December 12, 2002
BUSH SELECTS NEW ECON TEAM 'WITH THE 2004
ELECTIONS IN MIND'
** Media assert that the
cabinet shakeup came "in view of the 2004 electoral deadline."
** Many criticize President
Bush for letting "political priorities" dictate economic policy.
** Leftists see the
"current, alarming weakness" of the U.S. economy prompting the switch
** The new economic team is
perceived as favoring a weaker dollar.
Shakeup reflects Bush's 'desire to position himself to win the
2004 elections'-- Observers mostly agreed
that "for Bush, the issue is his re-election in two years." Several business-oriented dailies predicted
Bush soon "will be dedicating his heart and soul to domestic
issues." France's right-of-center Le
Journal Du Dimanche agreed that regardless of any "battle waged
against Baghdad, the economy will remain the key issue in the 2004
election." Several analysts
described the new economic team's main goal as building "support for tax
cuts." However, Germany's business-oriented Financial Times Deutschland
warned against "a strategy that makes tax reductions the panacea for all
Several accused the White House of playing politics with economic
issues-- Liberal papers blasted a
"White House dominated by right-wing conservatism" for lacking
"a coherent policy and message."
Even Germany's center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine cautioned that
"only a sound economic and finance policy will get the support it
deserves." Some observers
highlighted the "credibility gap between...security and economic
policies," with Singapore's pro-government Straits Times saying
Bush appears to "lack the same commitment to advance the economic agenda
that he demonstrated in winning the war on terrorism."
The 'sorry plight of the economy' explains why Bush appointed the
new team-- Several leftist dailies cited the changes as proof that
"Bush's economic policy...has not worked as its designers expected." Even Italy's business-oriented Il Sole 24
Ore claimed that the U.S.' "economic convalescence calls for new
medicines." India's right-of-center
Tarun Bharat, meanwhile, highlighted the "political
earthquake" Bush set off "by sacking two leaders of his economic team
at a time when the cloud over the American economy is yet to lift."
Snow will 'help the real, exporting side' of the economy through a
weaker dollar-- Many dailies agreed with
Argentina's Ambito Financiero that Treasury Secretary-designate John
Snow "will allegedly favor a weaker dollar to boost exports." Britain's independent Financial Times
stated that Bush picked Snow because he is "more disposed towards currency
weakness" to help U.S. manufacturers.
Japan's business-oriented Nihon Keizai was less certain,
predicting the U.S. "will remain cautious about intervening in the
EDITOR: Ben Goldberg
EDITOR'S NOTE: This
analysis is based on 29 reports from 14 countries over 7 - 11 December. Editorial excerpts from each country are
listed from the most recent date.
BRITAIN: “Their Master’s
An editorial in the conservative Times stated (12/11): "[The recent appointments] provide Bush
with an opportunity. Much has been made
of the failings of the unpredictable O’Neill, especially and Lindsey.... The White House should not, however, conclude
that its economic difficulties lie mainly in imperfect presentation. The Administration has often offered the
impression that it is unsure as to where the the economy is heading and what to
do about it.... Clarity is
essential.... Without a firm steer from
the White House, the message will be distorted by the range of voices that, in
effect, compete to articulate it.... The
only way in which [Snow] will be an effective advocate is if he is a trusted
advisor.... It is important that the
Treasury Secretary is respected by business and understood by voters. The
appointments were obviously made with the 2004 elections in mind, but they will
surely be put to the economic test over the coming year”
“No Way To Run A Railroad”
An editorial in the independent Financial Times observed
(12/10): "At first glance, it looks
as though Bush has decided that Paul O’Neill’s tenure as Treasury secretary was
such a success that he should be replaced with a clone. John Snow, his new
chief economic policymaker is - like his predecessor - a surprise
choice.... Just as they were two years ago,
then, those who believe the Treasury should be run by someone with serious
experience of financial markets, academic economics or government will be
disappointed.... Bush evidently favours
the industrial interest when it comes to his top Treasury official. That used to mean that currency policy...would
tend to be more disposed towards currency weakness to help the real, exporting
side of the domestic economy. And it
seem safe to assume that Mr Snow will prove a more disciplined performer all
round. Mr Snow, then, should bring some
much-needed savvy to the Bush administration. That will be complemented by
Friedman who looks set to be named this week as the new head of the White
House’s national economic council to replace Lindsey.... The real problem with O’Neill and Lindsey was
that they worked in an administration in which economic policy was dictated at
every level by political priorities...they were routinely overruled by
political masters.... If it really
wanted to restore its battered credibility with investors, consumers and the wider
world, the Bush administration would have had the chance with last week’s
sackings. It could have demonstrated that the message was changing with the
messenger. There is not much in yesterday’s developments to inspire confidence
that the serious errors of the past two years are going to be reversed”.
