That’s Fred Barnes’ advice for President Bush. Consider me underwhelmed by his case.
There may be legitimate reasons for each, but Barnes doesn’t make those arguments. Rather, Barnes engages in the age-old Washington tradition of speculating about these changes for their own sake: “Things are going poorly — time for a massive shakeup, for the appearance of a massive shakeup!” Barnes views this through a media lens. While the communications shop is in desperate need of an overhaul, talent shouldn’t be tossed to the street for the purpose of spin.
Of the three, Cheney should be retained at all costs. His office is the source of all things economically conservative in the administration. Some may charge Cheney with not holding the Bush team to this so well, but just imagine the state of things if he weren’t whispering thoughts of Hayek in W’s ear. Of course, since Barnes has already conceded the battle for small government, this point may not be of interest to him.
The one solid suggestion Barnes makes is to send Karl Rove to run the RNC, and bring in Ken Mehlman to rehab White House communications. Amen. Clean out that house. But if you want to shuffle the cabinet or show the Veep the door, please make a case based on more than appearances.
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