Democrats & Liberals Archives

Cheeseburger Boy Resigns

Andrew Card resigned his position as President Bush’s chief of staff. It was out of the blue, and the press is portraying it as a second-term “overhaul” of the administration in response to Republican criticism. What a crock. Calls for a shake-up are invariably directed at Vice President Cheney or Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. If the President thinks he’s going to get a boost in the popularity polls by jettisoning Card, he’s dippy. I mean, who the hell is Andrew Card?

Literate Americans may remember Card as "Cheeseburger Boy" from Ron Suskind's book, "The Price of Loyalty",

"Go get me Andy Card," Bush said to one of the Secret Service agents. Card, the designee as chief of staff, entered from an adjoining room. Along with Cheney, Card was running the transition, and he had a long history, having served every Republican President since Ronald Reagan took office. He is stolid and jovial, a man of solid, loyal character.

Bush looked impatiently at Card, hard-eyed. "You're the chief of staff. You think you're up to getting us some cheeseburgers?"

Card nodded. No one laughed. He all but raced out of the room.

O'Neill watched it all, not sure if he was seeing correctly. When he ran Alcoa, he had a rule if he was considering buying a company, and he bought many: See how the CEO interacts with the receptionist, the secretary, with whoever is at the very bottom. It's a sign of how the boss values the people around him. It's a character issue.

Other astute readers may remember Card as the guy in Bob Woodward's "Plan of Attack" who (along with President Bush) was totally unimpressed with CIA Director George Tenet's presentation of the case for going to war with Iraq,

"Nice try," Bush said. "I don't think this is quite - it's not something that Joe Public would understand or would gain a lot of confidence from."

Card was also underwhelmed. The presentation was a flop.... Bush turned to Tenet. "I've been told all this intelligence about having WMD and this is the best we've got?"

From the end of one of the couches in the Oval Office, Tenet rose up, threw his arms in the air. "It's a slam dunk case!" the DCI said.

Bush pressed. "George, how confident are you?"

..."Don't worry, it's a slam dunk!"

...The president later recalled that McLaughlin's presentation "wouldn't have stood the test of time." But, said Bush, Tenet's reassurance - "That was very important."

"Needs a lot more work," Bush told Card and Rice. "Let's get some people who've actually put together a case for a jury." He wanted some lawyers, prosecutors if need be. They were going to have to go public with something.

Anyhow, Card's resignation is not a second-term overhaul of the administration. Republicans calling for a shake-up wanted Rumsfeld's or Cheney's head on a platter. This is something else...

There's no doubt in my mind that in the next couple months we'll see Andrew Card investigated or indicted for some act of corruption, some unconstitutional deed, or even an outright treasonous undertaking (like leaking CIA secrets to the press), because those things are hallmarks of the Bush administration.

Posted by American Pundit at March 29, 2006 1:49 AM
Comment #136559

Maybe Andrew Card was caught on video shoplifting?

Anyway… Andrew Card is not a Bushie. He is one of those old Republicans Bush had to add to his inner circle to relax the party.

Posted by: Aldous at March 29, 2006 3:27 AM
Comment #136561

Could Card be the first rat to jump ship?

I have a hard time imagining that Bush & Co. would consider this an adequate ‘shake up’ (not that their track record is any but filled with similar missed responses…)

Posted by: tony at March 29, 2006 5:42 AM
Comment #136566

In his resignation speech, Card made an allusion to an ecclesiastes quote about seasons, citing that “There is a new season…” and that Josh Bolton is the man for the new season. As Director of the Office of Management and Budget, isn’t Bolton the guy who engineered $3TRILLION in national debt? What season is it?

Posted by: Thom Houts at March 29, 2006 7:15 AM
Comment #136567


Drilling a dry hole here,bucko.

I happen to know Andy Card…he’s from the south shore here in Massachusetts,and if everyone in the Bush administration were like him,we’d be light years ahead of the curve.

This guy is honest,dedicated,and a patriot.He has been that way since he served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

Here in Massachusetts,the most liberal of states since the Soviet Union,nary a liberal says a word against the guy…they know his honesty.

Trouble is,he is leaving and a lot of incompetents are still there.

The crack about a cheeseburger boy is uncalled for.

His politics are what grate you,but fundamentally Andy has always been what you’s want a chief of staff to be.

My two cents anyway.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at March 29, 2006 7:16 AM
Comment #136570


I don’t know Andy Card at all. But I do know that Chiefs of Staff rarely last as long as he has. Its a high burnout position because of the long hours and constant pressure.

I’m sure he’s a good man who reocognizes the need for a change. Sometimes the need for change says less about the man than it does about the circumstances. This would seem to be one of those times.