The liberal Guardian editorialized (12/9): "The US treasury secretary is rarely the
dominating figure in American government and politics that the exchequer
invariably is in this country. So the sacking of a treasury secretary does not
have anything approaching the resonance in the US that the sacking of a
chancellor would have here. But that is no excuse for the almost casual lack of
critical awareness with which Bush’s sacking of O’Neill has been greeted on
both sides of the Atlantic.... The
reason why O’Neill has been given the boot is because, in his odd, obtuse and
folksy way, he stood for - or countenanced the possibility of - policies and
issues which are anathema to a White House dominated by rightwing
conservatism.... O’Neill may not have
been a very effective treasury secretary, but he was often right. [He has] gone because [his] care and caution
about policy no longer fitted the militant political priorities of the White House. Karl Rove....requires an economic team who
will never indulge in the kind of policy caution that might alienate Republican
donors and core voters. That is why the dismissal of O’Neill...is an immensely
dangerous act.... It opens the way for
Bush to appoint a more politicized and economically doctrinaire successor. That
is something that neither the US nor the rest of the world can afford to view
FRANCE: “A New Team For The
Pascal Riche wrote in left-of-center Liberation
(12/10): “President Bush’s two choices
may surprise a few. His decision to replace his economic team of experts stems
from his desire to position himself to win the 2004 elections. One would have
thought that the profiles of the new team members would reflect this
goal.... President Bush has designated
two men whose political experience is rather on the light side.... Bush’s choice of Stephen Friedman, like that
of John Snow, answers the following requirement: changing communication
techniques without changing policies. But Friedman’s role will also be to find
favor with Wall Street. For electoral purposes, bringing down unemployment is a
priority, but if the Dow Jones went up a few points it would also please
“Bush And The Economy, Stupid!”
Gilles Delafon noted in right-of-center Le Journal du Dimanche
(12/8): “Today the American economy is
not doing well and war with Baghdad is threatening. History is repeating
itself. If there is one lesson Bush Junior learned, it is the reasons for his
father’s defeat. Hence his decision to fire his economic team.... Its failure is obvious.... The President’s talent resides in his ability
to hide the poor results of the U.S. economy behind his fervent finger pointing
at the threat of a terrorist war that could destroy the world. But this is a
one-time opportunity. Whatever the outcome of the battle waged against Baghdad,
the economy will remain the key issue in the 2004 election. This time Bush will
not be able to hide behind terrorist threats. By firing his economic experts
Bush is pointing to his new priority and starting up the 2004 presidential
GERMANY: “A Quick Choice”
Center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (12/10) opined: “George W. Bush did not take too much time to
choose a new treasury secretary and a new economic advisor, but it would be
wrong to conclude that the decision was made with great haste. John Snow and Stephen Friedman will quickly
prove that they are able to meet the president’s ambitious expectations. The two are faced not only with the difficult
task of formulating the guidelines of the economic and finance policies, but
they must also improve the rating of the government in these fields. For Bush, the issue is his re-election in two
years. The economic package that is
being wrapped up in the coming two weeks, offers the first opportunity.... But irrespective of the controversy over
whether companies or consumers should be the beneficiaries, the new treasury
secretary should not lose sight of expenses....
It would be a great service for the reputation of U.S. finance policy if
it succeeded in reining in the spending pleasure of government and
Congress. If it fails, the mountain of
debts will increase, and this could foil the good effects of a tax reduction.”
“Election Campaign Offensive”
Business-oriented Financial Times Deutschland of Hamburg
noted (12/10): “George W. Bush has
changed his economic team after finishing half of his term.... Coordination in the government can now only
improve, but Bush’s economic strategy remains unchanged: tax reductions are to guarantee his
re-election.... Much speaks in favor of
it that election tactics were the reason for the change...but a strategy that
makes tax reductions the panacea for all problems, also harbors great dangers.
