Two of Vice President Bush's top aides -- chief of staff Adm. Daniel J. Murphy and press secretary Peter E. Teeley -- have announced their intention to resign, they said yesterday. Both are longtime associates of the vice president.
Murphy, 62, former commander of the 6th Fleet and Bush's chief deputy when he was director of the Central Intelligence Agency, said he had "served four years in this job, which is long enough," and wanted to return to a national-security post. He said he told Bush of his intentions and agreed to stay until June.
Teeley, 44, Bush's campaign press secretary when he sought the presidency in 1980, said he would open a government-relations business in Washington with Robert Thompson, a former deputy legislative liaison for President Reagan.
"If he runs for president in 1988, I expect to be back helping him," Teeley said of Bush.
The departure of these two key aides is likely to prompt Bush to address the question of a 1988 campaign sooner than he otherwise might have, according to sources close to Bush and the White House. Bush is widely believed to be a likely candidate, although he has said he has not decided.
Bush and White House chief of staff James A. Baker III, who managed his 1980 presidential campaign, have been frequent targets of conservative attacks during Reagan's first term. However, the president has repeatedly expressed confidence in both men.