***update: Fox News confirms announcement coming Wednesday morning…more…Lucianne G.: “Tony’s courage in the face of the horror he has endured for the last couple of years sets an example for us all. Take heart from it. I will miss doing his show every Monday. I will love watching him work.”***
Through the magic of David Lunde’s photoshopping, here’s an exclusive first image of who may soon be standing at the White House press secretary’s podium:
Fox News commentator Tony Snow is the front-runner to become White House press secretary and a decision on his appointment is near, Republicans close to the White House said Tuesday.
Snow has told associates he would like to take the job and he has had serious discussions with White House officials, the Republicans said on condition of anonymity because of President Bush’s dislike of news leaks.
As a conservative columnist and commentator, Snow has been sharply critical of Bush and Republicans in Congress at times. The Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, circulated unflattering observations by Snow about Bush.
“His (Bush’s) wavering conservatism has become an active concern among Republicans, who wish he would stop cowering under the bed and start fighting back against the likes of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Wilson,” Snow wrote last November after Republicans failed to win the governor’s race in Virginia. “The newly passive George Bush has become something of an embarrassment.”
Last month, Snow wrote that Bush and the Republican Congress had “lost control of the federal budget and cannot resist the temptation to stop raiding the public fisc. (treasury)”
Snow, in an Associated Press interview Wednesday, said: “It’s public record. I’ve written some critical stuff. When you’re a columnist, you’re going to criticize and you’re going to praise.”
He’s exactly what the White House needs.
Quip of the day from Barbara Comstock (hat tip – reader Joshua):
“We see him handle cancer with good humor, I think he can handle David Gregory with that same great humor.”
Howard Kurtz at WaPo reports in Wed’s edition:
Fox News commentator Tony Snow has decided to accept the White House press secretary’s job after top officials assured him that he would be not just a spokesman but an active participant in administration policy debates, people familiar with the discussions said yesterday.
Snow’s appointment could be announced as early as today. The only potential obstacle would be the results of a CAT scan taken Thursday, which he hopes will reveal no recurrence of the cancer that forced him to have his colon surgically removed last year, these sources said.
A director of speechwriting for President Bush’s father, Snow views himself as well-positioned to ease the tensions between this White House and the press corps because he understands both politics and journalism, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the appointment has not been announced.
White House officials said they expected an announcement this week but declined to comment publicly on the search to replace outgoing press secretary Scott McClellan.
Snow would be the first Washington pundit — in his case, one who has been an outspoken ideological voice — to take over the pressroom podium.
“President Bush hates responding to the press, hates responding to political enemies — he thinks it’s beneath him,” Snow said on Fox News in March. “He’s got a stubborn streak.” What the president needed, he said, was “a series of vigorous defenses” of his position.
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