Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Another one bites the dust

The latest resignee is Tom Ridge former governor of PA and one time Presidential-Candidate-Only-in-Corridors-of-Washington. By the way, he was head of the Department of so-called "Homeland Security" which really strikes me as a Nationalistic term along the lines of "Mother Russia" of USSR and "Das Vaterland" of Nazi Germany. Our country was founded by immigrants; the only people who can truely consider this their "homeland" are the Native Americans and if you really want to get into semmantics our only true homeland is Africa's Rift Valley where Homo Habilis first walked.

[By the way, I just love those WSJ sketches of people, don't you?]

According to the Journal, "Mr. Ridge told the president that he will remain in office at least until Feb. 1, but would like to leave his position for a more lucrative job in the private sector to help pay for two daughters in college. Those around Mr. Ridge, however, have said that his exit plan is part of his own political strategy to build a base so he can be a Republican presidential contender in 2008." These are his lackies doing a whispering campaign. I am sorry, but the guy who came up with the dumbest color-coding system in the history of mankind shouldn't be president. We have a system of two colors (orange and yellow)with 3 other colors (red, green and blue) as distractors.

Back in the rumor mill, reporter Robert Black culls a list from GOPers calling him up trying to get their boss' name dropped. "One name that has frequently surfaced as a contender is that of Asa Hutchinson, the Homeland Security undersecretary for border and transportation security. Officials inside the department say that Mr. Hutchinson has been lobbying intensely for the secretary's job, but in an interview with reporters from his home state of Arkansas, he said he was considering whether to remain in his current post or explore other jobs in the public and private sectors. Mr. Hutchinson has developed tense relationships inside the department, particularly with the Deputy Secretary Admiral James Loy, who is widely liked and respected by both the White House and Capitol Hill. Some senior respected figures in the department have been saying that they will resign should Mr. Hutchinson take the reins.

Other names that have surfaced as possible Ridge replacements include: White House homeland security adviser Frances Townsend; New York Governor George Pataki; former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani; former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik; Rep. Chris Cox (R., Calif.); Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney; and former Utah governor and current EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt."

OK, here's my take on reality: Asa maybe, Townsesnd would follow the pattern of placing WH operatives into the various departments for ultimate control, Giuliani and Pataki and Romney are running for President, Kerik I doubt it, Cox is too powerful where he is in the House, Leavitt might want this to "move up" to a higher-profile but equally thankless job.

If Kerry had won, I think he would have put Gary Hart up for the post, or another buddy ex-Senator Warren Rudman, who is a GOPer of the old school and more like the current Kerry.

WSJ also has a handy score card to keep track of the Bush Administration's revolving door: [sorry, scroll down a ways, I am not good at making tables]

Seat Current Holder Future? Successor?
Justice John Ashcroft Resigned Alberto Gonzales
Defense Donald Rumsfeld May stay
State Colin Powell Resigned Condoleezza Rice
Homeland Security Tom Ridge Resigned TBA
Treasury John Snow May stay
Agriculture Ann Veneman Resigned TBA
Interior Gail Norton No plans
Commerce Don Evans Resigned Carlos Guitierrez
Labor Elaine Chao No plans
Education Rod Paige Resigned Margaret Spellings
Energy Spencer Abraham Resigned TBA
Transportation Norman Mineta May leave
Health & Human Services Tommy Thompson May leave
Veterans Affairs Anthony Principi No plans
Housing & Urban Development Alphonso Jackson No plans
Source: WSJ.com research

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