Heckuva job, Scotty: McClellan writes a book Update: AOL Hot Seat Poll added; Update: McClellan chastised tell-all tomes in 2004

posted at 7:38 am on May 28, 2008 by Ed Morrissey


Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan has written a memoir of his experiences — and the political punditry has already started feasting at the appetizers. Politico’s Mike Allen gives an exclusive preview of the newest must-read, which dishes on the Bush administration and attempts to distance McClellan from its more notable controversies. Unfortunately, if Allen has properly represented it, one has to wonder why McClellan stuck around as long as he did:

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.

One has to operate with a caveat on pre-release information. Mike Allen is normally responsible in his reporting, but these kind of bullet-point revelations can leave out a lot of context. The actual release may mitigate quite a bit of these issues, or it may not, but one cannot tell until the book appears on the shelves.

McClellan says he still admires Bush, but thinks that his advisers served him very poorly, especially in the war. That will certainly gain a lot of attention, but it also calls into question why McClellan stuck around for three years of dealing “propaganda”. As Kathryn Jean Lopez notes, the honorable action would have been to resign for a press secretary who feels he or she has been told to lie. One White House insider has already stated that McClellan didn’t object during any of the meetings she attended or make his dissent known within the West Wing.

Furthermore, why wait for two years to reveal this? Obviously it makes his book a hot commodity, but the war started going badly in 2006 after he left the job. Two months earlier, AQI bombed the Golden Mosque and nearly touched off a civil war. Wouldn’t that have been a good time to open his mouth, especially with elections approaching that could have had a big impact on the war? Instead, McClellan waited until the war was almost over and the Bush administration has all but exited. The advisers he blames no longer work for Bush. What’s the point, except to cash out?

Expect all sides to redefine McClellan in order to either boost or reduce his credibility. To the Right, McClellan will have been the worst press secretary of modern times, and to the Left a man of extraordinary ability chased out of his job by Bush’s minions. The truth will be somewhere in the middle. When he left office, most people on both sides considered him a mediocrity at best. His status as favored punching bag for the hard Left can best be captured in the Keith Olbermann farewell McClellan received as he exited in April 2006. It will be particularly amusing to watch this fringe try to rehabilitate McClellan now.

We can expect more of these memoirs as the Bush administration comes to a close. The tell-all tome has become its own genre, and with mixed results except for the authors’ bank accounts. If the press secretary was that interested in truth, he took an awfully long time to tell it.

Update: ABC’s Jake Tapper recalls when a member of the Bush administration admonished another tell-all author and former official. Oh, wait — that was Scott McClellan scolding Paul O’Neill in 2004:

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. …

Yeah, we can’t trust people who do that, can we, Scott?


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Well I hear that the smart educated folks like Obama. He is chic, and smart like them. Not dumb like Bush.

I don’t know much about chic. I’m heterosexual. (j/k) (j/k about the implied relationship between…, not about being hetero… you understand right?)

Obama is of course smarter than Bush. However, that’s not enough of qualifications to be President.

It is true that Obama does not know how many states there are in the Union. Or who liberated the Nazi death camps in Poland. Or what Memorial Day was established for. And it is also true that he can sit and listen to some hatemonger rave about the US creating AIDS just to kill black folks and somehow not take exception.

No, it’s not.
Could be.
No, it’s not.
No, it’s not.

But he talks purty and he looks good in a suit and he makes them feel all smug and self righteous. But don’t call him dumb.

I don’t.

freevillage on May 28, 2008 at 8:19 PM

What! I’m this seriously asking this and I’m not trying to start a fight but: How in the world can you support McCain when he’s supported the War in Iraq (one that you think was a mistake) since the beginning? He also seems to agree with Bush on several issues.

Because there’s not a sane principled libertarian in the race, and I am a firmer believer in choosing the lesser of evils.

freevillage on May 28, 2008 at 8:21 PM

“Bin Laden since 1997 has wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in the US,” said the memo, written in August 2001.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3616005.stm

well SHAZAM who would a thunk it???

the intellenge agencies are surely lacking in intelligence….

right4life on May 28, 2008 at 8:21 PM

I’m certainly not a liberal partisan, seeing as how I supported Romney and now McCain for President

What! I’m seriously asking this and I’m not trying to start a fight but: How in the world can you support McCain when he’s supported the War in Iraq (one that you think was a mistake) since the beginning? He also seems to agree with Bush on several issues.

terryannonline on May 28, 2008 at 8:21 PM

freevillage:

Hence the reports to Bush? Oh please, they had a half dozen chances to kill the man and did not do it. If they had, there would not have been any memo. No reason for a memo.