Its interesting to see those in this thread trying to demean the man by calling him names, claiming that he’ll be indicted, calling him a rat jumping ship etc. Most likely, these folks know nothing about Card other than that he worked in the Bush administration, which of course must make him bad. Its really a shame when people knee jerk to such reactions without knowing any of the facts about the guy. But….why bother to know something when you can simply complain?

Posted by: joebagodonuts at March 29, 2006 7:42 AM
Comment #136571

SE, you need to go back and re-read the article. I never said anything bad about Card. I don’t know him at all, but your description seems accurate.

As for the “Cheeseburger Boy” moniker, you’ll have to take that up with President Bush.

Trouble is,he is leaving and a lot of incompetents are still there.

Thanks for summing up my post, SE.

Thom, President Bush’s choice of Bolton is interesting. I wonder if it signals a change of focus from foreign adventurism to domestic fiscal policy.

Posted by: American Pundit at March 29, 2006 7:49 AM
Comment #136576

My concern is that Card’s replacement is the man responsible for the White House side of the monstrously growing debt and deficits.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 29, 2006 8:25 AM
Comment #136585


Correct .The guy is a workaholic,and has been on board for probably the most tulmatous time since either Vietnam or WWII pressure wies.

I think he will enter the private sector,but I wish he would run for governor of Massachusetts or better still a senatorial position.

I think you’ll be hearing his name again.


Glad I can sum up your position.Hopefully Bush will give the inner circle an energy boost.Trouble is that anyone who needs Senate confirmation will fly into a shit storm,including Mother Theresa if she were alive.


All I have read about Bolton is that he is competent at what he does…perhaps we should give the guy a chance or else we risk falling into the partisian trap ourselves(again)

Posted by: sicilianeagle at March 29, 2006 9:14 AM
Comment #136588

Siceagle, the man has a record as the President’s bugdet advisor, and the record is on the table. Most rapid growth in all manner of debt our nation has ever witnessed. I don’t need to give the man a chance, his record speaks for itself. Nothing partisan about it. The facts speak for themselves.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 29, 2006 9:19 AM
Comment #136603

Even the GOP has been asking for Bushie to “mature” his staff. Yet here he is, letting go one of the actual elder civil servants and replacing him with Bolton, the budget disaster master?
At first I laughed, thinking I misheard John Bolton. Now I used to think W was simply grossly misguided and incompetent, but this is simply astounding. Or, who knows, maybe without him the deficit would be at $12 trillion?

Posted by: Dave at March 29, 2006 10:24 AM
Comment #136631

Brilliant. That Card story says it all.

Posted by: Max at March 29, 2006 12:03 PM
Comment #136632

From today’s Times Op ed:

“We’ve heard that under Mr. Card’s watch, aides wound up showing Mr. Bush videos of TV news coverage of Hurricane Katrina to convince their boss that it really was a problem. Maybe Mr. Bolten can start the next budget discussion with some audiovisual aids — like an abacus.”

Posted by: Max at March 29, 2006 12:05 PM
Comment #136633

Your premise stated:

“Calls for a shake-up are invariably directed at Vice President Cheney or Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld.”

Your premise restated as a conclusion:

“Republicans calling for a shake-up wanted Rumsfeld’s or Cheney’s head on a platter.”

So maybe I missed something but restating your premise as a conclusion is an error in logic. It is an intriguing premise but you have done nothing to prove it. You can’t get there by circular reasoning. Logic 101.

Posted by: ILIndCon at March 29, 2006 12:07 PM
Comment #136637

Bush is just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Card probably has something better to do with his life than get cheeseburgers for Bush.
The character issue is nothing new. The obnoxious drunk is just obnoxious. I always thought he would fall off the wagon and turn into Andrew Johnson, but they probably have someone there whose job is to keep alcohol away from GWBush. Maybe Card got tired of it.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 29, 2006 12:25 PM
Comment #136641

Bolton! More evidence that the insane deficit is intentioal. It is calculated to prevent any future government from honoring SS promises or addressing healthcare. The bastards are doing it on purpose. They regard collective solutions as evil. Time for congress to change hands and get the budget under control again.

Posted by: BillS at March 29, 2006 12:38 PM
Comment #136646

BillS, I have been writing about those suspicions for a couple years now. Getting harder to discredit as we move forward. Well said.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 29, 2006 12:47 PM
Comment #136656


Posted by: john counts at March 29, 2006 1:12 PM
Comment #136670

Can we install some kind of filter that automatically rejects posts with ALL CAPS?
The technology should be there.

Posted by: Norby at March 29, 2006 1:49 PM
Comment #136672

norby reading your post’s tells me you are blind thus caps. just trying to be bi partison

Posted by: john counts at March 29, 2006 1:59 PM
Comment #136676

There’s an old saying in the military that you either have to lead, follow or get the hell out of the way. This administration can’t do either/ or!