Such tax reductions can back the U.S. economy if they are limited to a certain
period of time, quickly take effect, and stimulate consumption, but there is
the great danger that economic policy and ideologically motivated reasons will
be mixed up for the election campaign....
An extension of a tax-reducing package beyond 2010 would create a
considerable risk for the United States.
The federal budget is in the red already and in the coming year,
millions of baby boomers will retire and create red figures for the state-run
pension system. At the same time,
defense spending will increase. New tax
reductions could result in George W. Bush’s victory - but be very detrimental
to the United States.”
Center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine declared (12/9): “George W. Bush has separated from his
treasury secretary and his closest economic advisor...because the president has
got bad ratings from the Americans for his economic policy. If this does not change,
his re-election will be in jeopardy....
The gap between the president and his treasury secretary was
obvious. O’Neill not only raised doubts
about punitive tariffs on steel products, but he also questioned the plan to
give the economy a new momentum by further lowering taxes.... In his search for new ‘ambassadors’ of his
economic policy, the president should not forget that only a sound economic and
finance policy will get the support it deserves.”
ITALY: “Snow Replaces
O’Neill At The U.S. Treasury”
New York correspondent Maurizio Molinari reported in centrist,
influential La Stampa (12/10): “
We have to beat unemployment and stimulate economic growth. This was John
Snow’s commitment when he accepted the nomination to become President Bush’s
Treasury Secretary.... Most observers
maintain that Stephen Friedman will be appointed as the new head of the
Economic advisors.... Snow’s nomination
announces a fierce battle among the opposition. ‘O’Neill and Lindsey were fired
because Bush’s policy is not going well,’ former Vice President Gore
said.... Wall Street analysts are
convinced that Snow will cause the dollar to slip further down.”
“The Game Is At The Center”
Mario Platero opines in leading business-oriented Il Sole 24
Ore (12/10): “George W. Bush
preferred pragmatism to ideology. By appointing John Snow as the new Treasury
Secretary, he sent two important messages. The first is that the economic
convalescence calls for new medicines...and the second is that with these
nominations - that most Republicans did not like too much - the President moves
to the center and in 2003 he will be dedicating his heart and soul to domestic
issues in view of the 2004 electoral deadline.... With the nomination of Snow and with the
expected nomination of Stephen Friedman as chief of the Economic advisors, Bush
disappointed the ‘pure’ Republicans, but he shifted towards the center. He
knows the Democrats are waiting for him. Al Gore has decided to run in the 2004
Presidential elections and said very clearly: The problem is not the economy,
‘but the problem is the economic policy decisions.’... Yesterday the battle began. Again, in the
name of the center and of the economy.”
“United States, Bush’s Therapy To Revive The Economy”
A report from Washington in left-leaning, influential La
Repubblica stated (12/9): “George W.
Bush will announce today the new team with which he aims to revive the U.S.
economy.... Very busy over the last year
on the front of terrorism and war, the President has decided to resume the leadership
of economic policy, under the pressure of new signs of crisis.... The new White House economic adviser could be
Stephen Friedman, former President of the Goldman Sachs.... The reshuffling in the White House economic
team - Bush’s first after almost two years in office - was made also in view of
the 2004 elections. Bush wants to avoid
arriving at the expiration of his mandate with a slow-motion economy, as was
the case for his father, who, notwithstanding the victory in the 1991 Gulf War,
was not re-elected.”
“Re-election Is The Stake”
Paolo Guerrieri commented in Rome-based centrist Il Messaggero
(12/9): “Even though they had been
expected for some months, the ‘dismissals’ of O’Neill and Lindsey represent the
official admission by the Bush Administration of the current, alarming weakness
of the U.S. economy and the need for a true political shake-up to try to revive
it. A confirmation of that comes from
U.S. economic data over the last few days, showing a significant increase of
the unemployment rate.... The stakes are
very high, i.e., the revival of the U.S. economy and, most of all, Bush’s
re-election in 2004. The President is
fully aware of the fact that, without a fresh, solid expansion, his chances of
being re-elected will be very slim indeed, independently from the outcome of
the war against Iraq.”
