The White House: A Bad Case of the Perks

Why does Sununu keep embarrassing his boss? Because he thinks he shouldn't pay for anything.

George Bush assumed that John Sununu had learned his lesson. After revelations about the White House chief of staff's misuse of Air Force jets embarrassed the Administration, the President ordered Sununu to obtain a lawyer's O.K. before taking any more government-paid flights. Bush was trying to reinforce an ethical standard he had long stood behind: senior aides must avoid even the appearance of improper behavior.

If Sununu hadn't exactly been grounded, he had certainly been sent to his room. But Bush underestimated the depth of Sununu's ethical obtuseness and his zeal at finding a way around the rules. Like a rebellious...

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