And I am not going to argue about Bush’s intelligence. He had a good grade average and a high IQ and was a very good Governor in Texas with a high approval rating. No one called him stupid until he got to DC.

I remember people saying the same thing about Reagan. They said he was stupid or senile or both.

I am in my 50s and I can honestly say I have never seen such a nonending assault on any president. I don’t think anyone could have survived all this constant berating without people calling them stupid. It is the times and the job. And if the media does not like the next man or woman they will go after them the same way.

Terrye on May 28, 2008 at 8:22 PM

What else has PublicAffairs published?

W. Mark Felt, better known as “Deep Throat,” has sold book and film rights to his life story for undisclosed sums to PublicAffairs and Universal Pictures, the companies said Thursday.

That’s from CNN so I can’t provide the link.

How about this blockbuster published by parent company Perseus Books Group?

Famed Charles Manson prosecutor and three-time #1 New York Times bestselling author Vincent Bugliosi has written the most powerful, explosive, and thought-provoking book of his storied career. In The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, Bugliosi presents a tight, meticulously researched legal case that puts George W. Bush on trial in an American courtroom for the murder of nearly 4,000 American soldiers fighting the war in Iraq.

Buy Danish on May 28, 2008 at 8:22 PM

Clinton had 8 years and did nothing, and Bush had 9 months, and you think he could have taken out al-qaeda?

It’s false that Clinton did nothing. I never said he should have “taken out Al-Quaeda”.

Why do you keep lying?

freevillage on May 28, 2008 at 8:22 PM

terryannonline on May 28, 2008 at 8:21 PM

Sorry I accidentally posted twice.

terryannonline on May 28, 2008 at 8:23 PM

from the same article:

In her testimony, Ms Rice said the briefing referred to uncorroborated reports from 1998 that a terrorist might try to hijack a plane but did not raise the possibility that airplanes might be used as missiles.

Democratic members on the 9/11 commission have demanded to know why the document was not seen as a warning of the attacks that took place just over a month later when planes crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

again, this indicates the level of intellgence of our ‘intelligence’ agencies.

right4life on May 28, 2008 at 8:24 PM

freevillage:

If Bush had said something about there being 57 states in the Union, it would not have mattered how tired he was. People would have called him stupid. In truth, I think Obama is an empty suit, but he is not stupid. Vacuous maybe.

Terrye on May 28, 2008 at 8:25 PM

I am in my 50s and I can honestly say I have never seen such a nonending assault on any president.

That’s because he’s so stupid. There’s been nobody whose stupidity would compare to that of Bush.

What’s your theory?

freevillage on May 28, 2008 at 8:25 PM

It’s false that Clinton did nothing. I never said he should have “taken out Al-Quaeda”.

Why do you keep lying?

its called projection…look it up.

oh yeah clinton lobbed a few missiles at an empty training camp. and he ‘wagged the dog’ by sending a few missiles into the sudan and iraq when no one was in the buildings…

and of course he REFUSED to take bin-laden when the sudan offered him up to us.

his ‘actions’ such as withdrawing from mogadishu, made us look weak, and invited further attacks.

laughable.

right4life on May 28, 2008 at 8:26 PM

If Bush had said something about there being 57 states in the Union, it would not have mattered how tired he was.

Well, if it were all he said then no, people would have easily overlooked it. Politicians misspeak. But after a while, the law of large numbers kicks in.

freevillage on May 28, 2008 at 8:27 PM

What’s your theory?

that you’re a deranged BDS sufferer. its rather obvious, get some professional help.

right4life on May 28, 2008 at 8:27 PM

freevillage:

My theory? People are partisan and find it easier to attack the man’s intelligence than to deal with the issues on a substantive level.

But somehow he was smart enough to win two terms as president.

