There's a whole lotta shakeup going on in Washington today, as both Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and White House Economic Advisor Lawrence Lindsey have submitted their resignations, reportedly at the request of President Bush.
Though the president is enjoying unprecedented popularity, his advisors have become worried that the lagging economy will come back to haunt him, much as it did his father in the early '90s. With unemployment at its highest rate in nine years and a recovery that just won't seem to take hold, Bush decided take some action.
The outspoken O'Neill has been a constant thorn in the president's side and a lightning rod for criticism from both parties. He described an economic package from his fellow Republicans as mere "show business," opposed Bush's stance on foreign tariffs, said the Enron situation underscored the "genius of capitalism," and after the terrorist attacks predicted the Dow would hit an all-time high within 18 months.
The two men's departure, combined with the resignation of SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt four weeks ago, means the White House has some big holes to plug. A replacement for O'Neill is expected to take top priority, and the search has already begun.