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   Wave of Public Criticism Rises From Former Bush Officials

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2/6/2009 8:05 pm

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Washington Post

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News

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Entered 2/6/2009, Updated 2/6/2009

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By Dan Eggen Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, February 6, 2009; 11:37 AM Dick Cheney says President Obama's policies will make it easier for terrorists to kill Americans. Alberto Gonzales says the new attorney general could be undermining the morale of U.S. intelligence officials. And Andrew Card, George W. Bush's first chief of staff, took Obama to task for allowing shirtsleeves and loose collars in the Oval Office -- arguing it was a clear departure from Bush's sterner sartorial rules. "There should be a dress code of respect," Card told "Inside Edition," a syndicated show usually focused on Hollywood celebrities. "When you have a dress code in the Supreme Court and a dress code on the floor of the Senate, floor of the House, I think it's appropriate to have an expectation that there will be a dress code that respects the office of the president." The knives are already out just two weeks after Bush left the White House, as some of his closest friends and former aides begin lobbing sharp criticisms at the Obama administration. The comments mark a departure from the general rules of decorum that held sway during the final weeks of the Bush administration, when the departing president and his aides made a point of fostering a cordial relationship with the Obama team. Bush himself has refrained from criticism so far, making no public remarks since returning to Texas. "It's certainly unbecoming, especially for a former vice president," Thomas E. Mann, a scholar at the Brookings Institution, said in reference to the remarks by Cheney and others. "It reinforces the fact that there's a lot of bitterness about the low public standing of Bush and the administration as they left office, and the soaring standing of Barack Obama. A lot of these people are still caught up in these ideological battles and can't let go."


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