Terrye on May 28, 2008 at 8:28 PM

tell me, do you have anything to back up your ‘theories’??

since you’re a ‘college man’ ever hear of ‘research’, and ‘sources’??

just curious.

right4life on May 28, 2008 at 8:29 PM

I count 6 books authored by George Soros from Scott McClellan’s publisher.

GEORGE SOROS ON GLOBALIZATION
GEORGE SOROS

THE AGE OF FALLIBILITY
Consequences of the War on Terror
GEORGE SOROS

THE BUBBLE OF AMERICAN SUPREMACY
The Costs of Bush’s War in Iraq
GEORGE SOROS

THE CRISIS OF GLOBAL CAPITALISM
Open Society Endangered
GEORGE SOROS, AUTHOR OF SOROS ON SOROS

THE NEW PARADIGM FOR FINANCIAL MARKETS
The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What it Means
GEORGE SOROS

UNDERWRITING DEMOCRACY
Encouraging Free Enterprise and Democratic Reform Among the Soviets and in Eastern Europe
GEORGE SOROS

Buy Danish on May 28, 2008 at 8:29 PM

oh yeah clinton lobbed a few missiles at an empty training camp. and he ‘wagged the dog’ by sending a few missiles into the sudan and iraq when no one was in the buildings…

So, you did lie.

his ‘actions’ such as withdrawing from mogadishu, made us look weak, and invited further attacks.

Reagan in Lebanon on the other hand… ?

freevillage on May 28, 2008 at 8:29 PM

Smart people decided to make drilling for oil illegal everywhere that oil exists within our own boundaries. Smart people decided that drugging our children would make them better students. Smart people decided it best to force racial integration upon our school systems.

The list of blunders created by so called “smart people” is too lengthy for a single thread. To put it bluntly; Liberals tend to be book smart critters, but lack in common sense. These folks tend to be artistic & creative people who can never find the keys to the car; have problems with extreme Self-Centeredness, which leads to extreme life styles.

Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out a Liberal; hell, my son had Liberals pegged by the age of 13.

Keemo on May 28, 2008 at 8:30 PM

Buy Danish on May 28, 2008 at 8:29 PM

Excellent work Danish. Follow the money!

Keemo on May 28, 2008 at 8:32 PM

My theory? People are partisan and find it easier to attack the man’s intelligence than to deal with the issues on a substantive level.

They managed when Clinton or anybody else was in the office.

But somehow he was smart enough to win two terms as president.

Yes. You don’t have to be that smart to win President. If I said, “Well, Dubbya, he ain’t shit. He can’t do anything.”, then I’d be silly. He’s a very good front end of a campaign, and he’s personally likable, and he has stamina and enough work ethics to do well on the campaign trail. But he’s still a pretty dumb individual.

freevillage on May 28, 2008 at 8:33 PM

There’s been nobody whose stupidity would compare to that of Bush.

It would have been much simpler just to write: Nobody’s stupidity compares to that of Bush.

terryannonline on May 28, 2008 at 8:34 PM

Again, Bush deserves everything he’s getting from the fool. He put the Pillsbury Dough Boy in the job because of cronyism and he stuck with him long after everybody with at least the intellect of an 8-year-old knew he was incompetent. He did great harm to the GOP in general and Bush’s Presidency in particular and Bush has nobody to blame but himself.

TheBigOldDog on May 28, 2008 at 1:56 PM

Still agree with this. At a time when we had troops in harms way and a skeptical press corps and populace Bush send this doofus out to be his spokesman. Yet another failing in terms of Bush’s personnel decisions.

funky chicken on May 28, 2008 at 8:35 PM

that you’re a deranged BDS sufferer. its rather obvious, get some professional help.

Please get yourself a bone and stop barking already.

freevillage on May 28, 2008 at 8:35 PM

So, you did lie.

again its projection, you liar.

when I say ‘doing something’ I mean something that actually works, you know, instead of just for show. I know to you libs ‘good intentions’ are all that matters, but I’m more interested in results.

Reagan in Lebanon on the other hand… ?

that was a bad thing, but newsflash: al-qaeda did not exist then.

right4life on May 28, 2008 at 8:35 PM

That’s because he’s so stupid. There’s been nobody whose stupidity would compare to that of Bush.

What’s your theory?
freevillage on May 28, 2008 at 8:25 PM

Look into the mirror and you will see the person you thought didn’t exist.

