Gillespie Squared

Rove’s bed is not even cold and already Ed Gillespie is crawling into it.

Now, with the departure of Karl Rove, the president’s closest adviser, Gillespie, 46, a former lobbyist and Republican National Committee chairman, has once again been asked to help fill the void.

White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Boltenhas said that he plans to divide Rove’s broad political andpolicymaking duties — and the 60 or so White House staffers who reportto him — among several top aides. But Bolten has yet to decide how todistribute Rove’s responsibilities.

Still, it appears thatGillespie will emerge as the first among equals. He is likely to becalled on to handle political strategy and message management for thepresident, becoming the dominant voice in determining where and howoften Bush appears and what he says during the final 17 months of his tenure.

Well, that’s might curious. After all, this is the second "irreplaceable" long-time Bush associate that Gillespie is replacing; Gillespie took over Dan Bartlett’s duties after Bartlett unexpectedly left. That’s a whole lot of irreplaceable that Gillespie has replaced.

Which leads me to ask, once again, why Gillespie?

The news reports rehearse several aspects of Gillespie’s experience: head of communications for the 2000 recount, support for the Roberts and Alito nomination battles, lie and forgetfulness coach for Alberto Gonzales’ appearance before Congress.

Somehow, though, news reports always miss one of the most important things Gillespie has done for the Bush Administration: overseeing the New Hampshire phone-jamming damage control.

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  1. BlueStateRedhead says:

    EW,
    Rove is gone a-roving but you girl, don’t let go! You keep me/us going! And thanks for Sara’s historical posting. We know what happens to those who forget history. May those who remember it can in fact change it.

  2. Mauimom says:

    Well, that’s might curious. After all, this is the second â€irreplaceable†long-time Bush associate that Gillespie is replacing; Gillespie took over Dan Bartlett’s duties after Bartlett unexpectedly left. That’s a whole lot of irreplaceable that Gillespie has replaced.

    Well, with that many â€duties†1) it will be easier to put forward the â€I was too busy†Scooter Libby defense; and 2) it makes â€I don’t recall†a lot [snark] more credible.

  3. pol says:

    Which leads me to ask, once again, why Gillespie?

    Maybe Bush/Cheney are running out of loyalists, and the pickin’s are getting slim?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Marcy, you’re right on the mark regarding Gillespie and the NH phone jamming. I find it all the more bizarre that they would pull him in so deep when all signs just a year ago pointed to Abramoff cash funding the NH operation. I guess they know just how far Bill Welch and the Office of Public Integrity will go on the Abramoff case, and feel Gillespie is safe. If that’s true, it’s probably safe to take Norton off indictment watch as well.

    All so depressing. Time to go back into my cave and keep studying for the Sept. LSATs.

  5. marksb says:

    They don’t care. They know the phone-jamming story won’t go beyond a few of us bloggers and a couple of alt-press articles that will be read by the people (us) who already know they’re crooks. The media hates these kind of stories–too complicated, too negative against the corporate owners, likely to make the mass market switch channels for whatever show is showing the latest drunken-while-sexy celeb—and won’t cover it.
    (And Iraq and the collapsing economy (that’s really actually doing great!) make everything else look small.)
    So what’s to lose?
    Sigh. The slow motion train wreck that has become our country continues.

  6. Jodi says:

    No one is irreplaceable.

    No one is unforgettable except the very top guy. The rest are just footnotes.

    e.g. Rumsfeld.

    Rove is next, and then …, but that is out of school.

  7. marksb says:

    Redshift, I went back and read EW’s Novak post again. That line,
    No wonder that a leading Republican has been asking around whether ferocious Democratic partisans in Congress might ease up if Rove were no longer there to kick around.
    Pisses me off and pretty much says it all: The Repubs think that if the Dems don’t have the Rove object in front of them, they’ll lose interest. (As if we managed to pull off any kicking of Rove’s fat pasty-white behind anyway!)
    Can they really think Democratic leaders are that stupid/vapid/superficial/your-insulting-term-here? That we’ll think the enemy has left the battlefield and we can relax and have another brie-laden cracker and a chilled glass of chardonnay?
    I’m not sure which is more insulting to this life-time progressive dem (who prefers a frosty Anderson Valley IPA): the simple-minded assumption voiced by Novak that we’ll pack the tent up and go home or the fact that I actually stopped and thought about our leadership and if they would continue the battle.

    On the other hand, this would confirm the Bush-as-God trip the GOP has been on—they assume the guy’s not only Right, he’s untouchable. We shall see.

    OK, back to work!