Monday, June 2, 2008

Scott McClellan: P.T. Barnum Would Have Been Proud

"Mr. McClellan announced his resignation at the side of Mr. Bush on the White House lawn, but in sometimes emotional remarks he did not say what he would be doing or who would be succeeding him. It was unclear if Mr. McClellan had acted on his own or had been encouraged to leave after his two years and nine months as Mr. Bush's chief spokesman."
--New York Times, on Scott McClellan's resignation, April 19, 2006

Former White House Press Secretary, Scott McClellan, counts the number of former
colleagues' backs he's climbed on to promote his book.

Much as we tried to ignore the self-promotional stylings of Scott McClellan and his whirlwind Mainstream Media circus tour, the former White House Press Secretary's appearance on Meet the Press forced our hand.

McClellan's replies about meetings he never attended--events of which, many times, he had no first-hand knowledge--and his willing guesstimates of what happened when, where and why, can only be excused as someone eagerly trying to hitch a ride on a fast-moving gravy train.

What's else can an ex-White House Press Secretary do when he's got a bunch of books to peddle and not much of a story? McClellan's chose the PT Barnum route: rather than producing the Incredible Reptile Woman, he conjures up recollections of What Happened when he wasn't present. Old Phineas Taylor would have been proud--or jealous.

But that's more than enough for a Mainstream Media that's eager to buy what he's selling.

Soon, Scott McClellan will only be remembered as the answer to some question in Mad Liberal Trivia Pursuit.

"Which White House Press Secretary, wrote a book in which he was critical of the press corps for being too accepting of the administration's perspective on the Iraq War--in effect, that he did his job too well--but still got the boot?"

One thing to keep in mind, while reading the excerpt below: during the Libby trial, it was revealed that the identity of CIA employee, Valerie Plame, was leaked by the State Department's Richard Armitage--not the Bush-Rove Twins of Evil.

But that would have spoiled the fun, so MTP's Tim Russert plays along with Scott.

MR. RUSSERT: The president said at the time that “if someone committed a crime, they’d no longer work in my administration.” Do you believe the president should have fired Karl Rove?

MR. McCLELLAN: That’s a, that’s a question that the president had to make, and he chose not to.

MR. RUSSERT: But what do you think?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I, I think he should have stood by his word. I think the president should have stood by the word that we said, which is if you were involved in this any way, then you would no longer be in this administration. And Karl was involved in it. That would be a tough decision. I don’t know if, if there was any crime committed. I don’t–I say I just don’t know that in the book. But we had higher standards at the White House. The president said he was going to restore honor, integrity. He said we were going to set the highest of standards. We didn’t live up to that. When it became known that his top adviser had been involved, then the bar was moved. And the bar was moved to “if anyone is indicted, they would no longer be here.”
MR. RUSSERT: So you think they should’ve been dismissed.

MR. McCLELLAN: I think so. I mean, Scooter Libby was, and I, and I think that he should..

MR. RUSSERT: Well, he resigned. But you…

MR. McCLELLAN: Yes. But that was pushed out.

MR. RUSSERT: But you believe Rove–Rove should’ve, should’ve left?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think the president should’ve stood by his word, and that meant Karl should’ve left.

Some thought Helen Thomas might have been a reason for McClellan's
resignation, but it appears McClellan was capable enough of shooting his own foot.

"I don't know if, if any crime was committed."

Gee, you think, Scott?

Ivy League law schools are probably kicking themselves: how could the finely-tuned mind that churned up that sage observation have evaded their sharp-eyed recruiters?

McClellan will find a willing audience in the MSM and Left Blogosphere for any recollections--or miscollections--that he might be able to summon. But then, McClellan's publisher knew that a boatload of exposure beckoned for anyone from inside the Bush White House willing to criticize the Administration.

Enter Scott McClellan and his wee window of opportunity.

He certainly sucked a lot of commentators into that shrinking hole.

Even the ones who knew better than to make a few observations on his P.T. Barnum-like attempts to sell a few more books.

Before they're rightly consigned to the remainder bins.

by Mondoreb

[hat tip: Crooks & Liars
* McClelland Resigns, Helen Thomas Reloads
* Scott McClellan: Rove should have been fired over his role in the Plame leak
* Scott McClellan: PT Barnum Would Have Been Proud--or Jealous
* 'Meet the Press' transcript for June 1, 2008
* Top Bush Aide Loses a Post in Overhaul
* Scott McClellan

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