Keemo on May 28, 2008 at 8:36 PM

Please get yourself a bone and stop barking already.

truth hurts doesn’t it wacko boy?

right4life on May 28, 2008 at 8:36 PM

It would have been much simpler just to write: Nobody’s stupidity compares to that of Bush.

Thanks.

freevillage on May 28, 2008 at 8:36 PM

This is the deal, the smart people are fed up with funny talking people like Bush. They are just sure, that they could have handled things better than Bush. Why? Well because he is a moron. Need they say more? Of course not.

It is a sort of regional snobbery. Class distinction. In fact that is how a lot of smart people look at America as a whole. A land of dumb hicks. After all, if we were smart, would a dummie like Bush be president?

And then of course we have the folks at the NYT editorial board and other media outlets reminding us all how awful it all is. But they know best. They are smart, that is why they have to pick on the moron Bush, after all, it can’t be them.

Terrye on May 28, 2008 at 8:36 PM

How about this book “Published in partnership with the Open Society Institute” (that would be George Soros’ baby):

WHAT ORWELL DIDN’T KNOW
Propaganda and the New Face of American Politics
EDITED BY ANDRAS SZANTO
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY ORVILLE SCHELL

Here’s a little irony for you:

A passionate, thought-provoking, sometimes incendiary look at the role of propaganda in American today– by leading political pundits, intellectuals, and writers

And:

Together, they paint a portrait of a political culture in which propaganda and mind control are alive and well (albeit in forms and places that would have surprised Orwell). The pieces in this anthology sound alarm bells about the manipulation and misinformation in today’s politics, and offer guideposts for a journalism attuned to Orwellian tendencies in the 21st century.

Buy Danish on May 28, 2008 at 8:36 PM

Fighting against the leader and the country’s basic self-defense during a struggle for survival against a theocratic terroristic Ideology -while we are in the middle of the battle -is demented folly.

Which is what the BDS protestors/anarchists/”peace” activists/surrenderistas, partisan politicians and slanted media have indulged in for the past 5 (or more) years.

Indulge in such self-defeating idiocy AFTER you have defeated the external enemy (which half still refuse to even recognize exists).

Bush failed to continue to rally the nation, by being a mush-mouthed, uninspiring dullard.

But the opposition have hated him and his administration so nakedly and blindly, that they have subverted our national interests and war aims for petty power grabs and corrosive, hysterical exaggerations of the motives, methods and reality of the struggle we have been brought into by the Jihadist maniacs.

Scott and his back-slapping sycophantic suckers are part of the general self-loathing trrend that encourages the enemy and weakens the national resolve.

In wartime, attack those trying to kill you, not those defending you as best they can.

profitsbeard on May 28, 2008 at 8:37 PM

BTW freevillage,

Do you also post under the alias of MB4?

Keemo on May 28, 2008 at 8:42 PM

Do you also post under the alias of MB4?

Of course, not.

freevillage on May 28, 2008 at 8:43 PM

profitsbeard:

Again, why blame Bush for being betrayed? That is what this is. People seem to think that presidents are dullards or incompetents if they can not be constantly surrounded by perfect people with perfect records for years.

I remember the Clinton years and all the silly scandals that just never seemed to end.But no one called Clinton a dullard for hiring George Stephanwhatshisface, even though the man wrote a pretty nasty book about him.

And whatever else Nixon was, he was not stupid.

Reagan had the whole Iran/Contra thing.

In this administration there have been no big scandals like Clinton. There have been relatively few changes in high cabinet positions. This has been a very disciplined administration in terms of keeping a lid on things.

But the war just made it all that much more difficult because of the paranoia and distrust of the opposition.

Terrye on May 28, 2008 at 8:46 PM

In this administration there have been no big scandals like Clinton.

Yeah, a convicted felon Chief of VP Staff is no biggie.

freevillage on May 28, 2008 at 8:48 PM

Bush is not at all stupid.
Hello? Bush was not the single person in washington to believe in going into Iraq.
The United Nations themselves believed Sadaam to be a menace.
I don’t think anyone on the left gives a rat’s tail whether Bush is smart, right about his policies, etc. I believe they are all out to hurt the Republican party as a whole, for their own gain.
I believe that if Bush never went into Iraq, we’d still be hearing Pelosi telling us how wrong he was.
Our government is a joke.

bridgetown on May 28, 2008 at 8:49 PM

ooh one whole chief of VP staff convicted of a ‘process’ crime!! wow….

