Tony Snow appeared on Hugh's show two days ago, and made national news by stating that he wasn't likely to stick around in his present job of White House Press Secretary all the way to the end of the second Bush term. To most of us who have followed politics, this wasn't much of a surprise. In fact, the fact that Tony actually took the job in the first place was more of a surprise to a lot of us than the "news" that he would probably bail out before the term. Tony has kids who are about to head off to college, and he's made references for a long time that he needs to go make some money in the private sector before too long.
But being August, the mainstream media often goes out of there way to create a story where there is no story, and this one is no exception. Hugh had Fred Barnes and Charles Krauthammer on the program earlier today, and asked Fred Barnes about Tony's impending departure, and what he ought to try next. Here's what he had to say.
HH: Gentlemen, I started a little firestorm. It's August, I should have known better, when I asked Tony Snow if he'd be going the distance, and he said no, he'd be leaving. Fred Barnes, this has been all over the media today. How long do you expect Tony Snow to stay? And what do you think he ought to do when he leaves?
FB: Well, look, he'll be gone obviously before the end of the years, I think probably in the middle of the fall, and you know, he's suggested this from the beginning that he was not necessarily going to stay all the way to the end. I have a particular job in mind for him. Hugh, as you know, John Warner, the Republican Senator from Virginia, is 80 years old, and is considering retirement, which I hope he follows through on, and does retire. And the perfect candidate is the man who's lived in Virginia for twenty years now, Tony Snow, to run for the Senate. Look, you've seen him as Press Secretary. He's been very good. He's smart, he knows the issues, he talks well, and Tony has a great stage presence. He loves to be on stage. He'd be a great candidate. The guy we know is going to run if Warner doesn't run is Tom Davis, the moderate Congressman from Northern Virginia. There needs to be a conservative alternative in the Republican primary, and I think the perfect person would be Tony Snow.
I know the lecture circuit is calling, Tony. Tuition at prestigious universites aren't cheap. But you have a gift, one that hasn't shown itself in very many national conservative figures in recent years. If the golden opportunity of a vacancy arises due to the retirement of John Warner, you have to take a hard look at it. It's an easy commute, and you could have an immediate impact on the direction of the Senate.
Don't dismiss it out of hand, Tony. Never say never, and if John Warner presents the moment with an announcement that he's not seeking re-election, seize the day. You will have more support than you can possibly know.