Ex-Bush Loyalists: Where Are They Now?
Ivory Tower Power
While Gates stayed on to work for President Barack Obama, Rice is pursuing many different career paths. In addition to the lucrative book contracts and the speakers bureau gigs, she inked a deal for the William Morris Agency to represent her for "business initiatives in media, sports and communications." Rice also returned, as a professor of political science, to her old stomping grounds. at Stanford University, where she had long taught and from 1993-1999 served as provost. Presumably in her spare time, she serves as the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at Stanford's conservative Hoover Institution.
Rice is actually following in the footsteps of Rumsfeld, who served a stint, beginning in 2007, as "a distinguished visiting fellow" at the Hoover Institution. But Stanford is hardly the only academic bastion of former Bush-ites. For example, this year, John Negroponte headed back to his old alma mater, Yale University, to become the "Brady-Johnson Distinguished Senior Research Fellow in Grand Strategy and Lecturer in International Affairs at the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies."
"Torture memo" author John Yoo, who served as deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice from 2001-2003, is, of course, a professor of law at the School of Law of that bastion of leftist radicalism, the University of California at Berkeley. (As Liliana Segura of AlterNet recently reported, he also just landed a gig as a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer.)
Hope on the Horizon
Last year, for many Americans, Barack Obama became synonymous with hope. (And last year, Obama's The Audacity of Hope as well as his Dreams from My Father earned him an eye-popping $2.4 million in royalties.) This year, for struggling job-hunters nationwide, it's former Bush administration officials who offer a glimmer of hope in tough economic times. Their ease in finding gainful employment suggests that, even if your prior work has been judged ruinous by many and been roundly repudiated, there's still hope for you on the job front.
Even former Vice President Cheney, a man about whom 55 percent of Americans hold an unfavorable opinion, has realistic prospects of receiving a multimillion-dollar book deal. After all, his former boss is viewed unfavorably by 57 percent of Americans, and look how he's done.
Since most jobless Americans don't have nearly the unfavorable polling numbers of Bush or Cheney, nor do they face the distant threat of possible war crimes prosecutions like John Yoo, they should perk up. Maybe the problem is that none of them have signed up with the right speakers bureau to discuss their disastrous life circumstances. Maybe they haven't had that extra little bit of help tweaking their book proposals for their proposed tell-littles and tell-nones. Maybe they hadn't thought to check with Burson-Marsteller, just in case a few top slots with grandiose titles are still open. Maybe the Hoover Institution will now extend distinguished visiting fellowships to a few of the residents of modern-day Hoovervilles.
With only former Attorney General Gonzales still out of work, grant the men and women of the Bush administration one thing: the best employment rate in the land. In but a few short months, they've managed to prove that, no matter how spectacularly you fail, those inside-the-Beltway never have to tighten a belt. In our world, they will always fail upwards--generally in lucrative, prestigious and glamorous ways.