The only president ever impeached on grounds of personal malfeasance
- Most number of convictions and guilty pleas by friends and associates*
- Most number of cabinet officials to come under criminal investigation
- Most number of witnesses to flee country or refuse to testify
- Most number of witnesses to die suddenly
- First president sued for sexual harassment.
- Second president accused of rape**
- First first lady to come under criminal investigation
- Largest criminal plea agreement in an illegal campaign contribution case
- First president to establish a legal defense fund.
- First president to be held in contempt of court
- Greatest amount of illegal campaign contributions
- Greatest amount of illegal campaign contributions from abroad
- First president disbarred from the US Supreme Court and a state court

yeah that one whole chief of VP staff SHURE IS SUMTHING!!!

right4life on May 28, 2008 at 8:54 PM

freevillage:

On what basis do you make your judgment about the president’s intelligence? Do you know the man?

Are you assuming that if Bush were smarter the terrorists would have behaved differently? Hurricane Katrina would have made landfall in Cuba instead of LA? He would have figured out that whole 9/11 thing before the attack?

I guess I just think you are making a personal judgment based on your own feelings and attitudes and that does not mean a lot.

I happen to think Bush is a smart man in an almost impossible job.

Terrye on May 28, 2008 at 8:55 PM

I believe that if Bush never went into Iraq, we’d still be hearing Pelosi telling us how wrong he was.

Yes, I’m sure if it wasn’t Iraq there would be something else. However, let’s be honest if we had just 7 years of a Democratic president, Republicans would calling for “change” and would go after him/her aggressively.

terryannonline on May 28, 2008 at 8:56 PM

freevillage:

Compared to Clinton, Reagan and Nixon it is small potatoes. But you work at MIT, so I am sure you already know that.

Terrye on May 28, 2008 at 8:57 PM

Imagine the Kennedys today with this press. There is Marilyn, in her clingy dress…Happy Birthday Mr. President Speaking of cronyism he put his brother on the job.

Terrye on May 28, 2008 at 9:00 PM

terryonline:

I think they would go after them. But I doubt if they would be willing to take the whole country down to get them.

And right now, Republicans need to stick together.

Terrye on May 28, 2008 at 9:02 PM

But you work at MIT, so I am sure you already know that.

No. Just because somebody works at MIT, doesn’t mean their knowledge of politics or even current and past events is perfect or good.

Where “MIT” would be remotely relevant is a situation where someone would try to throw “masters from yale” as some kind of unthinkable achievement. Then bringing it up would serve a useful purpose of making the thrower look silly. But you haven’t done that, so the whole thing is pretty much irrelevant as far as you’re concerned.

freevillage on May 28, 2008 at 9:05 PM

Bush failed to continue to rally the nation, by being a mush-mouthed, uninspiring dullard.

But the opposition have hated him and his administration so nakedly and blindly, that they have subverted our national interests and war aims for petty power grabs and corrosive, hysterical exaggerations of the motives, methods and reality of the struggle we have been brought into by the Jihadist maniacs.

Scott and his back-slapping sycophantic suckers are part of the general self-loathing trrend that encourages the enemy and weakens the national resolve.

In wartime, attack those trying to kill you, not those defending you as best they can.

profitsbeard on May 28, 2008 at 8:37 PM

+1

funky chicken on May 28, 2008 at 9:09 PM

On what basis do you make your judgment about the president’s intelligence? Do you know the man?

