Commentary: Bush stays political till the end

This editorial appeared in The Miami Herald.

When a new president takes office, it is generally expected that he will have the ability to shape the government to fit his policies and goals. The mission becomes harder to achieve, though, when the outgoing president installs ardent supporters at the last minute in key positions protected by civil service.

The practice isn't new. Bill Clinton did it during his last year in office. And now President Bush is doing the same thing. The fact that Democrats and Republicans do it, however, doesn't make it right. It still makes it more difficult for the new president to do what the people elected him to do. The practice should be discontinued.

That won't happen this year because the Bush administration has already begun to move political appointees into civil-service positions, which have protections that make it difficult for managers to remove them. Former President Clinton made 47 such moves in his last year of office. President Bush is on track to match or exceed that number.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Miami Herald.