Census director: Don't count me out

Count Census Bureau Director Kenneth Prewitt as one presidential appointee

who does not want to leave his job when the new administration arrives.

Prewitt said that he hopes, for the "stability of the Census Bureau,"

that he is not asked to resign. As an appointee confirmed by the Senate,

he serves at the behest of the president and can be asked to step down at

any time.

"I think it would be healthy for the census, indeed healthy for American

society, if the Census Bureau director were not thought of as a political

appointee who has to be removed immediately upon the appearance of a new

administration," Prewitt told reporters at a briefing Tuesday.

He said he will do whatever he is asked to, but his own preference would

be for the bureau to "do its work completely independently of any kind of

political influence."

He said his position is no different from that of a political appointee

at the National Institutes of Health or NASA who spearheads a major project

from start to finish, regardless of which administration made the appointment.

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