Tribal sovereignty means that; it’s sovereign. I mean, you’re a — you’ve been given sovereignty, and you’re viewed as a sovereign entity. And therefore the relationship between the federal government and tribes is one between sovereign entities.

freevillage on May 28, 2008 at 9:10 PM

freevillage,

I have one more question for you. You said that McCain is the lesser of the evils and you believe the Iraq War was a mistake. Then how could someone who still supports a war that you believe was unnecessary not the greater of the evils?

terryannonline on May 28, 2008 at 9:14 PM

You would think that there would be a number of SMART Americans….who could talk about Iraq, and the state of the union, in terms of facts, and actual policy to move forward with.
Instead of silly attacks on the ‘other side’.
As long as we’re sitting around arguing over some idiot’s book, we are all far more STUPID than President Bush, who isn’t concentrating on silly matters. He’s got a job to do.
We, as Americans, should all be working to support our CIC, no matter what we think of him/her.
Same goes for the lynchmob after Clinton for being a pathetic husband and staining a dress.
We’re all guilty.
And the Jihadist’s are all sitting back watching and laughing their arses off.

bridgetown on May 28, 2008 at 9:15 PM

Instead of silly attacks on the ‘other side’.
As long as we’re sitting around arguing over some idiot’s book

Golden.

freevillage on May 28, 2008 at 9:18 PM

Terrye… at 8:46 PM-

“…why blame Bush…”

I think you mistook my overall point.

I hardly blame Bush for the suicidal idiocy of the opposition.

I only fault his native inability to promote a worthy cause worthily.

We are fighting a war more necessary than any since WWII, and one just as noble.

Except that the President cannot explain it seriously or strongly or historically or even cunningly.

We need someone with Lincoln’s or FDR’s or Churchill’s or JFK’s ability to inspire.

Bush can’t do it himself, and doesn’t have the wits to hire a speechwriter who could help him out (Mark Steyn, Christopher Hitchens, Hirsi Ali, Robert Spencer, etc., etc..) and thus has let himself and this vital conflict be defined by his opponents too passively.

Without striking back adequately.

His survival instincts for this war are basically sound, but his skill at selling its meaning and existential worth are tragically insufficient.

profitsbeard on May 28, 2008 at 9:18 PM

freevillage,

I have one more question for you. You said that McCain is the lesser of the evils and you believe the Iraq War was a mistake. Then how could someone who still supports a war that you believe was unnecessary not the greater of the evils?

Because I don’t see how the Democrats would make it better. I’m not interested in evaluations of the past. As I have indicated, I don’t need to be sold on the idea that the last 8 years have been a disaster as far as the White House is concerned. I wonder who will make it better.

And since we talk about the war, I simply don’t believe that the Democrats will stop the war and withdraw the troops. I have no expertise in the matter, but what I had read has convinced me that it’s impossible to withdraw the troops in the time that the Democrats promise. And they probably know it, which means they lie. And that’s kind of bad.

So even on the issue of war, I’m not sure the Democrats are better. Nevermind all other issues, such as economy or immigration.

freevillage on May 28, 2008 at 9:22 PM

I’m not interested in evaluations of the past.

Well, I know you don’t want to look at the past but aren’t you worried that McCain will make the same mistake again (in the future)?

terryannonline on May 28, 2008 at 9:29 PM

Well, I know you don’t want to look at the past but aren’t you worried that McCain will make the same mistake again (in the future)?

I am. There’s hardly a President in this nation’s history who didn’t have a war of his own. That includes Democrats. Again, I would have preferred a sane, reasonable libertarian leaning conservative. There isn’t one. So I have to make a choice out of what’s available. I think McCain is better.

freevillage on May 28, 2008 at 9:35 PM

You know, it’s taken me until now to figure this out, but after looking at McClellan’s bio I just realized that he was the president of the fraternity that shared an alley with mine while I was at UT in the late 80′s and early 90′s. Our house backed up against the Sig Ep house where McClellan was president in 1990, but for the life of me I can’t remember this nebbishy, sweaty, mediocrity of a man that was my neighbor for at least a year. That probably doesn’t surprise anyone.

Dudley Smith on May 28, 2008 at 9:38 PM

freevillage on May 28, 2008 at 9:35 PM

I don’t know, freevillage, but for someone who dislikes Bush as much as you do; you sure are supporting the candidate that agrees the most with him.

terryannonline on May 28, 2008 at 9:46 PM

From Scott’s book:

I still like and admire George W. Bush. I consider him a fundamentally decent person, and I do not believe he or his White House deliberately or consciously sought to deceive the American people.

I saw this point raised elsewhere without a response: If McClellan did not get the job until July 2003, what would he know about the run up of the war?

Terrye on May 28, 2008 at 9:47 PM

Yeah, terry, but McCain is not stupid. That is the deal breaker.

