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Sen. Dick Durbin on Card quitting: ``They picked the wrong person to toss overboard.��? UPDATE: Durbin talks to CNN's Wolf Blitzer


This react on the White House shake up just in, from Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)
Durbin is skeptical whether the departure of Chief of Staff Andy Card will put the Bush White House on the right course.
``They picked the wrong person to toss overboard,'' Durbin said.
UPDATE: House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) praises Card in his statement.
UPDATE 2: Durbin on Card resignation and more in interview on CNN's Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.

Statement of U.S. Senator Durbin on Resignation

of White House CHief of staff Andy Card

[Washington, D.C.] – Assistant Democratic Leader Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today issued the following statement after the White House announced that Andy Card will be stepping down as White House Chief of Staff:

“I have always found Andy Card to be reasonable, professional and a man of his word. If the White House is looking to change course, they picked the wrong person to toss overboard.��?
“The American people are looking for a new direction from the Bush Administration. It remains to be seen whether Josh Bolten can put the White House on the right course.��?

Hastert release.......

Speaker Hastert Commends

Andy Card for His Service

(Washington, D.C.) House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) released the following statement in response the announcement of the resignation of White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card:

"I commend Andy for his faithful service to the President and the American people. He has brought leadership and wisdom to a tough job, and his dedication to his staff and commitment to the American people has left its mark on this Administration. I wish him the best in his future endeavors.

"I want to congratulate and welcome Josh Bolten as I look forward to continuing to work with him in his new role."
This is a transcript from CNN...
Subj: "If this is the beginning of cleaning house, they tossed the wrong guy overboard."-Sen. Durbin on CNN's "The Situation Room"
Date: 3/28/06 6:41:19 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: (Rooney, Alissa)

On today's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," Sen. Dick Durbin spoke
about Andy Card. Highlighted excerpts are below and a full transcript
follows. Please credit all usage to CNN's "The Situation Room."

Contact Alissa Rooney at 202-515-2920.


Highlighted excerpts

On Andy Card

But he's one of the most reasonable, professional people in this White
House, a person whose word is very good. And if this is the beginning
of cleaning house, they tossed the wrong guy overboard.

On Bolten

I can't speak to Josh Bolten on a personal basis.

I will tell you that, with the budget deficit out of
control, I don't think he comes to this job with a great set of
credentials. But I want to give him a chance. You know, the bottom
line is, if the president of the United States is going to lead this
country in a new direction, which they are begging for, then he needs a
new approach, a new team, maybe a new set of political values.

Full transcript

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: More now on our top story: the resignation of
the president's chief of staff.

You just heard our exclusive interview with the president of
the United States. Let's get some Democratic reaction right now.

The Illinois Senator Dick Durbin is joining us from Capitol
Hill. He's the minority whip, the number-two Senate Democrat.

Senator, the president is not ruling out more staff changes
in that interview. What -- first of all, what's your reaction to the
decision by Andy Card to resign?

SEN. RICHARD DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: Well, he worked hard.
He was a great public servant. And I think, if this was a personal
decision, that he wanted to spend a little more time with his family, a
little less hectic lifestyle, that is understandable.

But he's one of the most reasonable, professional people in
this White House, a person whose word is very good. And if this is the
beginning of cleaning house, they tossed the wrong guy overboard.

BLITZER: Because the White House chief of staff has to deal
with members of Congress, especially the leadership, Republicans and

From your perspective, as a Democratic leader, you are
saying you had a good relationship.

DURBIN: Oh, I did.

BLITZER: You could trust Andy Card.

DURBIN: Absolutely.

BLITZER: Well, what about Josh Bolten, the budget director,
who is going to be the new White House chief of staff?

DURBIN: I can't speak to Josh Bolten on a personal basis.

I will tell you that, with the budget deficit out of
control, I don't think he comes to this job with a great set of
credentials. But I want to give him a chance. You know, the bottom
line is, if the president of the United States is going to lead this
country in a new direction, which they are begging for, then he needs a
new approach, a new team, maybe a new set of political values.

BLITZER: Like -- well, so, what else are you recommending?
Clearly, the president has got his own advisers. You are not
necessarily one of his advisers. But what else would you like to see?

DURBIN: I think there are people in the Cabinet who should
leave. I won't go through names. But I will tell you that some of the
policies that they have been pushing are just total failures.

BLITZER: Well, give us a few examples.

DURBIN: Well, take Iraq, for a starter.

In this situation now, we have a president counseling
patience, saying wait for the next president of the United States to
remove the American troops. What kind of message is that to send to the
Iraqis? We ought to tell them there's a sense of urgency. They need to
take control of their own country. They need to defend their own
country. They need Iraqi soldiers ready to stand and fight, so American
soldiers can come home.

BLITZER: Would you like to see Donald Rumsfeld resign?

DURBIN: I am not a big fan of Secretary Rumsfeld.

I think this policy in Iraq has been a disastrous policy.
And I think his leadership on many issues, whether it's sending enough
troops, arming our troops with what they need to come home safely,
preparing Iraq, so that it can take care of its own defense future, I
think there have been a lot of failures in this Department of Defense.

BLITZER: That sounds like a yes to me.

DURBIN: It's close.


