B14056 / Tue, 28 Mar 2006 11:12:33 / Government
Departure of the “Chief”
Andrew Card veteran of the administrations of both President Ronald Reagan and the first President Bush, is reported to have had his resignation accepted by George W. Bush today.
Central in the day to day operations of the West Wing, Card practically lived in the Whitehouse beginning his workdays around 5:30 a.m. and frequently not leaving until 9 or 10 p.m.
Prior to taking over as George W. Bush’s Chief of Staff in 2001, Card had been the chief lobbyist for General Motors.
Card had been the automotive industry’s main voice as the CEO of its now-defunct trade group, the American Automobile Manufacturers Association.
The AAMA was a well-funded group spending more than $12 million on lobbying in 1997-1998 and fought with Japan over trade issues and lobbied the U.S. government against stricter fuel economy and emissions standards—issues that were frequently on Congress’ plate.
Card also served as a policy fellow for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the leading lobbying group for business interests. In addition to working for the automobile industry, with its tradition of well-heeled lobbying efforts and campaign contributions, Card himself made nearly $10,000 in campaign contributions in 1999-2000, including $1,000 each to fellow members of the new administration, John Ashcroft and Spencer Abraham, for their ultimately unsuccessful senate bids.
Card’s history with the Bush family began in 1980.
“That was then when he, Natsios and Paul Cellucci—the incumbent Massachusetts governor who is believed to be in line for a Bush administration job—led the elder George Bush’s presidential campaign in Massachusetts.
In 2001 Paul Cellucci was appointed by George W. Bush as the US Ambassador to Canada replacing former Michigan Governor James Blanchard who had held the post since 1991. Incidentally, Mr. Cellucci resigned from his post as U.S. ambassador to Canada, he taken an executive position at Frank Stronach’s Magna Entertainment Corp.
Cellucci is now the executive vice-president of corporate development at the gambling and horse racetrack company. Magna Entertainment is one of the companies controlled by Stronach, a prominent Canadian horse owner and the chairman of auto parts giant Magna International.
Andrew Card was President Ronald Reagan’s liaison to the nation’s governors and then, after George Herbert Walker Bush was elected president in 1988, Card stayed on as assistant to chief of staff John Sununu.
Card later was appointed Secretary of the Department of Transportation.
Card will switch with Bolten on April 14 and plans to remain on the job in the Whitehouse until that time.
As this generation of “compassionate conservatives” struggle with implementation the draconian measures necessary to “stay the course” charted for them by the preceding generation, the old guard fades away.
Also in today’s news:
Former Defense Secretary Weinberger dies
Reagan Cabinet member was 88; he was key figure in Iran-Contra scandal
Lyn Nofziger, Reagan spokesman, dead at 81
Rumpled conservative was press secretary, bare-knuckled Reagan partisan