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Who's Who in the White House

Updated: June 22, 2005

Short profiles and key stories about President George W. Bush's top advisers in the White House.

The Top Two: Cheney | Rove
Senior Advisers: Bartlett | Card | Gerson | Hadley
Other Key Aides: Devenish | Hagin | Hubbard | McClellan | Miers | Wolff

The Top Two

Richard B. Cheney
Vice president
Date of birth: Jan. 30, 1941
Behind the curtain stands Dick Cheney, easily the most influential vice president in U.S. history. Cheney is a secretive and remorseless strategist, and the administration's foremost advocate of the unstinting exercise of power at both the international and domestic level. For instance, he was unwavering in his desire to go to war in Iraq. And his aggressive moves to restore power to the presidency lost since in the Vietnam War and Watergate eras have been hugely successful. In the second term, Cheney has even further expanded his own personal influence by putting his loyalists in key positions throughout the White House. Cheney himself does not poll well; he survived a slew of dump-Cheney rumors in the run-up to the 2004 election. Ironically, he is now constantly batting down rumors that he'll run for president in 2008. During the 2004 campaign, Cheney did not join in his boss's call for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. One of his daughters - the one who is not a senior State Department official - is a lesbian. But aside from that issue, Cheney and Bush have been eerily in synch since Day One. The only question is, behind closed doors, who synchs to who.
Weaned on Politics, Cheney Daughters Find a Place at the Table, New York Times, May 31, 2005
Hill to See More of Cheney Treatment, Washington Post, Jan. 20, 2005
Cheney Upholds Power of the Presidency, Washington Post, January 20, 2005
Cheney Exercising Muscle on Domestic Policies, New York Times, January 18, 2005
Cheney energizes loyal base -- and foes, Chicago Tribune, July 2, 2004
Cheney Was Unwavering in Desire to Go to War, Washington Post, April 20, 2004
The Strong, Silent Type, Washington Post, Jan. 18, 2004
How Dick Cheney Sold the War, Newsweek, Nov. 19, 2003
Official Bio and Speeches

Karl Rove
Senior adviser and deputy chief of staff
Date of birth: Dec. 25, 1950
Karl Rove is a man of many nicknames. He is the "Architect" of Bush's victories; he is "Bush's Brain." The president alternately calls him "Boy Genius" or "Turd Blossom," a Texas phrase describing a flower that grows in manure. He is the mastermind of the White House, the instigator-in-chief responsible for a series of policies and political maneuvers aimed first at getting his boss re-elected, and now at creating a permanent Republican majority. In the first term, Rove was Bush's senior political adviser, officially in charge of strategic planning and political affairs. In early 2005, Bush also made him deputy chief of staff, so he now officially coordinates the policies of the National Security Council, the Domestic Policy Council, the National Economic Council and the Homeland Security Council. The result is that Rove is the poster child for how politics and policy have merged in the Bush White House. Traditionally, governing is a considerably different matter than running for office, where winning is everything. Not so with Rove. If he eventually starts losing, he could end up taking the blame for creating a divisive presidency, aimed more at achieving partisan goals than the common good. But if he keeps winning, he will be a kingmaker even as his boss becomes a lame duck -- and his legacy could be a GOP that is indeed the ruling party for decades to come.
The Architect, PBS's Frontline, April 2005 (Includes priceless video, at the 4:45 mark, of a young Karl Rove lecturing Dan Rather about the importance of voter registration in the 1972 Nixon campaign.)
With Bush Re-elected, Rove Turns to Policy, New York Times, March 28, 2005
The Karl Rove Ascension,, Feb. 9, 2005
Barbara Walters's Most Fascinating People, ABC News, Dec. 8, 2004
The Many Faces of Karl Rove,, Nov. 8, 2004
The Controller, New Yorker, May 12, 2003
Rove's Way, New York Times Magazine, Oct. 20, 2002
Official Bio

Senior Advisers

Dan Bartlett
Bush's longest-serving aide, the ever-cheerful 34-year-old Bartlett started working for Bush during his first campaign for governor in Texas in fall 1993. During Bush's first term as president, Bartlett was communications director. He now occupies the post that was left vacant when Bush confidant Karen Hughes returned to Texas in 2002. Officially, the job puts him in charge of strategic communications planning. But unofficially, he's the explainer-in-chief. And he's got big shoes to fill. Hughes was considered uniquely capable of channeling Bush's thinking - and she was one of Washington's finest spinners ever.
Profile: Presidential Counselor Dan Bartlett, ABC News, January 18, 2005
Official Bio

Andrew H. Card Jr.
Chief of staff
Date of birth: May 10, 1947
The iron man of the White House, Card is the longest-serving White House chief of staff since the Eisenhower administration. And he runs the most buttoned-down, leak-proof, on-task, on-time, on-message White House in history. Indefatigable, and possessing an astounding memory, Card aggressively monitors -- and limits -- the information flow to the president. "The president has to have time to eat, sleep and be merry, or he'll make angry, grumpy decisions," Card said in a radio interview described in this column. "So I have to make sure he has time to eat, sleep and be merry. But I also have to make sure he has the right time to do the right thing for the country, and that he gets the right information in time, rather than too late." During the George H.W. Bush administration, Card was deputy chief of staff and transportation secretary. In the interregnum, he was the automotive industry's chief lobbyist. He is considered a potential candidate for governor in Massachusetts.
White House suits Card just fine; Says he won't run if Romney decides against second term, Quincy Patriot Ledger, May 13, 2005
Pressure Cooker; Andrew Card Has the Recipe for Chief of Staff Down Pat, Washington Post, January 5, 2005
Andrew Card gets another chance as Bush's chief of staff, Knight Ridder Newspapers, Nov. 12, 2004
A Powerful Player in the White House; Behind the Scenes, Chief of Staff Andy Card Rules With a Firm Hand, Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan. 26, 2004
Official Bio

