Dump Sununu

December 03, 1991|By Daily Herald (Columbia, Tenn.)

LET'S STOP kidding ourselves. The problem is not President Bush's schedule of foreign travel.

The real problem is that, whether he is at home or abroad, Bush has delegated the responsibility for domestic policy to people who have proved to be either too passive or actively obstructionist.

For example, White House chief of staff John Sununu successfully worked to block bipartisan agreement on a new civil rights bill for several months. He has led the administration effort to override overwhelming congressional sentiment to extend jobless benefits to millions of Americans whose lives have been disrupted by the recession. He has usurped authority from the administration's top environmental appointees in the course of weakening the federal government's commitment to clean air and water. And he has worked to delay consideration of national health care reform until after the 1992 elections, even though many influential Republicans have beseeched the White House to play a constructive role in rethinking the issue.

If Bush is truly looking for a meaningful way to signal a change of direction in his administration, he could start by showing Sununu the door and replacing him with a chief of staff who is prepared to play a much more positive and pragmatic role on domestic issues. And he can do that whether he's in Kennebunkport or Timbuktu.

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