Card fans want him named USC chief

Some high-profile supporters of former White House chief of staff Andrew Card want him to be the next president of the University of South Carolina, but Card is keeping quiet about his aspirations.

Since late April, at least five people, including the vice chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, have written letters on behalf of the university alumnus and transportation secretary for former President Bush. He was chief of staff in the White House from 2000 to 2006 and now is a Union Pacific Corp. board member.

The school is searching for someone to replace Andrew Sorensen before his resignation takes effect July 31.

Card didn't respond to an e-mail interview request and a former aide who spoke with Card told The Associated Press he did not want to interviewed.

The university isn't saying much about candidates being interviewed, although members of Loadholt's committee have met with Card and with other candidates, including Harris Pastides, the university's vice president for research and health sciences.

Before the University of South Carolina interviews began, Card's supporters sent letters to members of the search committee.

Robert Sumwalt III, the National Transportation Safety Board's vice chairman, said Card “has proven his leadership qualities and capabilities by serving” as the president's chief of staff and transportation secretary. Sumwalt said he likes Card's background, which includes working at a McDonald's and serving as a lobbyist for General Motors.

Sumwalt says his father, former University of South Carolina President Robert Sumwalt, also has written the board urging they hire Card.