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.)
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.
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)[audio:https://www.floppingaces.net/Audio/gibsonbartlett052808.mp3]
LGF with news that the publisher of his book is connected to the one, the only, George Soros…..shocker!
McCellan never directly says Bush lied.
I will not be buying a book written by a man ‘with no honor’.
I have yet to find anyone for whom Scott McClellan is a ‘hero’.
He waited until he had a lucrative book deal to tell the truth. He’s a coward.
But that certainly doesn’t set him apart from any of the other key players in Bushland.
Better late than never. About time we learn about the crimes committed at the White House over the past 7+ years.
Of course McClellan is a liar – they all are. If their address was our WH, then they are all liars, traitors, and terrorists in their own right. So Scotty wrote a book? Its a sure bet our beloved idiot in chief is not capable of reading it. Bush doesn’t ‘remember’ snorting cocaine? Do you right siders really believe that? Yeah, and Clinton didn’t inhale – yeah, sure. All the rats are jumping ship – Bush is toxic. I thank the right siders for making his downfall so very easy. You supported and revered an imbecile; now you get what you don’t deserve – you get your country back. I accept your apology.
I believe this book appears to be more of a torpedo than the Administration thought and most probably will cook past this week now. I’m guessing there may even be new re-alignments in political quarters, not to mention more damage to the Bush historical record of his Iraq pre-invasion push. Certainly Scotty thinks Bush is not exempt in the public deception.
I’m betting Bush’s approval falls again in the next USA Today-Gallop poll, too. This time Bush may get a lower approval than Truman. One sure consequence is it’ll sure make mega-donor fundraising for McCain harder.
I’m betting it won’t. Bush could crap in these people’s cornflakes and they’d ask for more. The only thing that would push it lower would be trying to take up immigration reform again.
Wow, a book that claims the Bush administration sold the war in Iraq by misleading the American people… what a shocker…
All this book does is point out from a very conservative person that Karl Rove will be known for a decade as the man that ruined the Republican Party. Rove was the “architect” that removed all credibilty and competence from our party.
It is possible Curt that this book was not written to regain some credibility for himself, but simply to stab back at the men that used him as a puppet for three years. He is still an incompetant dweeb himself, but after misleading him in order to mislead the public on the Plame case who can blame him for writing this book?
Was just listening on CNN to a WH staffer explain how this book won’t burn on past the weekend:
Why? …because that was his job.
You have a point, Fit-fit; however, I hedged my bet, as gas price increases will be absorbed in the poll at just the same time the book’s themes get sound-bited and sink into the public 4-wheel SUV beer and chips consciousness. So, it will probably drop on either or both accounts.
He didn’t because it was his “job” to do what he was told.
If McClellan had any decency whatsoever, and if his claims were true, he would have stepped forward immediately. A decent fellow would have done whatever he had to do to get in the way and stop the functioning and forward motion of the machine.
An honorable man would have quit the job, held a press conference explaining why, and walked away from what he considered to be an untenable situation with his head held high.
Of course, then he wouldn’t have gotten the big $ book deal.
He timed his “truth” telling so that it would fatten his bank account.
He chose to remain in his position all the while collecting that gov’t check.
Instead of doing what was right at the right time he waited until he was fired. Then he decided to tell the “truth”.
Yep, McClellan is really an honorable man and if the Left wants to cling to him and hold him up as a hero, then they deserve him.
First words from Bush via Perino:
It sounds as tho’ the WH strategy is to question his mental stability.
I will not be buying a book written by a man ‘with no honor’.
I think George was counting on a big advance to help ‘replenish the old coffers’.
Anyone come up with a single quote by a librul describing McClellan as a ‘hero’?
That quote is so thick with rich, sugary sweet, coma inducing ironic goodness I had to bring it out here in the light for everyone to enjoy.
Ah, another WH insider endures his WH post in abused silence for years… doesn’t even talk about his differences in quiet with his closest assistant, and then emerges with a tell-all book.
Well gosh darn – da left’s got themselves their very own “Dick Morris”. Morris, however, had the class to wait until the admin was out of office before penning his book.
I’m with Aye Chi. If he was agonized, compromising his moral judgement, why did he stay thru the most difficult years? Obviously not cut from whistlle blower stock. Frankly, I wish they’d latched on to Tony Snow earlier.
Yes, Wexler… *do* bring on the supoena – and before the election please. Let’s hear just how much of this novel is writer’s embellishment for sensationalism and profit, and exactly what first hand knowledge McClellan is willing to testify to under oath.
Think we’d find out anything? Nope. Just like when he testified at the grand jury during Plame. Been there, done that, found zip. Wexler won’t do it. Just sounds good to say it in a heated campaign year.
And what a bunch of crock and posturing of the elitists. We’re still waiting to see an inkling of Congressional indignation at Sandy Berger, packing his pants full of classified docs. A $60K fine, a month of community service… merely a slap on the hand. Feh…
This is just deliberately timed campaign fodder and financial expediency. Otherwise his book wouldn’t generate a snippet of interest after November.
And something more to consider…
If McClellan believed this to be true, he should have said so and resign. And, if this was true, how could it remain so secreted this long. Someone would have let it slip with an “off-the-cuff” remark or an “off-the-record” discussion. It just has a feel of smear written all over it.
