Posted by Curt on 28 May, 2008 at 8:03 pm. 40 comments already!


The left used to skewer this guy, they used to make him look like a patsy and an idiot.

But now he is their hero because supposedly, according to his new book, he stuck around as Bush lied to him and the American people and waited to tell all when he could cash in.

Among the most explosive revelations in the 341-page book, titled “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception” (Public Affairs, $27.95):

• McClellan charges that Bush relied on “propaganda” to sell the war.

• He says the White House press corps was too easy on the administration during the run-up to the war.

• He admits that some of his own assertions from the briefing room podium turned out to be “badly misguided.”

• The longtime Bush loyalist also suggests that two top aides held a secret West Wing meeting to get their story straight about the CIA leak case at a time when federal prosecutors were after them — and McClellan was continuing to defend them despite mounting evidence they had not given him all the facts.

• McClellan asserts that the aides — Karl Rove, the president’s senior adviser, and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the vice president’s chief of staff — “had at best misled” him about their role in the disclosure of former CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity.

Scotty goes on to say that he admires Bush but his advisors steered him wrong and that he stuck around for three years as he spewed the “propaganda” from the advisors. If this were true, and Scotty was honorable and aghast at the conduct, he would of resigned.

But that didn’t happen.

Instead he waits until the Bush administration is on the way out and the Iraq war is being won. When he left his post the Golden Mosque had just been bombed and Iraq went swirling outta control. The 2006 elections were upcoming and the timing would of been ripe to let this cat out of the bag don’t ya think?

But that didn’t happen.

Erick at Redstate on Scotty:

Scott McClellan was probably the worst press secretary in the history of the press operation at the White House. He looked like a deer in headlights any time he was behind the podium. Just witness the professionalism of Ari and Tony on either side of him. He was Busch League in the Bush League.

It’s a really crappy way to repay his boss and friend by then throwing everyone else under the bus to save his skin. But I can’t really blame him. So bad was he at his job, he needs some sort of excuse other than gross incompetence in order to work again. I guess this is his way to rebuild his resume and get back out there in the job market. Still, I think history will bypass his work of fiction and recognize that McClellan was in over his head, too small for a big office, and not very good at his job. To make himself larger, he’s now resorted to tearing down bigger men than himself.

You know what kids say on the playground when one of them passes gas? “First one to cackle laid the egg.”* Well Scott, I think you laid the egg. Suck it up and deal with it. And get back under the rock.

Yup, that pretty much nails it. Stephen Hayes:

Ask fifty Washington reporters for an assessment of Scott McClellan and forty-nine of them will give you some version of this: He’s a nice guy who was in way over his head. (Most of them will be tougher in their analysis of his intellect.)

Don Surber

Scott McClellan learns that the way to get good press as a Republican is to write a book burning a Republican president.

Cross loyal off the list of McClellan’s list of qualities.

As White House press secretary, he was not very good. Both the White House and the press corps went around him.

Jules Crittenden:

There’s always a demand for a professional liar. There’s always a demand for professional saps who will swallow and spit up whatever you want. The thing is, you want your hired gun to stay bought. The big question for McClellan, not addressed in Politico’s review, is the “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me for five and a half years, shame on me” issue. Why did it take so long for his scandalized conscience to kick in?

And probably the best rundown by Seth Leibsohn at The Corner:

The first thing to ask about these kinds of books is “does it help history, does it shed light, does it add to the sum total of knowledge about a topic history or contemporary analysis can use to shed light on an administration?” OR, rather, “is this a self-aggrandizing after-the-fact justification to bolster one’s own reputation and credibility?” especially after having done such a poor job in the first place.

I think we’ll probably find this book is mostly of the latter category. The evidence I’ve seen does in fact show that the administration had different justifications for the liberation of Iraq — but we saw them plainly and in the open before as well as after the invasion. The president, the secretary of state, the VP, and many others gave lots of reasons for the invasion of Iraq. There were international legal cases, there were public policy cases, there were national security cases all to be made. And they were. The idea that the press didn’t do its job and was too soft on the president — as McClellan writes — is, frankly, laughable. Raise your hand if you have any evidence that the press was too soft on the administration.

As far as Katrina, I think we all know and can admit it was both a public policy and public relations disaster. We had a bad FEMA director, the president should not have flown over the disaster, or said Michael Brown was doing a good job. But it wasn’t just the administration that didn’t do so hot. I seem to recall state and local officials, those who had more access to the facts on the ground, those tasked with evacuation plans, those responsible for the city and state, were pretty unprepared as well. Heck, the mayor’s family fled the state. Not the city, the state.

Finally, we’ll learn more as those written about in his book speak out. I note Fran Townsend is already on record saying she recalls no meeting where Scott McClellan ever objected to what was being said or made his dissenting views known. And I’ll just leave you with this — having not read the book and having no plans to do so: don’t you think that when someone has an objection to what is being done, they owe it to the public and as a mark of duty to do something about it or say something about it at the time, rather than wait two years and save it for a book? Does that in and of itself not cut down some of the credibility.

You can bet your ass there will be more of the principals, and the behind the scene actors, speaking out.

Could this be as simple as payback for Bush supporting Rick Perry over Carol Keeton Strayhorn in the last Texas gubernatorial election? Carol is Scotty’s Mom by the way.

One will never know.

I suspect its his attempt to rehabilitate his legacy, and the only way to do that is being loved by those who hate Bush.



I should have more to say about it later when I finish reading it, but I just got my grubby paws on McClellan’s book and this jumped out on page 36:

One of my favorite classes at UT was a leadership course taught by Sara Weddington, a longtime friend of Ann Richards who was known for her involvement representing the anonymous “Jane Roe” in Roe v. Wade, the case that made abortion legal across the United States.

Coming from an allegedly conservative Republican, that’s quite revealing.

And this is precious:

On the book critical of the Bush White House written in cooperation with former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, “The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill,” McClellan said on January 12, 2004:

McCLELLAN: “It appears to be more about trying to justify personal views and opinions than it does about looking at the results that we are achieving on behalf of the American people.”

McClellan also took issue with the book by former Bush White House counter-terrorism czar Richard Clarke, “Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror,” on March 22, 2004:

McCLELLAN: Well, why, all of a sudden, if he had all these grave concerns, did he not raise these sooner? This is one-and-a-half years after he left the administration. And now, all of a sudden, he’s raising these grave concerns that he claims he had. And I think you have to look at some of the facts. One, he is bringing this up in the heat of a presidential campaign. He has written a book and he certainly wants to go out there and promote that book.

Agreed Scott. Can’t trust people who do that.

Sorry Bush haters, this will not be your smoking gun.


From the WaPo column about the book:

“The president had promised himself that he would accomplish what his father had failed to do by winning a second term in office,” he writes. “And that meant operating continually in campaign mode: never explaining, never apologizing, never retreating. Unfortunately, that strategy also had less justifiable repercussions: never reflecting, never reconsidering, never compromising. Especially not where Iraq was concerned.”

Um, let me see. Secretary of Defense change….check. Commanding General change…..check. Strategy change…..check.

If this is what Scott has as intel on Bush then you may as well trash the book now. We know those inflicted with BDS will make love to the book but that’s par for the course. Those wanting a sound analysis of the Bush presidency will be disappointed tho.


Great interview of Dan Bartlett by John Gibson on the subject. It’s a must listen. (little over 11 minutes long)



LGF with news that the publisher of his book is connected to the one, the only, George Soros…..shocker!

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