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Bush Replaces White House Chief of Staff


President Bush has replaced his chief of staff. The move follows calls from some within his own political party to shake up his staff amid record low public approval ratings.

President Bush says White House Chief of Staff Andy Card has served the nation in historic times of peace and war.

"In all these challenges and accomplishments, I have relied on Andy's wise counsel, his calm in crisis, his absolute integrity, and his tireless commitment to public service. Andy is respected by his colleagues for his humility, his decency, and his thoughtfulness," Mr. Bush said.

Card will step down April 14 after five and a half years in one of the most demanding jobs in Washington. From the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Card oversaw a tumultuous first term and was instrumental in the president's re-election.

"On most days, Andy is the first one to arrive in the West Wing and among the last to leave," the president said. "And during those long days over many years, I have come to know Andy as more than my chief of staff. He is leaving the White House, but he will always be my friend."

The president and Mrs. Bush have known Card and his wife for more than 20 years. He served as deputy chief of staff and Secretary of Transportation for Mr. Bush's father, President George Herbert Walker Bush. Card was a special White House assistant to President Ronald Reagan. The long-time advisor was the president's first choice as chief of staff when Mr. Bush took office in 2001.

But record low poll numbers and a series of public relations stumbles including a failed Supreme Court nomination, the leak of a secret eavesdropping program, and Republican complaints about the Dubai ports deal prompted some in the president's party to call for changes.

President Bush says he accepted Card's resignation this past weekend at the presidential retreat at Camp David.

He will be replaced by another long-time insider, budget director Josh Bolten, who also served the former presidents Bush and Reagan.

President Bush says Bolten is a creative policy thinker and an expert on the budget and economy.

"He is respected by members of Congress from both parties. He is a strong advocate for effective, accountable management in the federal government," Mr. Bush said. "He is a man of candor and humor and directness who is comfortable with responsibility and knows how to lead."

The president says the next three years will demand much of those who serve the country with a global war against terrorism and opportunities to expand the U.S. economy. He says he is honored to have served with Card and has great confidence in this next chief of staff.

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