- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Conservative pundit Tony Snow will be named White House press secretary, Republican officials said last night, in the latest move in President Bush’s effort to remake his troubled White House.

Mr. Snow is expected to be named today.

He will replace Scott McClellan, who is stepping down in a White House personnel shuffle intended to re-energize Mr. Bush’s presidency. Mr. McClellan had served as Mr. Bush’s chief spokesman — the most prominent public figure in the White House after the president himself — for nearly three years.

Mr. Snow, a former editorial-page editor for The Washington Times, is an experienced Washington hand, but he is an outsider when it comes to Mr. Bush’s tight core of advisers.

Mr. Snow, a Fox News commentator and longtime syndicated columnist who served as a speechwriter in the White House under Mr. Bush’s father, has written and spoken frequently about the current president — not always in a complimentary way.

Last November, after Republicans failed to win the governor’s race in Virginia, Mr. Snow wrote that Mr. Bush’s “wavering conservatism has become an active concern among Republicans, who wish he would stop cowering under the bed and start fighting back against the likes of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Wilson.”

“The newly passive George Bush has become something of an embarrassment,” he said.

Mr. Snow, in an Associated Press interview yesterday, said: “It’s public record. I’ve written some critical stuff. When you’re a columnist, you’re going to criticize and you’re going to praise.”

Unofficially, White House officials said Mr. Snow’s previous criticism showed that the administration listens to different voices and noted that Mr. Snow’s job called for him to be opinionated.

Mr. Snow declined to say whether he had been offered the White House job. Republicans close to the White House said the press secretary’s job had been offered to Mr. Snow and that he had accepted. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because of Mr. Bush’s dislike of news leaks.

One factor in Mr. Snow’s decision was that he had his colon removed last year and underwent six months of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with cancer. He had a CAT scan last week and delayed a decision while he consulted with his doctors.

Mr. Snow is the host of “The Tony Snow Show” on Fox News Radio and “Weekend Live With Tony Snow” on the Fox News Channel. He served in the administration of President George H.W. Bush as White House speechwriting director and later as a deputy assistant to the president for media affairs.

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