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Ailing White House press secretary Tony Snow resigns

Ailing White House press secretary Tony Snow resigns

President George W. Bush announced that press secretary Tony Snow, who has waged a battle with cancer while manning the White House lectern, will resign and be replaced by his deputy, Dana Perino, on Sept. 14.
"It's been a joy to watch him spar with you," Bush told the White House press corps in the briefing room Friday.
Snow, who had said recently that he would leave before the end of Bush's presidency in January 2009, said cancer was not the reason he was stepping down. Instead, the father of three said he needs to make more than his White House salary of $168,000 (euro122,600). He can earn far more on the speechmaking circuit.
"I ran out of money," said Snow, who was paid much more as a conservative pundit and syndicated talk-show host on Fox News Radio "We took out a loan when I came to the White House and that loan's now gone. So I'm going to have to pay the bills."
"I sadly accept his desire to leave the White House," Bush said.
"He's smart. He's capable. He's witty. He's able to talk about issues in a way that the American people can understand," Bush said. "I don't know what he's going to do. I'm not sure he does yet either.
"But whatever it is ... it's going to be two things _ one, he'll battle cancer and win, and secondly, he'll be a solid contributor to society."
Bush said the 35-year-old Perino was "a smart, capable person who is able to spell out the issues of the day in a way that people listening on TV can understand. She can handle you all."
Snow, 52, was named press secretary on April 26, 2006. He is the latest in a string of White House officials and Bush administration officials to head for the exits.
Friday was the last day of work for political strategist Karl Rove. Others who have left since Democrats won control of Congress last November from Bush's Republicans include counselor Dan Bartlett and chief White House attorney Harriet Miers, an unsuccessful Supreme Court nominee.
Earlier this week Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, a longtime friend and Bush adviser who accompanied him from the state of Texas to the White House, announced his resignation as head of the Justice Department.
In 2005, Snow had his colon removed and underwent six months of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with cancer. This March, he underwent surgery to remove a growth in his abdominal area, near the site of the original colon cancer. Doctors determined it was a recurrence of his cancer.
Snow was Bush's third chief spokesman in just over six years marked by increasingly tense relations between the White House and the reporters who cover it.
He had little experience as a press secretary before joining the White House team. Snow held several print journalism positions, mostly working for newspaper opinion pages, and was most recently the host of the "Tony Snow Show" on Fox News Radio and "Weekend Live with Tony Snow" on the Fox News Channel.
Perino has been Snow's principal deputy, filling in for him when he was away after surgery and at other times.