Posted by: Fatguy46 at March 29, 2006 2:12 PM
Comment #136678

Seeing an all caps post means screaming and yelling…..two approaches that are neither appreciatd nor heeded……you’re only hurting yourself. Unlock and speak in a normal tone !

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at March 29, 2006 2:14 PM
Comment #136682
We’ve heard that under Mr. Card’s watch, aides wound up showing Mr. Bush videos of TV news coverage of Hurricane Katrina to convince their boss that it really was a problem. Maybe Mr. Bolten can start the next budget discussion with some audiovisual aids like an abacus.

That comment in today’s NYT was so sweet. It boggles the mind that reaching across the courtyard to the OMB office can be considered “reaching outside” or “a shakeup” in this administration. Even Leonid Brezhnev went outside the Kremlin to find people to help him out of his mess.

Posted by: bobo at March 29, 2006 2:30 PM
Comment #136683

sandra by normal you must be refering to statements like george bush knew about 911 before 911 or maybe george bush is a terrorest these kind words came from leaders in your party as american soldiers were being killed.again sometimes with children you have to be stern.this is why no matter how much you hope or pray for your party to gain power the people will never elect amatures to the white house again.look this argument will be settled in november.remember the last minority leader upps i forgot his name.

Posted by: john counts at March 29, 2006 2:32 PM
Comment #136688

I don’t see what the big deal is about replacing Card with Bolten. Bush is just moving one longtime crony of an aide from one position to another. This ensures that no changes in policy or style of governing will be affected, while similtaneously giving the illusion of change, which they believe may somehow help their poll numbers. Everyone who surrounds the president has to tell him exactly what he wants to hear, or they run the risk of being Colin Powell-ed. Aren’t we all aware of this by now?

BillS, I think you are spot-on.
I too, believe these bastards are running up their enormous deficits on purpose. The Neocon’s have always talked about burying the New Deal, and this total insanity seems to be how they’re trying to achieve that goal.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 29, 2006 2:36 PM
Comment #136695

John Counts
Did I miss the answer to my question? When are you enlisting or are you just another chicken hawk?

Posted by: BillS at March 29, 2006 3:10 PM
Comment #136696

john… could you possibly twist my post to you into what you just said????? What I originally typed to you was to “QUIT YELLING”.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at March 29, 2006 3:11 PM
Comment #136697

Please do not feed the trolls. Established posters may leave a message board because of the arguments that trolls ignite, see:

Posted by: orhealy at March 29, 2006 3:15 PM
Comment #136698

bills im 49 years old the only way i can join the service is through the clergy.i want to fight the enemy not convert the way i tried whats your excuse?could it be you are in canada?

Posted by: john counts at March 29, 2006 3:18 PM
Comment #136701

orhealy….Sorry….duly, and acceptably enlightened…..

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at March 29, 2006 3:28 PM
Comment #136710

“Please do not feed the trolls.”

Excellent public service announcement. I agree 100%.

Hey, here is a wee sliver of good news! I believe it may be a public commentary on the crap job this Republican administation and their Congressional majority are doing:
Democrats Gain Edge in Party Identification During Last Year
Fewer Americans identify as Republicans, more as independents

Also, a real doozy of a breaking news story regarding the Bottomless Pit of Crime we call American Government:
Whistleblowers allege influence peddling by members of Congress, Vice President, in Mexico wastewater project

Posted by: Adrienne at March 29, 2006 4:35 PM
Comment #136715


Bolton was formerly deputy chief of staff to Card. Even though the guy has been parked over at OMB for awhile, it’s not a substantial shakeup - it’s more like a little stir.

Posted by: CPAdams at March 29, 2006 4:47 PM
Comment #136729

While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75-year old Texas rancher, whose hand was
caught in a gate while working cattle, the doctor and the old man struck up a
conversation about George W. Bush being in the White House.

The old Texan said, “Well, ya know, Bush is a ‘post turtle’.”

Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a ‘post turtle’ was.

The old rancher said, “When you’re driving down a country road and you
come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that’s a post turtle.”

The old man saw a puzzled look on the doctor’s face, so he continued to explain,
“You know he didn’t get there by himself, he doesn’t belong there, he doesn’t know
what to do while he’s up there, and you just want to help the dumb bastard get

Posted by: womanmarine at March 29, 2006 5:39 PM
Comment #136735

womanmarine……. thanks for reminding us what a joke Dubya really is……

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at March 29, 2006 6:34 PM
Comment #136736

“post turtle”


Posted by: diogenes (i) at March 29, 2006 6:35 PM
Comment #136739

Thanks ohrealy for the reminder.

Apolgies to all. Troll feeding is another old bad habit of mine. One day at a time….Bill

Posted by: BillS at March 29, 2006 6:50 PM
Comment #136743


I needed a good belly laugh. Thank you!

That’s one I’ll be sending to many, many friends.