Terrye on May 28, 2008 at 9:48 PM

I don’t know, freevillage, but for someone who dislikes Bush as much as you do; you sure are supporting the candidate that agrees the most with him.

I don’t see it that way. Their rhetoric is close but I don’t mind usual Republican theses. I think McCain’s approach to war is very different from Bush’s.

freevillage on May 28, 2008 at 9:57 PM

Our house backed up against the Sig Ep house where McClellan was president in 1990, but for the life of me I can’t remember this nebbishy, sweaty, mediocrity of a man that was my neighbor for at least a year. That probably doesn’t surprise anyone.

Dudley Smith on May 28, 2008 at 9:38 PM

He was president of a fraternity? Uh, nah….

funky chicken on May 28, 2008 at 10:07 PM

I hardly blame Bush for the suicidal idiocy of the opposition.

I only fault his native inability to promote a worthy cause worthily.

Bush can’t do it himself, and doesn’t have the wits to hire a speechwriter who could help him out (Mark Steyn, Christopher Hitchens, Hirsi Ali, Robert Spencer, etc., etc..) and thus has let himself and this vital conflict be defined by his opponents too passively.

Without striking back adequately.

His survival instincts for this war are basically sound, but his skill at selling its meaning and existential worth are tragically insufficient.

profitsbeard on May 28, 2008 at 9:18 PM

Damn, dude. + 10

funky chicken on May 28, 2008 at 10:10 PM

I think McCain’s approach to war is very different from Bush’s.

Approach to War? Shouldn’t the bigger problem for you be that we went to war at all with Iraq and not so much (or to a lesser degree) the approach? And on that larger issue McCain doesn’t disagree with President Bush. If your hatred of Bush stems mostly from Iraq then I don’t see why that venom doesn’t translate to the Senator’s in Congress who supported and still the support the war. I would think you wouldn’t someone with such wrongheaded policies near public office. Again, I’m just having a hard time with it.

terryannonline on May 28, 2008 at 10:11 PM

Shouldn’t the bigger problem for you be that we went to war at all with Iraq and not so much (or to a lesser degree) the approach?

Not at this point in time.

If your hatred of Bush

I have no hatred of Bush. He’s not a bright person trying to do a job, which is well over his head. That’s all.

freevillage on May 28, 2008 at 10:15 PM

So far most of the real live people I have talked to about this have groaned, shook their heads and said they don’t want to hear about it. One guy actually said, no watching TV news for a month.

I think people are just getting tired of all the freaking drama.

Terrye on May 28, 2008 at 10:25 PM

I mean it never ends with these people. It is as if they have a crisis in the making in the wings at all times.

Kind of like a blaring siren that never goes quiet. And I think people want quiet.

Terrye on May 28, 2008 at 10:27 PM

Wow, that last quote kinda sums it up, doesn’t it.

BadgerHawk on May 28, 2008 at 10:42 PM

McClellan is a WEASEL!!!!

StatenItaly08 on May 28, 2008 at 10:55 PM

SSDD

Many disagreements with Bush, but I’m sure glad he was on duty sted Kerry or Obama or, obviously, Clinton.

I think we need a MoveOn.biz

eaglesdontflock on May 28, 2008 at 11:02 PM

Who’s spamming the poll?

SouthernGent on May 28, 2008 at 11:32 PM

freevillage –
I agree with you on almost everything you’ve said but ease up on the imperious vanity. “Oh look, my crumbtrail goes back to MIT. Ta!” Bush has a Harvard MBA and he’s a moron, right? Claiming that you’ve achieved a higher level of education than Bush at MIT or any similarly prestigious U. just means you’ve burned even more time and effort going higher up the ladder of a system that certifies and produces “morons.” So who’s the bigger moron?

Django on May 28, 2008 at 11:55 PM

Django on May 28, 2008 at 11:55 PM

Ouch.

Spiny Norman on May 29, 2008 at 12:22 AM

Thankfully there was no cell phone outage as Washington deleted Scott’s cell phone number in unison.

moxie_neanderthal on May 29, 2008 at 2:11 AM

“Oh look, my crumbtrail goes back to MIT. Ta!”

