Corridors of Power

By Dan Froomkin
Special to washingtonpost.com
Tuesday, June 14, 2005; 8:54 AM

President Bush's decision to put three of his top White House aides in Cabinet posts set off a cascade of promotions, replacements and office moves in his second-term West Wing.

As a result, there's a whole new cast of characters in the most powerful place on Earth -- as well as a big new office right near the president for Karl Rove.

So who's sitting where? My newly updated West Wing floor plan , unique on the Internet, is out today. (The super-wonks out there will enjoy comparing it with the old, circa Jan. 2004 version .)

Consider just some of the second-term moves:

With Condoleezza Rice off to the State Department, her title and office as national security adviser went to former deputy Steve Hadley. Hadley, after moving across the hall, turned his old job and office over to J.D. Crouch.

After former White House counsel Alberto Gonzales went to the Justice Department, deputy chief of staff Harriet Miers took his old job as well as his spacious digs on the second floor.

And Claude Allen now has Education Secretary Margaret Spellings' old job as chief domestic policy adviser, along with all her corner windows right above the Oval Office.

But the most talked-about West Wing move came when Bush announced in February that Rove, already the president's senior adviser, would get the additional title of deputy chief of staff -- and with it, the prime piece of real estate formerly occupied by Miers.

Rove said goodbye to his modest second-floor office (the one formerly occupied by Hillary Clinton) and hello to a larger space downstairs, just a few steps away from the Oval Office.

Kristen Silverberg, who serves as adviser to the chief of staff, moved into the highly karmic former Rove-Clinton digs.

The people whose offices are closest to the Oval Office are Bush's personal aide, Blake Gottesman, and his new secretary, Karen Keller.

Hand in hand with Mike Gerson's promotion from chief speechwriter to policy adviser came a move downstairs, losing a window but gaining proximity to the president.

Among the most recent arrivals to the West Wing are domestic policy adviser Tevi Troy, a former campaign and White House aide who in 2002 wrote a book called "Intellectuals and the American Presidency: Philosophers, Jesters, or Technicians?"; and deputy counsel Bill Kelley, a Notre Dame law professor who was part of special prosecutor Kenneth Starr's legal team.

Other than Bush and Vice President Cheney, only two members of the senior staff have stayed put the whole time since the Bush team arrived in 2001: Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. and his deputy chief for operations, Joseph Hagin.

And finally, things are still somewhat in motion, as personnel director Dina Powell is expected to head over to the State Department soon to work on the administration's public diplomacy efforts.

Special Edition

Today's column is a special edition to coincide with the publication of the White House map in the print edition of The Washington Post. Welcome, Washington Post readers! For those of you who haven't visited before: White House Briefing is a spirited review of media and weblog coverage about the president and his staff. It appears on the washingtonpost.com home page every weekday around mid-day.

Well, most of the time it appears at mid-day. Yesterday, due to some technical difficulties, the column didn't actually get published until nearly 5 p.m. ET. So on the assumption that you missed it, here's a link to yesterday's column .

Live Online

Tomorrow, in addition to resuming my normal column, I'll be Live Online at 1 p.m. ET. Send me your questions and comments about all things White House.

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