Posted by: KansasDem at March 29, 2006 8:26 PM
Comment #136752

Nice story, womanmarine. It reminds me of a story President Clinton once told in response to GOP claims that the federal budget balanced itself during his term: “If you see a turtle sittin’ on a fence post, you can be sure it didn’t get there by itself.”

ILIndCon, I never stated a premise or a conclusion — just an observation. Maybe that’s why you’re confused. Sorry about that.

…Unless you really don’t think Republicans are calling for the ouster of Rumsfeld and Cheney. If that’s the case, pick up a newspaper once in a while and check out recent statements by Republicans like Hagel, McCain, and even “Stormin” Norman Schwarzkopf.

Card’s resignation isn’t a shake up. My guess is that it’s pre-emptive damage control. There’s no apparent reason to give him the boot. Unfortunately, it may make things even worse. Here’s Card describing his duties as White House chief of staff:

“There are only 24 hours in a day. The president has to have time to eat, sleep and be merry, or he’ll make angry, grumpy decisions. So I have to make sure he has time to eat, sleep and be merry.”

Posted by: American Pundit at March 29, 2006 9:53 PM
Comment #136755

Card’s departure is simply a case of the rat deserting the sinking shit.

Posted by: ElliottBay at March 29, 2006 9:59 PM
Comment #136758

That post/link by ohrealy is great….it should be attached to every blog and every board that exists.


Posted by: W.R. Printz at March 29, 2006 10:04 PM
Comment #136770

The change from Card to Bolten is hardly a shakeup or even a stir. It’s more an “in your face” kind of a move. This admin is showing that it is not going to do a thing to change the status quo, regardless of who calls for it.
Just more of the same “stay the course” action instead of rhetoric. These guys think that they are doing a great job, and they are not about to change anything.

Posted by: Cole at March 29, 2006 11:02 PM
Comment #136788

wonderful! only truth will save this world

Posted by: Terra Nova at March 30, 2006 3:54 AM
Comment #136790

ya’ll probably heard this one, but the story goes that three surgeons were at the bar at the end of a medical conference. Being slightly fuelled, their normally “modest” personalities were out to impress.

The first one tells a story of a gifted runner who fell from a ladder, smashing his leg in 5 places. “I did a beautiful job on this guy, and he went on to win a gold medal in the olympics”.

That’s nothing” says the second, ” I had a pianist whose hands were severed at the wrist in a car smash, but when I got thro’ with him, he ended up playing to sellout audiences in Carnegie Hall”

“That’s pretty good” says the third, ” but I had a very interesting case down in Texas. This drunk cowboy came in who had strayed onto a rail line while out riding the range and was hit by an express train. All I had to work with was a cocked hat and a horses ass. Now he’e President of the US!”

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at March 30, 2006 4:59 AM
Comment #136811

This article has tendencies to be mis-read. I do not think the writer intended to cut on Andrew Card, but the Presidents’ poor use of a the man in a specific situation. I have heard nothing but good about Andrew Card and I am a devout liberal in my politics and agenda. However, I am objective enough to agree and understand good conservative ideas and how they can help the liberal agenda. Andrew Card has survived a tumultuous Republican era with Bush at the helm. If the Bush administration chooses to dirty his name in accusations and indictments, it will only seal the demise of the Republicans in power and the Bush administration along with it. (I like the quote about “rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic” by ohrealy…classic!!!)

Posted by: Viper67 at March 30, 2006 9:38 AM
Comment #136836


I’m not sure about your prediction that Card will be suddenly the target of investigation,do you know something we don’t? Now if he comes out with a book critical of Bush…. that’s another story.

I think Bush is just trying to get SOME agenda moving, he’s stalled out here.

Posted by: gergle at March 30, 2006 11:35 AM
Comment #136876


Instead of rearranging the deck chairs, I like Dilbert’s quote to the pointy hair boss about a re-org:

What do you do if I get a flat tire? Well, if I’m you, I rotate the tires and keep driving.
I just wonder how many tires Bush has left us with…

But, for real; I think one reason Card bailed is because of the new lobby reform bill. It precludes former staffers, etc…, from lobbying for two years after leaving pubic service. That would cost him probably over $5M if he didn’t leave now.

Posted by: Dave at March 30, 2006 1:20 PM
Comment #136935

Card bailed is because of the new lobby reform bill. Posted by: Dave at March 30, 2006 01:20 PM
Now there is someone who knows what he is talking about. Never underestimate greed.

Posted by: Ohrealy at March 30, 2006 5:11 PM
Comment #137076

I don’t know, gergle. IIRC, Card was already implicated in one of the classified intelligence leaks, but I can’t remember if it was disclosing the CIA operative’s identity or Cheney’s leaking of Iraq intel to the press while we were at war.

Posted by: American Pundit at March 31, 2006 9:48 AM
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