Bush spokesman Snow to leave post Sept. 14

White House Press Secretary Tony Snow will leave his post on Sept. 14 and be replaced by current deputy spokeswoman Dana Perino, U.S. President George W. Bush announced Friday.

Bush spokesman Snow to leave post Sept. 14
In announcing Snow's resignation, Bush praised his outgoing spokesman as someone "able to talk about issues in a way that the American people can understand."

"It's been a joy to watch him spar with you," he told reporters.

Bush expressed confidence in Perino's ability to deal with tough grilling by the White House press corps. "She can handle you all. She's capable of handling your questions," he said.

Perino will be only the second woman to hold the press secretary post after Dee Dee Myers, who served under former President Bill Clinton.

Snow's departure continues an exodus of close Bush aides from the White House in recent months. Bush's deputy chief of staff and longtime political guru Karl Rove left on Friday; his longest-serving aide, Dan Bartlett, announced his resignation in June.

U.S. media had reported in mid-August that Snow, 52, intended to leave before the end of Bush's term in January 2009, citing financial pressures. His annual government salary of $168,000 was much less than he made in his prior career as a conservative pundit and talk-show host on Fox News Radio.

Since being named press secretary on April 26, 2006, Snow has served as Bush's chief media advocate during a time of dwindling public support for the U.S.-led war in Iraq and a shift in control of the Congress to the opposition Democratic Party.

In addition to sparring with reporters, Snow in recent months has also faced a more personal battle -- a recurrence of colon cancer discovered during medical tests in March.

During Snow's absence for surgery following the cancer diagnosis, Perino, 35, took over responsibility for conducting the daily White House press briefing. She was elevated to the deputy press secretary post in March 2006 after communications stints at the Department of Justice and the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

AP - Kyodo
Last Mod: 01 Eylül 2007, 08:38
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