- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The White House once again has dipped into the ranks of conservative journalism for a top post in naming Karl Zinsmeister as domestic policy adviser. As founder and longtime editor in chief of the American Enterprise, Mr. Zinsmeister is an inspired choice, much like former radio host and Fox News anchor Tony Snow being named press secretary. We have no doubt that he will bring the same thoughtful conservative analyses to domestic affairs as he exhibited in running one of the country’s finest publications for more than 10 years.

His appointment reflects White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten’s commitment toward re-energizing a lagging administration by looking for new faces outside Washington. Mr. Zinsmeister, who ran the magazine from upstate New York, is not a Beltway careerist. Indeed, much of Mr. Zinsmeister’s finest reporting came from covering the Iraq war as an embedded journalist — months which resulted in two books documenting his time with the 82nd Airborne and the military’s effort to rebuilt Iraq.

Mr. Zinsmeister will also bring a wealth of domestic expertise. His first job in Washington was working as an assistant for the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a dean of the Democratic Party. And with his research ranging from cultural trends to economic analyses as a fellow for the American Enterprise Institute, not to mention his piloting of a magazine whose masthead declares it a journal of “Politics, Business, and Culture,” Mr. Zinsmeister is a solid choice to reinvigorate President Bush’s stalled domestic agenda.

His primary objective should be to reach out to conservatives feeling abandoned by this administration. That begins with a renewed push for a constitutional amendment defining marriage, but includes principled leadership on such thorny issues as stem cell research and defending the administration’s domestic anti-terrorist policies. To do this, Mr. Zinsmeister will sometimes find himself battling Republicans as much as an obstructionist Democratic minority. But facing hostility shouldn’t be anything new to Mr. Zinsmeister.

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