RUSSIA: "Bush Capable
Of Radical Moves"
Yevgeniy Bai said in reformist Izvestiya (12/9): "Paul O'Neill cuts a particularly poor
figure against the last two of Clinton's treasury secretaries, Robert Rubin and
Larry Sommers. Rubin, who came from
Wall Street, was called America's financial genius.... New people on the Bush team may not offer new
ideas, according to experts. President
Bush knows from his dad's experience that, with the economy struggling, you may
win a war and lose elections all at once.
By replacing a secretary and an advisor, Bush has shown himself to be
capable of radical moves on personnel."
"O'Neill Unaware of Bush's Stand"
Reformist Izvestiya pointed out (12/7): "Sometimes it seemed like O'Neill was
out of touch with the president, unaware of where he stood on the economy and
finances.... Hung up as Bush is on a war
against Iraq, he can't but realize that the sorry plight of the economy may
blow his chances in the 2004 election."
BELGIUM: “Unlike My Father”
Marc Lambrechts noted in financial L’Echo (12/10): “It is always particularly unpleasant to be
designated ‘the weakest link’ of a team. This is what just happened to Paul
O’Neil, the U.S. Treasury Secretary, and to Lawrence Lindsey, the President’s
chief economic advisor. The timing of their resignation last Friday coincided
with the release of very bad statistics on unemployment, with the unemployment
rate up to 6 percent, the highest since last April. This double resignation
also took place during the period of the ‘Christmas sales,’ which will be a
test to see American consumers’ level of confidence. The message of George Bush Junior is clear:
it is out of the question for him to stumble over the economy, as his father
did about ten years ago. In spite of his victory in the Gulf War and probably
too concerned by geopolitical factors, Bush Senior lost because of his economic
balance sheet and because of his inability to take appropriate measures to come
out of the economic crisis.... Contrary
to Bush Junior, Clinton cleverly managed to set up a kind of economic and
financial ‘dream team,’ with Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers as figureheads.
The latter were very good communicators and experts in convincing economic and
financial circles that the United States were in good hands. In comparison, O’Neill’s balance sheet is
particularly weak. History will remember him for his numerous blunders and for
talks on the debt of poor countries with the singer Bono. That is quite meager
for a U.S. Treasury Secretary.”
FINLAND: "The Iraqi
Crisis Overshadows Economic Revitalization Efforts Everywhere"
Finland's leading independent Helsingin Sanomat
editorialized (12/10): "The sacking
of the highest U.S. finance policy leaders is not expected to result in major
changes in the Bush Administration's
policies. Rather, it is an indication of
displeasure in the way Paul O'Neill and his Treasury Department have handled
the country's finance policy and international economic relations. The credibility gap the between the security
and economic policies of the world's only superpower has grown into intolerable
dimensions. Developments in Iraq will be
decisive for the economy. The U.S.
appears to be preparing for war. The
method with which the crisis will be settled will tell whether the current
period of slow economic growth will be long or short-lived."
SPAIN: "Bush Changes
Left-of-center El País wrote (12/10): "Bush, undoubtedly influenced by the
economic situation that lead to his father's defeat by Clinton, has forced this
change to inspire confidence and strengthen the possibilities of winning the presidential
election in 2004, and avoiding in this way the risk of recession.... The change reflects a certain recognition
that Bush' s economic policy, which has gone from a budget surplus to an
equivalent deficit, has not worked as its designers expected."
"A Team In Order Not To Lose The Election"
Business-oriented Expansión wrote (12/10): "What Bush wants is for them [Snow and
Friedman] to make his plan of fiscal cutbacks -the basic pillar of his program-
successful and, above all, to adequately manage the economic recovery, so that
in November 2004, when the presidential election takes place, he will not have
to answer for a difficult situation, as happened to his father."
"Change At Treasury"
Business-oriented Cinco Días wrote (12/10): "Snow's success or failure will be
measured, above all, by his leadership capabilities and the confidence he will
manage to inspire in consumers and investors.
If he succeeds in closing the open rift between the Treasury and the
White House regarding the principles of economic policy, it will be a good
start. Everything indicates that this
has been one of the deciding points that favored the choice of Snow by
JAPAN: "Bush Moves To
Boost Economic Performance"
Business-oriented Nihon Keizai editorialized (12/10): "U.S. President George W. Bush has
gambled on enhancing his administration's policy-making by shaking up its
economic team.... The sackings
apparently reflect Bush's concern that their poor performances as policymakers
could diminish his chance of reelection.
