We're not any clearer today on what George W. Bush was fixing to accomplish by replacing Andy Card with Josh Bolten, but we may be getting a clue about what Card hopes to get out of the deal. The Wall Street Journal is floating the idea that Card plans to run for governor in Massachusetts.
The Journal says that Card has told friends that he considers the governorship a "dream job." Coincidence or not, it's also one that's going to be open soon: Mitt Romney may be running for president, but he isn't running for reelection as governor.
If Card is leaving because he has such career plans to ponder, this whole episode begins to make a bit more sense. As we said Tuesday, the Bolten-for-Card swap isn't exactly the White House shake-up that events would suggest is necessary, and Bolten isn't exactly a fresh set of eyes to help Bush see through the bubble. Former Commerce Secretary Don Evans -- one of the men whose names had been floated as a possible "outsider" recruit -- tells the New York Times that any differences between Card and Bolten are "at the margins." Bush has downplayed the significance of the swap himself. In an interview with CNN Español Tuesday, he specifically denied that Card's resignation was part of any major shake-up at the White House, and he claimed that he hasn't even had "the chance" to talk with Bolten "about the future yet."
So is it possible that Card's future -- not Bush's -- was the real driver for the change? Given the lack of any other explanation from the White House, it seems as plausible as anything else we've heard.