What a concept. A guy – who’s reputation and defense hinges on his been kept in the dark, misadvised, and never in possession of the full facts to do his job effectively – is writing a “tell all” book.
How did it get past essay length into novel??
Only in America, during a campaign year, could such credibility be bestowed upon one who admits he was kept out of the loop.
A couple of anonymous posts at ‘Michael Calderone’s Blog’ isn’t quite it.
A poll at something called Floort.com with a rousing eleven responses (6 agree with the statement ‘Is he a hero?’, all anonymous) isn’t much to go on.
Karl Rove thought got it right though. McClellan DID sound a bit like a ‘left-wing blogger’.
The only ones to have gotten it right the past 7+ years ARE left-wing bloggers.
Moving the goal posts won’t work.
You asked for a “librul” quote.
I provided them.
RealClearPolitics has their averaged poll of Bush approval at 30.8% I think that it will go lower http://www.realclearpolitics.com/
Geez, this is going to get messy very fast. The first day of his book tour he’ll be on Keith Olberman, tomorrow— I think I can hear the crickets at the White House.
Buy all the stock you can in KY Jelly and Preparation H. It will be in great demand as congress bends Scott over and has they’re way with him. Talk about a man ruining his life and the lives of his entire family for money, just look at him and you’ll see a prime example. The entire book has to be his ‘opinion’ (classified information would get him in jail) nothing more, and as they say every human has two matching things, an a**hole and an opinion. Both of his are in big trouble and the sale of Preparttion H tells how bad they are.
Did I leave the door open again and “Arthur” got out of his cage at Mike’s America?
My apologies to Flopping Aces readers. We’re already overquota for bitter art dealers at Flopping Aces.
Now “Arthur” get back in your cage or I will have to swat you with a newspaper.
I heard from my mom that his appointment was a surprise from most of Texas. He was an incompetant Press Secritary and was given the job by Ms Hughes. And he was forced out because he was doing a bad job. And his mom left the Republican Party in Texas and ran against the republocan GOvernmor of Texas.
It sounds to me he has an ax to grind aginst Bush, because he was ousted. his family were big in texas and this upset them, so he wrote this ridiculous book.
On another note: Tony Snow is sick again. He was supposed to be the featured speaker at the Ashbrook Center which was set up to memorialize my old boss, the arch Conservative John Ashbrook:
Tony was about the best Press Secretary I can remember, if not THE best. I hope he is ok and that this is only a temporary setback in his recovery from cancer.
I’m sure even our liberal friends will join me in wishing him well.
I really liked Snow on his talk show and also as the Press Secratary. I sure hope hd can overcome is health problems. He is a good guy.
Interesting that LGF picked up on the Public Affairs publishing name. It’s also an arm of the “Soros Noise Machine” (as Richard Poe of Frontline Mag called it back in Oct 2005) that he accused of framing Tom DeLay.
However Poe also pointed out that the McCain-Soros link is also uncomfortably visible with the McCain-Feingold Act we all love so much…
Oh joy…. Political shenigans just makes me ill.
And the next winner of the Nobel Prize for literature – you guessed it. Scott McClellan!
I doubt I’ll have time to read this one, but from listening to McCellan’s comments I think one should read it before critcizing him or the book too harshly.
Checking back to gather responses and I read that Tony Snow is sick again. Tragic news.
Everyone on this board knows that I have been complaining about the Bush administration since they knee-capped my guy in 2000. But for those who have not heard this from me – Tony Snow is a prince among millions of frogs with a DC heritage.
Even Keith Olbermann wept on his own show with the initial news of Snow stepping down. I wish the next ten presidents could employ Snow, as Mike said (more pigs are flying now) the best Press Sec that I can remember.
The left knows not honor, nor do they recognize the lack of it. McCellan shows exactly what the lack of honor is. Take your thirty pieces of gold like the judas you are. All the moon bats are jubilent as they watch a man ruin his and other lives for what. Hey McCellan you were a poor press secretary, and now your even a poorer man, shame on you.
One doesn’t need to read his book to criticize Scott McClellan. The White House requires (of any administration) the greatest staff in the world-including press secretary. Scott McClellan was never EVER even in league with the greatest of anything, and the only reason he’s getting praise now is because he sings a song that those who praise him like to hear.
The book went to number one at Amazon.com. The humor would be if he used the money from the buyers (probably liberal Democrats) to help fund the Republican Party.
Woof. This McClellan “thing” is getting ugly.
The Left’s favorite whipping boy during the 1st Bush term .. James Guckert / Jeff Gannon has weighed in with this ..
>>The book went to number one…>>
Duh. I’ve heard that Soros can afford to buy a few…
Now that right there was funny. I don’t care who you are.
I think McClellan is just another back stabber. When Bush was flying high all these people loved him, but when the things got tough some people just bailed. The left I expect it from, however, I am truly sick of the whiny back stabbers on the right.
Good one Aye!
Scott McClellan was offered a book deal. He said himself his editor tweaked it. Probably that was the deal. To put a leftist slant on the contents. Everyone says this does not sound like Scoot. It probably wasn’t. It was probably the liberal editor tweaking all of it. After all, it sounds like the liberal gibberish for the past few years. Scott McClellan sounds like a very weak man manifpulated the the promise of cash andor notoriety. It will be interesting to see what happens before congress. But then the dem congress has a reputation for not calling out anyone who lies to them (see Valerie Plame).
unless they are a republican, that is.