Zinsmeister To Become Spin-meister?

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The White House yesterday announced the appointment of Karl Zinsmeister, editor-in-chief of the conservative The American Enterprise magazine, as domestic policy adviser (replacing Claude Allen. The pick-up is notable coming on the heels of Tony Snow’s appointment. As brother FishbowlNY points out, “does this mean the White House has officially taken the ‘if you can’t beat ’em, hire ’em’ approach to its Cabinetry hirings? Or do we need one more example?”

Snow made the announcement yesterday.

SNOW: And while they continue to look, let me just make an announcement, that Karl Zinsmeister will be the head of the Domestic Policy Council. Karl has a very long and storied career in the journalism business, as well as others. His first job — thank you, do you have the big, old, fat — he’s got a 48-page resume —

Q Can you spell his name?

MR. SNOW: Yes. Z-i-n–s-m-e-i-s-t-e-r. He is presently the editor-in-chief of The American Enterprise Magazine. He’s actually been editing it from his home in New York state, where he’s been raising his children. Karl is a J.B. Fuqua Fellow at The American Enterprise Institute. He has been editor-in-chief of The American Enterprise, I believe, since 1994.

Q “Karl” with a “k”?

MR. SNOW: With a “k.” I will make no further comment.

But in any event, he started working on the staff of Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan some time ago. His other accomplishments include having written two books on the war in Iraq. He’s been embedded on two different occasions. He’s been a film producer, he’s been a weekly commentator on Radio America, on the board of advisors of the Department of Education’s National Fund for the Improvement and Reform of Schools and Teaching; he’s been a research director for the working seminar on Family and American Welfare Policy. As I said before, he was an LA to Senator Moynihan, also received a bachelor’s degree from Yale University. Somebody who has been toiling in the vineyards for quite a while, and we’re —

Q What will his role be, exactly, Tony?

MR. SNOW: He’s going to head the Domestic Policy Council.

Q So he’s the President’s chief Domestic Policy Advisor?

MR. SNOW: That would be correct — I suppose if that’s how we describe it, yes. And —

Q Did he take the place of Claude Allen?

MR. SNOW: That is correct, that’s Claude Allen’s —

Q Does he have basically the same responsibilities? Has the job been expanded or contracted?

MR. SNOW: That I do not know. I have not asked about specific responsibilities. I know Karl from my previous life, and I think he’s a terrific hire.