Michael J. Gerson
Policy and strategy adviser
As Bush's chief speechwriter in the first term, Gerson gets credit for soaring oratory that often transcended its pedestrian delivery. As an evangelical Christian, Gerson also gets credit for the injection of Christian themes, imagery and language into the White House communications strategy. Promoted in the second term to the position of policy adviser - and moved to a new office just around the corner from the Oval - fellow staffers call him the conscience of the White House.
Soul of a Conservative, National Journal, May 14, 2005
Bush Gets a New Voice for Second Term,, January 5, 2005
Bush's References to God Defended by Speechwriter, Washington Post, December 12, 2004
For Bush's Speechwriter, Job Grows Beyond Words, Washington Post, October 11, 2002
Official bio

Steve Hadley
National security adviser
Date of Birth: February 13, 1947

Easily the most low key and self-effacing national security adviser in recent history, Hadley is the smiling face of the hawkish policies advocated less charmingly by his mentor, Vice President Cheney. After four years of devoted service as deputy to Condoleezza Rice, Hadley moved across the hall into the big office in the second term. He's deeply loyal to Bush, unfailingly polite and widely liked -- but Hadley's job isn't just to formulate and promulgate policies. It's also to tell Bush things the president doesn't necessarily want to hear.
So, What's Not to Like About Amiable Advisor?, Los Angeles Times, June 6, 2005
Stephen Hadley walks out of the shadows and into the spotlight, Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 24, 2005
Bush's Clark Kent, David Ignatius in The Washington Post, February 11, 2005
Official bio

Other Key Aides

Nicolle Devenish
Communications director
After great success as chief spokesman for Bush's re-election campaign, the 33-year-old Devenish was hired as the White House's chief message communicator in January. Devenish was famously fired from a previous job, a long time ago, for being too cozy with reporters. But that's no longer a danger.
New Aide Aims to Defrost the Press Room, New York Times, Jan. 10, 2005
Californian gets out the White House message, Sacramento Bee, March 6, 2005
Official Bio

Joseph Hagin
Deputy chief of staff
Date of birth: January 6, 1956
A former vice president at Chiquita Brands International, Hagin is in charge of the daily operations of the White House. He was deputy campaign manager in George W. Bush's 2000 presidential campaign.
When the President Needs Someone He Can Trust, He Turns to Big Joe, Cincinnati Enquirer, Jan. 20, 2003

Allan Hubbard
National Economic Council director
Running Bush's National Economic Council is a particularly demanding job. But Hubbard, the third person to hold that position, is an old Bush friend and fundraiser. He went to Harvard Business School with Bush and raised more than $300,000 for Bush's presidential campaigns. The president of Indianapolis-based E&A Industries, Hubbard built a fortune making and selling Car Brite car wax. During the George H.W. Bush administration, he worked for Vice President Dan Quayle on his deregulatory campaign.
Bush Picks Supporter as Economic Council Chief, Washington Post, January 11, 2005
Bush Names Longtime Friend to Head Economic Council, New York Times, January 11, 2005
Bush Pioneer Profile,
Official Bio

Scott McClellan
Press secretary
The second most public face of the White House, Scott McClellan's job is to deliver the president's predetermined message to a room full of reporters who are often looking for something else. As time has passed - McClellan took over from Ari Fleischer in the summer of 2003 - he has gotten less and less subtle about simply repeating his talking points over again. Tensions sometimes run high when McClellan is fending off frustrated reporters trying to knock him off message. But pretty much every time, it's the guy with the podium who wins. McClellan's family is a political powerhouse; his brother, Mark McClellan, is the administrator of Medicare and Medicaid, and their mother is Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, who is running for governor.
Blogger Hits the Wall, washingtonpostcom, April 5, 2005
Official Bio
Press Briefings

Harriet Miers
White House counsel
Date of birth: August 10, 1945

Miers was Bush's personal and campaign attorney back in Texas, where he also appointed her to head the Texas Lottery Commission. At the White House, she has been promoted twice, from staff secretary to deputy chief of staff for policy, and then to legal counsel. Bush once called her as a "pit bull in size 6 shoes."
Quiet but Ambitious White House Counsel Makes Life of Law, Washington Post, June 21, 2005
Miers' trek: from council to counsel, Dallas Morning News, March 3, 2005
Bush Promotes Miers From Staff to Counsel; Aide Lauded for Integrity, Intelligence, Washington Post, November 18, 2004
Official Bio

Candida "Candi" Wolff
Chief lobbyist
Date of birth: June 9, 1964
A former Cheney aide, Wolff spent a year on K Street as a corporate lobbyist before heading back to the White House to lead the president's uphill legislative charge.
Official Bio

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