Here’s the lesson from the last 16 months of the Bush administration: if the President praises you effusively in public, you should immediately start packing up your desk.

First, to FEMA Director Michael Brown during the Hurricane Katrina cleanup: “Brownie, you’re doing a heckuva job!” Days later, Brownie was looking for another job.

Last week, Bush said Donald Rumsfeld was doing a “fantastic job” as Defense Secretary. Today, he’s being pushed out (in another brilliantly time Karl Rove move to grab the headlines away from the Democrats’ election victories).

If I worked in the White House, I’d worry anytime the President said anything positive to me. “Hey, Harris, nice job on that report!” Gulp — better update the resume!

Exception: when Bush “appreciates” your “hard work.” This is just standard stuff he throws off all the time. In fact, he even “appreciated” the Democrats today.