While the cabinet shake-up is not expected to change U.S. economic
policy in any significant way, the new economic team faces the task of boosting
flagging public confidence in the administration's ability to manage the
economy.... There is some concern about
the possible effects on the currency market of stepped-up efforts to rev up the
U.S. economy. If Bush feels the need to
throw a bone to industry, which is worrying about the dollar's strength, to
secure its vote, he will try to push down the greenback, according to some
analysts. On the other hand, the
administration may keep the strong dollar policy if it pays closer attention to
the views of Wall Street, which puts more weight on confidence in the currency,
they say. A majority of money pros,
however, believe that the administration will remain cautious about intervening
in the currency market, barring a dramatic change in the economic situation.
SINGAPORE: "Will Snow
Be An Economic Rumsfeld?"
Leon Hadar wrote in the pro-government Straits
Times (12/10): "U.S. President
George W. Bush is hoping that his newly-appointed Treasury Secretary John Snow,
the former chief executive officer of railway-holding company CSX Corporation,
will provide his economic policy with the same kind of star quality and sense
of drive that Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has brought to national
security. In fact, the drop in the Dow
Jones on Monday, while probably a reaction to the markets' concern over United
Airlines bankruptcy, may have reflected the disappointment in Wall Street that
President Bush seemed to have selected 'another O'Neill' as Treasury Secretary
- that is, someone with no ties to the financial industry.... The failure to respond effectively to the
concerns of American and foreign investors was one of the criticism that was
directed against Mr O'Neill. At the same
time, there were also worries in Wall Street that he was not as committed as
treasury officials in the Clinton administration to maintaining a strong US
dollar, which helps attracts foreign investment into the US. Critics would argue that when it comes to
economic policy, the Bush administration's lacks a coherent policy and message,
and the US President seems also to lack the same commitment to advance the
economic agenda that he demonstrated in winning the war on terrorism. Even a great spokesman cannot deliver a
blurred message. A great CEO must make sure that the president of the company
is backing him."
"Political Earthquake In The U.S."
The Mumbai edition of right-of-center
Marathi-language Tarun Bharat stated (12/10): "U.S. President George Bush has set off
a political earthquake by sacking two leaders of his economic team at a time
when the cloud over the American economy is yet to lift. ... O'Neill is known
for his brutal frankness ... Lindsey,
despite his Harvard background, has not proved to be politically agile
enough. Both O'Neill and Lindsey looked
unimpressive on television ... O'Neill had predicted post 9/11 that the
American stock market would revive in two months and that the American dollar
would strengthen ... For his part, Lindsey got President Bush into trouble by
estimating the probable cost of any military action against Iraq at Dols. 200
billion ... O'Neill and Lindsey failed to energize the sluggish American
economy. The tax cuts made during their
tenure benefited only the rich ... As a result, the economy continued to
slide. Today, the U.S. economy is
showing some faint signs of recovery.
However, the Bush administration has failed to give impetus to this
trend ... If the U.S. goes to war with Iraq, it will further add to the budget
deficit. Even if the U.S. wins the war,
the economic burden imposed by the war would be too heavy for the American
economy to bear ... The world economy is inexplicably linked to the U.S.
economy. This is especially true for
India as the U.S. is its number one trading partner. A strong American economy would be good for
India's economic health. India therefore
needs to keep close tabs on what is happening with the U.S. economy. Unfortunately, politicians in India lack
vision to realize this. They are too
busy playing party-politics with each other to care about the economic issues
that really matter. The Indian media too
plays up politicians' inane cacophony and plays down the economic issues."
Industry Man Succeeds O'Neill"
Business-financial Ambito Financiero said (12/10): "Snow, a millionaire rail operator, is
in favor of implementing the tax cuts O'Neill refused to do, and, according to
Wall Street analysts, he will allegedly favor a weaker dollar to boost exports.
During his presentation speech at the White House, in a ceremony without
O'Neill's presence, Bush emphasized the integrity of his new official, who - for
a long time -- has been calling for a more ethical behavior by major companies.