Listen to what the president said about Iraq in the
exclusive interview he gave to CNN en Espanol on the eve of his summit.
Listen to this.


my vision for a better future entails having a democratic Iraq as a
friend and an ally, and to prevent the stated goals of the enemy from
taking place.

They want us to leave Iraq, so they can establish a safe
haven from which to launch attacks on our -- on our people again. And I
take their

-- I take their goal seriously. And I will use all resources at my
disposal in order to protect the American people.


BLITZER: What's wrong with that?

DURBIN: Nothing. In fact, it's a great goal.

For two years, they have promised, though, that the Iraqi
soldiers would stand up and fight for their own country. I will believe
it when the first Iraqi soldier replaces an American soldier.

And now we have the president saying, well, maybe it's
another two-and-a-half years before that day comes. I just think that
that's a timetable that evidences no plan, no real view of the future
that -- with any kind of certainty that our troops are going to return.

BLITZER: Senator McCain, a Republican, an independent
Republican, if you will, just back from Iraq, he said this earlier

I want your reaction.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I think we have got some
tough sledding ahead, and I would be very much opposed to any troop
withdrawals at this time, in my assessment of the situation.

Clearly, a calendar should not dictate in war troop
strengths or any other battlefield tactics or strategy.


BLITZER: Do you have a problem with that?

DURBIN: If Iraq is descending into a civil war, if that's
the suggestion I hear from my colleague, what is the end of this story?

How will it end? Can we bring these people together, so
they can govern their own country, protect themselves? Many of us said
it's a lot easier to get in a war than it is to get out. And we are
being proven right. I hope that this administration is making it clear,
at least behind the scenes, to the Iraqis, that this kind of government
fumbling that we are seeing now is unacceptable.

BLITZER: Senator, there's a lot of pundits out there who
think the Democrats have a shot at capturing the majority in the House.

But what about the Senate? As you look at the various races
that are open, a third of the Senate up for reelection, what do you
think? Do the Democrats have a shot of actually becoming the majority
in the Senate?

DURBIN: I have sensed, as I have traveled around Illinois
and around this country, that there is a real mood for change.

People want to see a new direction. They are tired of the
Bush direction for this country. They just don't think we are really
addressing the major issues.

They don't feel more secure, when we have a country with a
Dubai ports deal. They don't feel more secure, when we don't provide
the necessary resources to our police and our firefighters, not checking
on ports for security, not dealing with chemical and nuclear plant
security. They want real security in this country. They want
leadership that is dedicated to health insurance that is affordable and
accessible for all Americans and their businesses. There's just no
leadership coming from this administration.

BLITZER: All right, Senator Durbin, we will leave it there.

Thanks very much for joining us.

DURBIN: Thank you.

BLITZER: Dick Durbin, the number-two Senate Democrat.


Thank you, Dick Durbin.
I wonder who should have been tossed "overboard".
Obviously, someone without the sterling qualities that Durbin attributes to Card.
Personally, I'm tired of the phrase "a new direction".
Of course, "it remains to be seen....". How trite and useless.

The only person Dick Durbin should replace is Dick Durbin. I am ashamed he is my Senator. The new direction should be to replace Dick Durbin.

According to Insight Mag there are a lot of noises about Karl Rove being shoved off to the side during the next cycle. I always thought he was vastly overrated and a nasty trouble-maker.

Dick Durbin is right below Teddy Kennedy in the all-time political idiot rankings. He is an embarrasment to Illinois and his handling of the Alito confirmation hearings will not be forgotten when he is up for re-election. He has no qualifications to speak about the course of the Bush administration.

The only new direction Dick Durbin should be seeking is retirement. What a disgraceful waste of a political position. Hey Durbin, Time for the PATRONAGE Senator to go!!!

How about tossing over Rove, Rumsfeld, Chaney, and the misguided, naive people who just criticized Durbin. This country is headed in the wrong direction under this administration and unfortunately too many people drinking the Bush Kool-aid to know any better.

Sen. Durbin was being nice, he should be honest and say who really needs to be tossed, that being bush himself.

As I see it, "tossing overboard" is a good metaphor for this situation, and Durbin's comments seem appropriate, especially considering how many other members of the Bush administration could use some swimming lessons. And another post's mention of patronage on Illinois' level is nothing compared to the nepatism employed by the Executive branch. So, I just don't understand how Durbin's defense of Card can be viewed negatively. I guess there is no limit to what people will do to deny, ignore, or deflect the fact that the Bush administration is narrow-minded, duplicitous, and incompetent and the polls are showing that Americans are finally starting to see it.

Durbin hit the nail on the head. Why did the republikans pick Card to throw overboard. His name rarely comes up in anything. Ditch rove and cheney and then we'll talk. Durbin is an excellent Rep for Illinois and I'm so proud he represents me and the great state of Illinois.

There is a mood for change in this state and that is to kick Dick Durbin out on his Gitanamo(Gulag) fanny. He is an embarassment to Illinois.

While there's no doubt that both Bush and Durbin have had their share of embarassing moments, let give Bolten some time to show his true colors. Who knows-he may surprise us all.

To all you critics of Sen. Durbin please know that we will be delighted to put him up against Alan Keyes so that you may have a second chance to put your parties best foot forward.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on March 28, 2006 8:09 AM.

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