- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 26, 2006

[12:04 p.m.]

President Bush today named conservative commentator Tony Snow as White House press secretary, putting a new face on a troubled administration.

Mr. Snow, a Fox news pundit and former speechwriter in the White House under Mr. Bush’s father, replaced Scott McClellan who resigned in a personnel shuffle intended to re-energize the White House and lift the president’s record-low approval ratings.

“My job is to make decisions and his job is to help explain those decisions to the press corps and the American people,” Mr. Bush said, with Mr. Snow and Mr. McClellan at his side in the White House briefing room.

Mr. Snow’s appointment is notable in a White House that has a reputation for not suffering criticism. He has had some harsh things to say about Bush.

Mr. Snow called the president “something of an embarrassment,” a leader who has “lost control of the federal budget,” the architect of a “listless domestic policy” and a man who has “a habit of singing from the political correctness hymnal.”

Mr. Bush shrugged off the criticism. “He’s not afraid to express his own opinions,” he said of his new spokesman. “For those of you who’ve read his columns and listened to his radio show, he sometimes has disagreed with me. I asked him about those comments, and he said, `You should have heard what I said about the other guy.’”

Mr. Snow thanked Bush for the job and told reporters, “Believe it or not, I want to work with you.”

Mr. Bush also addressed reporters directly. “Tony already knows most of you and he’s agreed to take the job anyway,” he said with a laugh.

Mr. Snow is a smooth-talking Washington insider in a White House led by Texans proud of their outsider status. He is a familiar face to White House reporters and is known as a conservative partisan.

“He will bring a lot of outside perspective to this White House and that will be helpful,” said Mr. McClellan, who has served as Bush’s chief spokesman - the most prominent public figure in the White House after Bush - for nearly three years.

Mr. McClellan said Mr. Snow planned to start the week of May 8 but would not begin conducting the daily press briefings for several days. Mr. McClellan said he had not decided on departure date yet, but would have some overlap with Mr. Snow.

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