By NEDRA PICKLER
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove gave up some of his responsibilities and White House press secretary Scott McClellan announced his resignation today, continuing a shakeup in President Bushs administration that has already yielded a new chief of staff.
Rove is giving up oversight of policy development to focus more on politics with the approach of the fall midterm elections, said a senior administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the president had not yet made the announcement.
Just over a year ago, Rove was promoted to deputy chief of staff in charge of most White House policy coordination. That new portfolio came on top of his title as senior adviser and role of chief policy aide to Bush.
But now, the job of deputy chief of staff for policy is being given to Joel Kaplan.
The move signals a broad effort to rearrange and reinvigorate Bushs staff by new chief of staff Joshua Bolten. Bolten moved into his position last week; Kaplan was his No. 2 person at the Office of Management and Budget.
At least for the time being, the promotion of Kaplan would leave Bush with three deputy chiefs of staff: Rove, Kaplan and Joe Hagin, who oversees administrative matters, intelligence and other national security issues.
Appearing with Bush on the South Lawn, McClellan, who has parried especially fiercely with reporters on Iraq and on intelligence issues, told Bush: I have given it my all sir and I have given you my all sir, and I will continue to do so as we transition to a new press secretary.
Bush said McClellan had a challenging assignment.
I thought he handled his assignment with class, integrity, the president said. Its going to be hard to replace Scott, but nevertheless he made the decision and I accepted it. One of these days, he and I are going to be rocking in chairs in Texas and talking about the good old days.
McClellan is expected to remain in his job until a successor is named.