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Bush Knows Well the Hazards of the Trail

"I like campaigning. . . . I enjoy the competition," said President Bush recently, shown here in Englewood, Colo., during his 2000 run for the White House while he was governor of Texas. (By Eric Draper -- Associated Press)

"I was panicked a bit because I really don't know about . . . the Cuban Missile Crisis," said Perino, who at 35 was born about a decade after the 1962 U.S.-Soviet nuclear showdown. "It had to do with Cuba and missiles, I'm pretty sure."

So she consulted her best source. "I came home and I asked my husband," she recalled. "I said, 'Wasn't that like the Bay of Pigs thing?' And he said, 'Oh, Dana.' "

Administration's Phrase of the Week

Bush and his advisers like to say they don't pay attention to the polls. But evidently they do pay attention to the poles. And no, not the ones in Warsaw. The most commonly used line last week after the new intelligence report concluded that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003?

¿ National security adviser Stephen J. Hadley, at a briefing Monday: "As we have said, weapons-grade uranium is the long pole in the tent for a nuclear weapon."

¿ Bush, at Tuesday's news conference: "The most difficult aspect of developing a weapons program, or as some would say, the long pole in the tent, is enriching uranium."

¿ Vice President Cheney, to the Politico on Wednesday: "The long pole in the ten t in terms of developing nuclear weapons, traditionally, historically, has been developing fissile material, either highly enriched uranium or plutonium."

Size of Gillespie's Pay Cut

Looks like Ed Gillespie took a bit of a pay cut to come on board this year as Bush's new counselor. A disclosure form shows he made nearly $1.3 million in salary and bonus in the previous 18 months at his consulting and public affairs firm, Quinn Gillespie & Associates. His annual government salary is $168,000. The form, obtained by the Associated Press, reports that Gillespie has accumulated a fortune estimated to be between $7.86 million and $19.4 million -- not bad for a former Capitol Hill aide who co-founded his lobbying shop in 2000.

White House Promotions

Since the White House doesn't pay as well as Quinn Gillespie, Bush instead is handing out lots of promotions as Christmas approaches. The president last week named Charles P. Blahous III, who led his Social Security overhaul commission, as the new deputy director of the National Economic Council; Gordon Johndroe, the National Security Council's press secretary, was promoted from special assistant to the president to deputy assistant to the president and deputy press secretary, while keeping his NSC duties.

John M. Herrmann II was promoted from NSC director for international trade and investment to NSC senior director for international trade, energy and the environment. Sally McDonough Niemiec, the first lady's press secretary, was given the additional title of special assistant to the president. And David Sherzer, a special projects coordinator, was made special assistant to the president for strategic initiatives and external affairs.

Quote of the Week

"Unless I wanted to be single. I mean, my wife -- it would be over."

-- Former White House counselor Dan Bartlett, explaining to Texas Monthly why he will not go back into presidential politics.

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