McClellan Out!

April 19, 2006

From Yahoo! News:

White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Wednesday he is resigning, continuing a shakeup in President Bush's administration that has already yielded a new chief of staff and could lead to a change in the Cabinet.

Appearing with Bush on the White House South Lawn just before the president boarded a helicopter at the start a trip to Alabama, McClellan, who has parried especially fiercely with reporters on Iraq and on intelligence issues, told Bush: "I have given it my all sir and I have given you my all sir, and I will continue to do so as we transition to a new press secretary."

Bush said McClellan had "a challenging assignment."

"I thought he handled his assignment with class, integrity," the president said. "It's going to be hard to replace Scott, but nevertheless he made the decision and I accepted it. One of these days, he and I are going to be rocking in chairs in Texas and talking about the good old days."

McClellan was named press secretary in June 2003, not long after the United States invaded Iraq and had first been a deputy to Ari Fleischer in the job — a White House position with daily visibility rivaling virtually everyone there except the president.

Also, a senior administration official revealed another move in the ongoing shakeup of Bush's staff, saying that longtime confidant and adviser Karl Rove is giving up oversight of policy development to focus more on politics with the approach of the fall midterm elections.

Just over a year ago, Rove was promoted to deputy chief of staff in charge of most White House policy coordination. That new portfolio came on top of his title as senior adviser and role of chief policy aide to Bush.

But now, the job of deputy chief of staff for policy is being given to Joel Kaplan, now the White House's deputy budget director, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the president had not yet made the announcement.

The move signals a possibly broad effort to rearrange and reinvigorate Bush's staff by new chief of staff Joshua Bolten. Bolten moved into his position last week; Kaplan was his No. 2 person at the Office of Management and Budget.

At least for the time being, the promotion of Kaplan would leave Bush with three deputy chiefs of staff: Rove, Kaplan and Joe Hagin, who oversees administrative matters, intelligence and other national security issues.