Compassionate conservativism? Try corporate conservativism. It's corporate conservatism that is going to be the defining feature of the Bush White House.
The Bush cabinet is drawing on corporate executives as much or more than any previous administration. Andrew Card, set to be Bush's chief of staff, moves to the White House from a posting as General Motors' vice president. Previous to that position, he ran the auto industry's lobby shop. Bush has tapped Paul O'Neill, chair of Alcoa, to head his Treasury Department. Bush crony Don Evans, the Commerce Secretary, is CEO of Tom Brown, Inc., an oil company. Donald Rumsfeld, the Bush nominee to head the Pentagon, is former CEO of G.D. Searle and of General Instrument, and has held a variety of other top corporate posts. Bush's nominee for Veterans Affairs Secretary, Anthony Principi, is president of a wireless telecommunications company. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice is a member of the board of directors of Chevron (which has christened an oil tanker, the Condoleezza Rice) and Charles Schwab, and is a member of J.P. Morgan's International Advisory Council.
Of course, both George W. Bush and Dick Cheney (CEO of Haliburton, the oil services firm) themselves both come from the oil industry.
Following in the Clinton-Gore footsteps, Bush-Cheney solicited private funds for the inauguration. While Clinton-Gore restricted the donations to $100 or less, Bush-Cheney sought major donors. More than 50 individuals have each contributed $100,000 or more to the inauguration committee.
“They are happy, certainly,” Jim Albertine, president of the American League of Lobbyists, told the Boston Globe, speaking of his association's members. “There is a strong belief that a lot of things will be reopened.”
Russell Mokhiber is editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter; Robert Weissman is editor of the Multinational Monitor. Both of these publications are based in Washington, DC.
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