Although more prudent in his declarations than his predecessor, people believe
that there won’t be too many changes in O'Neill's aid policy to
"In Search Of The Lost Engine"
Leftist Pagina 12 opined (12/10): "It doesn't seem like Snow's nomination
will change the economic policy of the Bush administration in a perceptible
manner. In fact, very few people in the USG believe that the present situation
is alarming and demands a 180-degree turn. In fact, one of the issues for which
O'Neill was mostly criticized were not his outspoken remarks to everyone nor
his lack of a clear economic project, but rather the fact that he was unable to
communicate in Congress and to the public opinion the positive aspects of the
administration's economic program. It's precisely in the way he communicates
with Congress and certain sectors of the public opinion where Snow will make a
difference with O'Neill. Anyway, there are speculations that the changes in the
USG may imply a variation on the 'strong dollar policy' that Bush has pushed
forward until now. This change may eventually stimulate economic growth."
"No Changes Expected For The Region"
Nestor Restivo, Clarin's economic columnist, wrote
(12/7): "Washington is obsessed
with battles and missiles, and Bush's words regarding a rapprochement with
Latin America appear too distant....
Considering the names of O'Neill's possible successors... we mustn't
expect changes in the U.S's 'lack of attention' for its back yard. The name
with more chances - Glenn Hubbard, Bush's chief advisor - is well know for his
prestige at the University of Columbia, but not for his fluency in 'emerging
markets', particularly Latin American ones.
Otto Reich -- whose knowledge of Latin America ends in Maracaibo - moved
to the position of special envoy for the Americas, but nobody knows whether he
will be able to exercise influence, so there are more question marks on the new
U.S. Treasury Secretary, who will concentrate on domestic priorities. Will Argentina have a door to knock on in
search of an agreement with the IMF - where the U.S. is decisive - with this
administration or the next? Although President Duhalde said yesterday that the
replacement 'may have some importance,' with the Republicans in office, Wall
Street told Clarin that 'bail out operations are no longer possible, except for
a strategic country, which isn't Argentina.'.... World Bank chief Sebastian Edwards believes
in 'big changes regarding the little attention to the region, but someone who
understands global finance should know that the world market is integrated and
that crises like Argentina's have a spill-over effect."
BRAZIL: "Chance To
The lead editorial in liberal Folha de S. Paulo asserted
(12/10): "With the nomination of
businessman John Snow as the new U.S. Treasury Secretary, President George W.
Bush is rearranging his economic team....
The change is an excellent opportunity to reconsider the policies so far
adopted.... The new team should foster a
reform in corporate management and in the accounting and auditing industries to
strengthen the stock and financial markets. It should also encourage a reform
of the world's financial system and the IMF, and involve the U.S. in assisting
economic and social development in low-income nations. Without prosperity in both the U.S. and the
world economy, the Bush administration also runs the risk of collapsing."
Liberal Folha de S. Paulo editorialized (12/7): "Will the [issue of the] economy make a
second Republican presidential term impossible?
The news of O'Neill's and Lindsey's dismissals coincided with another
report: in November, the U.S. unemployment rate reached its highest level in
nine years: 6 percent. There is a curious similarity in both falls from power:
O'Neill and Lindsey had made public statements that Bush's political core
considered inopportune.... O'Neill
represented ultra-radical Republican economic thought, which opposed IMF
foreign aid mega-packages.... O'Neill's
exit seems to represent Bush's attempt to change the image of his economic
team, which has included representatives of major corporations that have been
shaken by billion-dollar accounting fraud....
Maybe Bush is trying to avoid suffering his father's melancholic fate:
George Bush waged a war against Iraq, but lost the internal economic
The editorial in business-oriented El Financiero read
(12/10): "New U.S. Treasury
Secretary John W. Snow faces two major challenges: to inject confidence in the
financial markets and to get U.S. Congress support for tax cuts. The first objective is a must in order to
bring to an end terrorist stock market practices of fraudulent accounting by
multinational companies. The second goal
is a must for President Bush's re-election....
For the time being, Snow's appointment will be enough reason to prevent
FED chairman Greenspan from changing the interest rates."
Manuel J. Jauregui wrote in independent Reforma
(12/9): "O’Neill’s abrasive
personality and unwillingness to listen to criticism alienated him completely
from the Republican wing, which made him ineffective and turned him into a
target of massive criticism from the international finance sector. It is worthwhile to point out President
Bush’s ease and calmness upon making necessary changes in his team. He didn’t care at all if the decision was popular
or unpopular, or if this action harmed his personal image or that of Republicans. They weren’t up to the challenge and Bush
removed them - simple as that. It points
out that on principle, President Fox is one of those types of politicians who
believes that removing ineffective officials is a sign of weakness."