- The Washington Times - Friday, June 1, 2007

Dan Bartlett, one of President Bush’s closest and most trusted advisers, said yesterday that he is leaving the White House to spend more time with his wife and three young children. He has spent about 14 years as an aide to Mr. Bush.

“I’ve had competing families, and unfortunately, the Bush family has prevailed far too many times, and it’s high time for the Bartlett family to finally prevail,” Mr. Bartlett told reporters.

Mr. Bartlett, 36, said he had been working at a breakneck pace for so long that he no longer knew what burnout was.

“It’s the sleepless nights at home right now that are more difficult than the office,” he said, referring to his 5-month-old son. Mr. Bartlett and his wife, Allyson, also have 3-year-old twin boys.

Mr. Bush said that he and first lady Laura Bush “will miss Dan Bartlett very much.”

“Since coming to work for me 14 years ago as I prepared to run for governor, Dan has become a husband and a father. I understand his decision to make his young family his first priority,” the president said.

White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten told the Associated Press that Mr. Bartlett “can talk to the president in a candid way, in sort of a family way, that almost nobody else can.”

“He’s got the Texas roots that make it possible for them to talk about characters in Texas politics or Longhorn football or Texas Rangers’ baseball,” Mr. Bolten said. “He’s been a good friend of the president as well as a counselor.”

Mr. Bartlett, whose resignation is effective July 4, said his experience on a family vacation last summer — when a White House crew tagged along to set up daily, secure videoconferences with other administration officials — crystallized the need to be able to “turn off” his job.

Mr. Bartlett began working for Mr. Bush during his first campaign for Texas governor in 1993. His role began to change at about the time of Mr. Bush’s re-election campaign in 1998, as he became Mr. Bush’s most trusted adviser and spokesman.

Mr. Bartlett served as White House communications director from 2001 to 2005, then was named counselor to the president.

He declined to say whether the White House had made any mistakes in the way it communicated with the American people about the Iraq war and the war on terrorism.

“I’m not going to look back right now,” Mr. Bartlett said.

He has hired Washington lawyer Bob Barnett to help him find employment outside the White House.

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