Moving Around DC’s Deck Chairs: VP Chief of Staff David Addington Staying Put


addington200.jpgThe person in DC who is least known but most responsible for building America’s imperial presidency is David Addington, Chief of Staff to Vice President Richard Cheney, or better known as “Cheney’s Cheney.”
Regrettably, sources tell me Addington is waking up each day as energetic and vigorous as ever — determined to wreck the Constitution as much as he possibly can before leaving office. We have no news about him leaving his position — which would be greatly welcomed by this blog. But we are worried that Addington’s rivals inside the Bush White House are weary. This should worry all of us.
However, others are moving around.
rubiner.jpegAs I noted recently, Hillary Clinton’s Legislative Director, Laurie Rubiner, is moving to a new perch as Executive Director of the Washington policy affiliate of Malaria No More.
Rubiner, who is Hillary Clinton’s longest-serving legislative director at three plus years, previously served as senior health care adviser to Senator John Chafee (R-RI) and as Director of the New America Foundation Health Care Program. GoozNews written by former Chicago Tribune DC Bureau Chief and health care policy specialist Merrill Goozner has more on the implications.
richard_verma.jpgThe Senate Majority Leader’s big national security gun, Richard Verma, has gone back into private practice at Steptoe & Johnson.
Verma served for five years as Harry Reid‘s key senior policy adviser on national security policy and strategy. This blogger knows a bit too much about Verma’s efforts (via inside sources) to get Democrats on a smart national security course and admires the work he has done — even though I suspect that leading, White House-focused Dems have failed to heed some of his most important counsel on how to push a deal forward on withdrawing from Iraq and various aspects of the Iran challenge.
Verma has an interesting portfolio at Steptoe & Johnson which he has rejoined — and he hopes to work with NGOs, associations, and others working to sculpt approaches to foreign policy that will drive better legislative work and policy implementaion by Congress and the Executive Branch.
kori schake and cadets.jpgLastly, Kori Schake will be the new Deputy Director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff — replacing one of the few Bush administration defenders of the Geneva Conventions Matthew Waxman — who is now on the faculty at Columbia Law School.
Schake is a Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, on the teaching staff at West Point, served on the G.W. Bush administration’s national security council — and most interestingly was one of the few grounded “ethical realists” on Rudy Giuliani’s roster of official foreign policy campaign advisers.
It has crossed my mind that while I think Schake really does like Guiliani — that her getting past the political correctness censors in Cheney’s wing of the White House was made easier by her extracurricular work for the former New York mayor. But she’s very smart and will work with State Department Policy Planning Staff Director David Gordon in crafting policy scenarios for the Secretary of State and President that involve more than Bomb/Don’t Bomb decisions.
— Steve Clemons


2 comments on “Moving Around DC’s Deck Chairs: VP Chief of Staff David Addington Staying Put

  1. David N says:

    I will be interested in reading the book on Ethical Realism. Another example of the truism that any binary choice is false.
    JohnH just to second your post.
    I suspected a long time ago that the Dems were not, indeed, competing with the Rethugs, but just a different brand of the same product, and working for the same corporate masters.
    Unfortunately evidence has yet to do other than reinforce this hypothesis. Pelosi takes impeachment “off the table,” thus preserving the unconstitutional powers Bush has usurped. The powers can then be kept and used “for the good” by the next, supposedly Dem, president. As if violating the laws for our benefit is any different than what Bush thinks he is doing . . .
    Why else do they fear the worst, most despised president in American history? Why else do they cave to his most unreasonable demands? Why else do they ignore the criminal acts of the KBR/Haliburton employees, up to and including rape and murder? Why, in fact, do they reward these crimes?
    Why are they not in New Orleans, objecting to the undemocratic actions of the Shock Doctrine warriors, remaking that city in the image of Baghdad? Why are they not actually demanding that the AG obey the laws, and arrest those they have yet to actually call in Contempt of Congress?
    Contempt of Congress is right. That is the only thing the American people share with the Bush Mafiosi.


  2. JohnH says:

    Not to be missed–CSPAN broadcasts “The Science of Propaganda,” a forum with Frank Luntz, George Lakoff and Drew Westen @ 2:20 pm. EST.
    Westen actually upstages the other two, offering what should have been the Democraps response to “Support the Troops.” He calls out the Bush administration for its unethical use of subliminal neural messages relating to “Support the Troops.”
    House and Senate Democraps’ inability to communicate is absolutely mind boggling. It is so bad that I suspect it may be willful. One of the panelists talks about how Democraps had finally succeeded in breaking the perceptual link between 911 and the Iraq Occupation. Then they scheduled the Petraeus hearings in the House on 9/10 and before the Senate Foreign Relations Committe on 9/11. 911 was firmly linked to Iraq in people’s minds again. Incompetent or willful? If not willful, Democrap mis-leadership is so bad that I’m surprised that Bush hasn’t implanted rings in their noses to make it easier to lead them around, though on second thought it’s probably not necessary. Mind control works just as well.
    Reid’s presentation style is the personification of weakness and lack of leadership. Pelosi’s first act as Speaker was to have her candidate Murtha defeated for Majority Leader. Talk about lack of leadership!!!
    Like Hightower said, if God had wanted us to vote…


Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *