will never happen right? Right. Well that's it then. I'm done with these people and following their assinine movements. I'm going back to my life now. This is the last you'll hear of me on them ever again. I mean it. Really, no joke. I'm serious as can be. \rant

Except if Rove goes down, I will do a cartwheel and scream triumphantly until my vocal cords are shredded and bloody.
posted by Skygazer at 9:17 AM on March 28, 2006

Hey, come on now wsg, what's good for General Motors is good for the REST of America!
posted by 235w103 at 9:17 AM on March 28, 2006

Anyone who talks about law school like this guy does and comparing its worth to "how much law we learned" is an idiot. Law school's a dubious educational investment (versus how long takes) to begin with and to measure it by "law learned" instead of ability to interpret and apply the law just tells me he is a fool. He'll make a great manager.
posted by skepticallypleased at 9:53 AM on March 28, 2006

Except if Rove goes down, I will do a cartwheel and scream triumphantly until my vocal cords are shredded and bloody.

Heh, that made me think of this.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 9:54 AM on March 28, 2006

A few months ago, the buzz was that Andrew Card was pressing for the Secretariat of the Treasury, and was likely to get it. I wonder if we can expect to see John Snow resign next.
posted by Tullius at 10:05 AM on March 28, 2006

Secretariat of the Treasury
"I'm gonna nominate my horse to the senate!"
posted by bigbigdog at 10:46 AM on March 28, 2006

shnoz, that's funny!
posted by darkstar at 10:49 AM on March 28, 2006

deck chairs = best metaphor.

/print it.
posted by wah at 11:13 AM on March 28, 2006

schoz-goblin...my illustrious ancestor knew how to make barrels which wouldn't solve many problems, I'm afraid, unless I need to start clothing the poor, cartoon-style or give flooded-out folks something to float in, Hobbit-style. I assume DragonBoy brings the good-ol-boy common sense, since I'm a New England WASP. Maybe this is more of an Odd Couple thing?

On Topic: We have Secretariats now? What's next? Chancellor of the Exchequ'er?
posted by Biblio at 11:51 AM on March 28, 2006

nofundy noticed this thread and experienced an instant erection.
posted by The Jesse Helms

So Mr. ugly North Carolina racist tobacco worm excuse for a person, would that have been a penis or clitoris erection? How much you know about me!! Give Karl a kiss for me and then tell me how Gannon's genatalia residue tastes in Karl's mouth, OK?

My apologies to everyone else for this response.
posted by nofundy at 12:20 PM on March 28, 2006

Yeah, that's what D.O.H. was always missing. The odd couple effect in the front seat. I do, however, believe that you would be able to use your personal talents where the barrel making heritage and the down-home sensability lacked.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 12:53 PM on March 28, 2006

Newsweek: Why Card left, what's next?
posted by ericb at 12:55 PM on March 28, 2006

According to Newsweek Yosh was the president's chief economic advisor?!?! Where was he qualified to do that?

Well, it's not hard to figure out why we deficit spend and talk cut during a $1.5billion/week war.

I'm a Democrat but I'm pretty sure Mcain will win in 2008. I can't wait.
posted by skepticallypleased at 2:12 PM on March 28, 2006

Card is probably most famous as the guy who told President Bush that America was under attack on September 11. If only he'd added, "...And you need to get off your ass and do something about it."

Maybe he lost his battle with Rove. Who will get the cheeseburgers now?
"Go get me Andy Card," Bush said to one of the Secret Service agents. Card, the designee as chief of staff, entered from an adjoining room...Bush looked impatiently at Card, hard-eyed. "You're the chief of staff. You think you're up to getting us some cheeseburgers?"
posted by kirkaracha at 3:13 PM on March 28, 2006

Biblio: We have Secretariats now?

Yeah, as 'secretariat' is defined as the office of secretary. But I'm all for a horse-Senator.
posted by Tullius at 4:36 PM on March 28, 2006

McCain, SchMcCain:

"'I think the biggest mistake we could make is having a calendar dictate the troop strengths over there," [McCain] said to reporters at the White House, echoing President George W. Bush's repeated assertion. "I am confident that we can, and will, and must win because the consequences of failure are catastrophic.'"

I had considerable respect for the man before he started kissing Bush's ass and mouthing the same empty rhetoric. But at least he's not a deer-in-the-headlights ninny trying to look like a grownup in a suit.
posted by digaman at 5:13 PM on March 28, 2006

and tons of code words for "big fag" in the news coverage already about Bolten. Wonkette: Decoding the Note: Give ‘Em Another Day, They Need Time to Bring the Smarm
posted by amberglow at 8:26 PM on March 28, 2006

amberglow: and tons of code words for "big fag" in the news coverage already about Bolten. Wonkette: Decoding the Note: Give ‘Em Another Day, They Need Time to Bring the Smarm

You know, the "confirmed bachelor squiring Bo Derek" thing *was* a bit of a give-away.
posted by dejah420 at 10:22 PM on March 28, 2006

yup--totally. I wonder if David Dreier also squires Bo around? And Melhman? Cunningham? Graham? etc ; >
posted by amberglow at 2:22 AM on March 29, 2006

Slate : "[Bush] has also defined 'the bolten' as a new unit of Washington measurement. It is the smallest staff change possible short of doing nothing at all."
posted by crunchland at 10:23 AM on March 29, 2006

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