The end of the inner circle? Hardly

CNN says the president is likely to pick Chertoff to replace Gonzales, then a Bush loyalist to replace Chertoff.

Published August 27, 2007 3:30PM (EDT)

With the resignation of Alberto Gonzales, there will be lots of talk about the disbanding of the president's inner circle. Gonzales? Gone. Karl Rove? Gone. Harriet Miers? Gone. Dan Bartlett, Scott McClellan, Andy Card, Donald Rumsfeld? All gone.

Well, not all.

CNN is reporting that Bush will likely nominate Michael Chertoff to replace Alberto Gonzales as attorney general and Clay Johnson III to replace Chertoff as the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Who's Clay Johnson III? As Think Progress reports, Johnson is a prep club pal of the president's who served as his chief of staff back in Texas. As the New York Times reported earlier this year, Johnson is so devoted to the president that he keeps a George W. Bush doll on his desk.

Johnson, who say he finds it "incredible" that people could think Bush has lied about anything, is currently the deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget. His homeland security experience? As far as we can tell, he has exactly none.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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