Politico jumps ship from Bush presidential camp

WASHINGTON, DC: Veteran politico Dave Beckwith left the 'exploratory' presidential campaign of Gov. George W. Bush early last week over a clash in style.

WASHINGTON, DC: Veteran politico Dave Beckwith left the 'exploratory' presidential campaign of Gov. George W. Bush early last week over a clash in style.

Beckwith, the former press secretary to Vice President Dan Quayle, boasts a reputation for candor and spontaneity that may not have been appreciated within the touchy-feely, highly image-conscious Bush camp.

Recently, Beckwith denigrated the August 14 Iowa GOP straw poll, saying it 'isn't even a caucus. A caucus is bad enough. You have to sit there for four hours in a fire station.'

His departure did not, however, leave the Bush communications team in a state of panic. Even with Beckwith on board, veteran Bush spokesperson Karen Hughes had been calling most of the shots as senior communications strategist.

Few beltway insiders were shocked by news of the departure. 'I'm not surprised that he left,' quipped one Washington GOPer familiar with him. 'It's a closed camp down there.'

The Bush campaign has declined to say whether Beckwith will be replaced.

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