I'll be talking about this more in my new column in The Hill, which will be out later this evening. But with the nomination today of White House Domestic Policy Adviser Margaret Spellings as Education Secretary (see her bio) the pattern is now unmistakably clear. As was the case with with Gonzales and Rice, President Bush is transposing his White House staff out to head their analogous federal departments and agencies.
Gonzales goes from White House Counsel to Attorney General; Rice goes from NSC to State; Spellings goes from Domestic Policy Advisor to Education Secretary.
Each of them defined mainly by their loyalty to President Bush.
As we wrote earlier, the shift is not toward right, left or center, but toward more direct White House control and the silencing of dissident voices in the civil service.