Heightened concerns loom over the revamping of President George W. Bush’s administration for its second term. Bush’s decision to only appoint loyalists to his Cabinet and to block dissenting voices fuels worries across the country.
The upheaval of the Bush administration includes the departure of six out of 15 Cabinet members, which drives speculation as to whether or not the new Bush administration will reach out to allies in an attempt to expand the support for the U.S.-led war on terror.
The replacement of the moderate Secretary of State Colin Powell with the national security council adviser, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, caused a surge of uneasiness across the country.
Rice, previously a Russian specialist at Stanford University, assisted Bush on foreign policy before his 2000 presidential campaign. She succeeds one of the best known and most admired figures in America.
"The secretary of state is America's face to the world and in Dr Rice the world will see the strength, grace and decency of our country," Bush said, according to BBC.
Many considered Powell a possible presidential candidate prior to his agreement to fill the secretary of state position on the Bush administration. His authoritative, dissenting voice played a pivotal role in countering the opinions of Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.
"I will always treasure the four years that I spent with President Bush and the wonderful men and women of the Department of State,” Powell told reporters Nov. 15, according to CTV. "It has always been my intention that I would serve one term."
The retention of the toughest conservatives in Washington – Cheney and Rumsfeld – almost assures an increased antipathetic policy on Iraq.
Bush appointed White House counsel Alberto Gonzales, a buddy from Texas, to succeed the departing John Ashcroft as attorney general.
Gonzales, a former obscure lawyer from Houston, first worked for Bush as a legal adviser during Bush's stint as the governor of Texas. Christian conservatives will mourn the departure of their beloved Ashcroft, who came to the Justice Department after serving as governor of Missouri and as one of the state’s U.S. senators.
“You have to remember that in my current job, I am an advocate for a client who has an agenda,” Gonzales said in a 2003 interview, according to MSNBC. “So there may be some things the president wants that I personally disagree with.”
Bush selected Margaret Spellings, an employee from his 1994 campaign for governor, to replace Rod Paige as his new Education secretary.
“Margaret Spellings has a special passion for this cause," Bush said, according to The New York Times. "She believes that every child can learn, and that every school can succeed. And she knows the stakes are too high to tolerate failure."
Furthermore, Bush’s new national security adviser, Stephen J. Hadley, boasts a conservative history dating as far back as the Richard Nixon administration, which engaged in close ties with Cheney.
Widespread speculation continues on the inevitable resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, whose probable replacement would be Medicare Chief Mark McClellan, another Bush loyalist.
Although appointing old friends and trusted aids may help Bush focus attention and energy on his second-term agenda, the possibility of internal dissent from some of the new Cabinet secretaries or from other top officials seems highly unlikely.
The majority of the resigning Cabinet members arrived at the Bush administration with a respectable and proven political background, thus providing them with the ability to stand up to the president and his closest advisers. Their successors tend to be persevering Bush supporters whose careers harmoniously link to the president’s political ascent. It streamlines the notion of groupthink and suppresses the possibility of new ideas.
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