White House chief of staff John Sununu has an "appearance problem." The source of this revelation is President Bush who, in an earlier response to Mr. Sununu's penchant for cost-free travel on personal business, said he wanted to avoid even "the appearance of impropriety."
On that occasion, the president barred his top aide from using U.S. military aircraft, at taxpayer expense, to fly off to skiing vacations, dental appointments and other unofficial missions. So the ingenious Mr. Sununu opted for another form of transport. Last week he took a White House limousine to New York, again at taxpayer expense, to attend a stamp auction where he spent $5,000 on his collection. So much for his oft-proclaimed poverty and lack of time for pleasant pursuits.
But that's not all. Again doing things his way, he sent the limo back empty from a Republican fund-raiser in northern New Jersey and hopped a corporate jet to D.C. paid for by the Beneficial Corp. of Peapack, N.J., a company that reportedly is vigorously opposing administration proposals to overhaul the banking industry.