Bushies hope for Snow

House approached cable host last week

The Bush administration has reached out to Fox News host Tony Snow as a possible replacement for outgoing White House spokesman Scott McClellan.

Fox News confirmed Bush’s interest in Snow, reporting that the White House had “discussed the possibility with Snow as recently as last week.”

In his daily radio show, Snow said he’d been approached but that any decision would hinge “on a series of calculations about duty and about family.”

“It’s an honor to work for any president,” Snow said. “But you also have to think about what’s important in life. Family is a hugely important consideration.”

Snow, who hosts FNC’s “Weekend Live With Tony Snow” on Saturday afternoon and a daily radio show for Fox News Radio, served as a speechwriter and deputy assistant for media affairs for the president’s father from 1991-93.

Responding to multiple callers urging him to take the job during his radio show Wednesday, Snow remained what he termed “professionally coy,” repeating the lifestyle considerations that would keep him from returning to the White House.

Snow underwent successful colon cancer surgery last year and said he has not spent a weekend at home “in the living memory of my children.”

After his stint at the White House, Snow worked as a syndicated columnist for the Detroit News and as a columnist for USA Today. He was among the first personalities to join FNC when he began hosting “Fox News Sunday” in 1996.

Outgoing press secretary McClellan has had an increasingly rancorous relationship with the White House press corps, which boiled over after the White House withheld information about Vice President Dick Cheney’s hunting accident.

Snow would bring a completely different set of competencies to the job.

McClellan has had a career in politics and spent his professional years before the Bush administration running political campaigns in Texas. As a Fox News anchor, Snow is a professional communicator who understands the needs of the media and is very smooth on his feet, as he demonstrated on his radio show Wednesday when he parried callers urging him to take the job.

Snow didn’t shoot down the idea, as former Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke, also said to be under consideration, did.

Clarke, a communications adviser for Comcast and contributor to CNN, all but ruled out a return to the administration.

“If nominated, won’t run. If elected, will not serve. Not happening,” said Clarke, the author of “Lipstick on a Pig: Winning in the No-Spin Era by Someone Who Knows the Game” to Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room.”

Snow took time Wednesday to praise the embattled McClellan, saying he deserved more credit for carrying himself “with class” even while he was getting “clubbed like a baby seal.”

Among other names getting press play Wednesday was Dan Senor, former Coalition Provisional Authority spokesman in Iraq, who recently married NBC “Today” co-anchor Campbell Brown.

Senor, who launched a consulting business in Gotham, became a Fox News contributor earlier this year.