WASHINGTON – In the latest White House personnel changes, the editor of a conservative magazine will replace Claude Allen, the domestic policy adviser who left in February amid a shoplifting investigation.
The White House announced the appointment Wednesday of Karl Zinsmeister, who has been editor-in-chief of The American Enterprise magazine for 12 years.
"Karl has broad policy experience and a keen insight into many of the issues that face America's families and entrepreneurs, including race, poverty, welfare, and education," President Bush said in a statement. "He is an innovative thinker and an accomplished executive. He will lead my domestic policy team with energy and a fresh perspective."
According to The American Enterprise Web site, Zinsmeister has traveled to Iraq as an embedded journalist, writing three books about his experience there and writing and producing a forthcoming PBS film called "Warriors" that profiles U.S. troops.
He once worked for Democratic Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York, the Web site said. Zinsmeister has a degree in history from Yale University and studied at Trinity College in Dublin. He is married with three children.
Zinsmeister's hiring is the latest move in a White House personnel reshuffling over the past several weeks.
The shake-up began when longtime chief of staff Andy Card stepped down, with Bush's agenda stalled and his poll numbers at record lows. Former White House Budget Director Joshua Bolten took over for Card and has been making changes on the staff.
Many of the shifts have been unexpected — such as the hiring of Fox News commentator Tony Snow to replace press secretary Scott McClellan and a changing role for powerful aide Karl Rove. But the domestic policy adviser appointment has been anticipated since the position has been vacant for more than three months.
Allen was arrested in March by police in Montgomery County, Md., for allegedly claiming refunds for more than $5,000 worth of merchandise he did not buy, according to county and federal authorities. He had been under investigation since at least January for alleged thefts on 25 occasions at Target and Hecht's stores.
Allen had resigned abruptly from his $161,000-a-year job on Feb. 9, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.
According to authorities, Allen would buy items, take them to his car, then return to the store and pick up identical items from store shelves. He would then take them to the return desk and use his original receipt to get credit on his credit cards.