More names in the rumor mill; more Bushies heading for the de-luxe apartment in the sky:
- For the not-yet-vacant Secretary of Health and Human Services, Mark McClellan, former White House health and economics adviser. And yes, that name does sound familiar; he is the older brother of White House spokesman Scott McClellan.
- For the also-not-yet-vacant Secretary of Homeland Security, Frances Townsend (same link), White House homeland security adviser.
A number of writers have now identified this emerging pattern and the insularity it breeds. Who will the president turn to for objective policy advice? The administration's answer: Who cares? Loyalty is prized above accuracy or effectiveness. This, as noted before, is a key element in the rapid series of resignations among top officials at CIA in recent days. As Fred Kaplan wrote today in Slate:
President Bush's second-term Cabinet is shaping up to be not a collection of separate agencies but a political arm of the Oval Office. Bush's appointments so far—Alberto Gonzalez at Justice, Condoleezza Rice at State, and today Margaret Spellings at Education—all come from his White House staff. This is a legitimate, if narrowly confining, style of leadership. But the CIA is different: Its success depends above all on whether its director can provide the president with disinterested analysis. So far, Porter Goss does not seem to be such a director.
Can't wait to see which Bushie next will finally get a piece of the pie . . .