Ailing White House Press Secretary Tony Snow Resigning
Friday, August 31st 2007, 11:53 am
By: News On 6
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Tony Snow, the highly visible White House press secretary, will leave his job on Sept. 14 and be replaced by his deputy, Dana Perino, an administration official said Friday.
President Bush was to announce the changes during an appearance in the White House briefing room.
Snow, ailing with cancer, had said recently he would leave before the end of Bush's presidency. The father of three children, Snow said he needs to make more than his White House salary of $168,000. He could earn far more money on the speechmaking circuit.
The 52-year-old Snow was a conservative pundit and syndicated talk-show host on Fox News Radio before he was named press secretary on April 26, 2006. He is the latest in a string of White House officials to head for the exits.
Friday was the last day of work for political strategist Karl Rove. Others who have left since Democrats won control of Congress are counselor Dan Bartlett, chief White House attorney Harriet Miers, budget director Rob Portman, political director Sara Taylor, deputy national security adviser J.D. Crouch and Meghan O'Sullivan, another deputy national security adviser who worked on Iraq.
In 2005, Snow had his colon removed and underwent six months of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with cancer. This March, he underwent surgery to remove a growth in his abdominal area, near the site of the original colon cancer. Doctors determined it was a recurrence of his cancer.
He was out of work for five weeks, then returned and underwent chemotherapy, treatments that only recently concluded and have left him thinner, grayer and with less hair.
Snow earned his stripes within the White House for his striking popularity around the country, relentlessly good-natured and bright tone, and smooth, snappy repartee with the media during briefings. Reporters, though, grumbled that an emphasis on showmanship too often took precedence over rhetorical precision and careful preparation.
Some senior White House aides referred to his briefings as ``The Tony Snow Show.''
Snow was Bush's third chief spokesman in just over six years marked by increasingly tense relations between the White House and the reporters who cover it.
Snow had little experience as a press secretary before joining the White House team. He worked in the White House under Bush's father as a speechwriting director and spokesman for regional issues. As a pundit, he had been sharply critical of Bush at times.
He held several print journalism positions, mostly working for newspaper opinion pages, and was most recently the host of the ``Tony Snow Show'' on Fox News Radio and ``Weekend Live with Tony Snow'' on the Fox News Channel.
Perino, 35, has been Snow's principal deputy, filling in for him when he was away after surgery and at other times.
Before joining the press office, she worked as associate director of communications at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.