Would you mind looking at the post I was responding to? A local idiot asked me about whether or not I had a M.S. degree from Yale. If I just responded with “labels are overrated”, I would prompt the expected reaction.

Now I can confirm what seems to be your view as well: labels are overrated. I wasn’t stupid when I wasn’t working here. I will not become stupid when I leave.

Claiming that you’ve achieved a higher level of education than Bush at MIT or any similarly prestigious U. just means you’ve burned even more time and effort going higher up the ladder of a system that certifies and produces “morons.” So who’s the bigger moron?

I don’t think Yale or any other school of that caliber produces morons en mass. There’re exceptions though. Some of them are very notable.

freevillage on May 29, 2008 at 9:41 AM

The NY Times came up with a good title for Scotty’s book:
“I Knew It Was a Terrible Mistake, but I Didn’t Mention It Until I Got a Book Contract.”

somedays on May 29, 2008 at 9:50 AM

I learned today (via a Drudge link) that Scott McClellan’s father wrote:

Blood, Money & Power: How L.B.J. Killed J.F.K.
by Barr McClellan
Publisher: Hannover House (October 2003)

Red Pill on May 29, 2008 at 9:54 AM

I wonder if Scott actually read what the “ghost writer” came up with or if he just counted the money?

duff65 on May 29, 2008 at 10:38 AM

I was very disappointed that, when Ari left, they filled his spot with this putz. He’s no better than BJ’s idiot, I forget his name, the one who always looked like he was caught in the headlights. Forgettable, that’s what they are–until they write a book. Then it’s a cash-in.

Christine on May 29, 2008 at 11:05 AM

This, from
Peter Whehner at National Journal. – an excerpt from the introduction in Scott’s book. The guy is a loon.

“Writing it wasn’t easy. Some of the best advice I received as I began came from a senior editor at a publishing house that expressed interest in my book. He said the hardest challenge for me would be to keep questioning my own beliefs and perceptions throughout the writing process. His advice was prescient. I’ve found myself continually questioning my own thinking, my assumptions, my interpretations of events. Many of the conclusions I’ve reached are quite different from those I would have embraced at the start of the process. The quest for truth has been a struggle for me, but a rewarding one. I don’t claim a monopoly on truth. But after wrestling with my experiences over the past several months, I’ve come much closer to my truth than ever before. (p. xi)”

davod on May 29, 2008 at 5:10 PM

Just a few words Scott…You’re not loyal, but in FACT a Judas. YOU COULD NEVER BE TRUSTED AGAIN, BY ANY POLITICAL PARTY, OR EMPLOYER. You’ve forever tainted yourself. Now, live with it!!!

byteshredder on May 29, 2008 at 5:22 PM

I remember asking myself why is Scott McClellan leaving the WH in Apr. of 2006 before an election… Granted he was the worst WH Speaker in a long time… The only thing I could think of back then… Was little boy was running home to his momma… Reason why follows below…

Now I keep hearing how Scott McCJudas has been a life long Repu. But I disagree… I don’t think he’s been a Repu. since Dec. 2005… Why do u ask… Well there was an election for Gov. of Texas in 2006…

Texas 2006 Governor Election
Rick Perry (R) – 39.09%
Chris Bell (D) – 29.76%
James Werner (L) – 0.61%
Richard “Kinky” Friedman (I) – 12.55%
Carole Keeton Strayhorn (I) – 17.97% (who spent June through December of 2005 seeking the Republican nomination)

I remember thinking… Oh, Oh… This guy just got crush… He must be pissed… His Momma just got crushed in Texas ’05 Repu. primaries & then in the ’06 Gov. election… I am talking about Carole Keeton Strayhorn (I) – 17.97% (who spent June through December of 2005 seeking the Republican nomination)… AKA.. Scotty’s Momma…

Pres. Bush; Rove & the most of the Repu. establishment went with Gov. Rick Perry… He was the incumbent & Strayhorn was #2 with only one spot… She ran as a spoiler… And it seems McCJudus just found a way to make some quick cash(nothing wrong with that unless Obama Husaini wins)& give some payback to the guyz that didn’t help his momma become Gov. of Texas…

I just can’t believe no one in the MSM or even the Blogs remember that Scotty is not a uninterested party… There is history for his BS…

Y314K on May 29, 2008 at 10:34 PM

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