George W. Bush just visited the White House press briefing room to announce that he has appointed Tony Snow as his new press secretary. After Bush said that the press is "vital to our democracy" and Snow said that he was looking forward to working with the White House press corps, the two men left the room without taking any questions.
Scott McClellan was there, too. He smiled a lot, but he didn't take any questions, either.
In announcing his new press secretary, Bush seemed to push back against stories suggesting that Snow had demanded -- and apparently gotten -- assurances that he would play a substantive role in White House decision making. "My job is to make decisions," Bush said. "His job is to help explain those decisions to the press corps and to the American people." Bush said that Snow would provide the press with "timely information" about the president's "philosophy" and the actions he was taking to advance it.
Bush tried to brush aside critical words Snow has had for the president in the past -- the Fox newsman has said Bush has looked "impotent" at times and has called him "something of an embarrassment" -- by saying that Snow had assured him that he'd said worse of Bush's political opponents.
"I like his perspective; I like the perspective he brings to this job," Bush said. "And I think you're going to like it, too."