BLEACHING THE WHITE HOUSE. Now that former Communications Director Nicolle Wallace (nee Devenish) has left the White House political operation, the National Journal (in its July 1 issue) notes that there are only four women (Counsel Harriet Miers, Secretary of State Condi Rice, Legislative Affairs Director Candi Wolff and Personnel Director Liza Wright) among the top 20 White House posts, and that �there are no African-Americans or Asians among Bush�s inner circle of White House advisers, and only one Hispanic.�

I always find it fascinating that Republicans complain that diversity in hiring for political jobs by Democrats is done for superficial, symbolic purposes, and then turn around and pretend that they do not hire for symbolic reasons while screaming that they deserve credit for their own hiring practices. The current administration repeatedly bragged about its staffing diversity, especially before Bush�s re-election; even after the votes were in, Dan Bartlett was still complaining that the White House didn�t get enough credit for its hiring practices. "There has been an effort by the president to reach out and ensure that his staff and his team reflect the diversity of our country," said Bartlett.

Apparently, now that Bush no longer has to stand for election, the bleaching and masculinizing of the White House staff (at least at the very top, where it counts most) can continue without worry. The complaints from folks like Bartlett, however, will probably continue.

--Tom Schaller