Scott McClellan

Posted at 8:56am on Jun. 9, 2008 Conservatism Is Not For Sale

Regardless how much it's been rented out of late

By haystack

Our own Ben Domenech has an editorial up at the Washington Times that is especially well-timed. Entitled "Conservative seeds of destruction", Ben reminds us of a fundamental truth about the so-called Conservative movement:

[I]f conservatism is to have any future, it is as a movement that does not put too much faith in the individuals who claim to espouse shared ideology.

Responding to McClellan's book, Ben suggests this:

[H]is tell-all book operates on the oldest of Washington principles: that everyone inside the Beltway has their price. His original book proposal reads like so many other axe-grinding reputation savers that will emerge from loyal out of work ex-Bush appointees over the coming year. Pedantic and uninventive, it has the same vibrant, colorful, and innovative personality Mr. McClellan brought to the press office podium: that of stale unleavened bread.

Unleavened bread indeed.

The book itself has faded from the headlines a week running, the number of Google hits dropping steadily, and McClellan will soon achieve the state of nothingness that always follows such adventures. He leaves behind some food for thought, however, in the larger context.

More below the fold...

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Posted at 12:57am on Jun. 4, 2008 Quote Of The Day

By Pejman Yousefzadeh

[Former CENTCOM Commander Admiral William F.] Fallon's perspective on Iran, Iraq, and the war in general has much more relevance than a memoir by a press secretary. Which do you think will get more attention?

--Ed Morrissey. Read his post to see how Admiral Fallon is not following the preferred talking points of the so-called "reality-based community."

Posted at 2:21pm on Jun. 2, 2008 McClellan Originally Wanted to Attack Media, Defend Bush

By Matthew Sheffield

Although today his book is being touted by left-wing reporters and pundits, his initial plans for the project show former White House press secretary Scott McClellan intended to take a much different approach, one that was more sympathetic to President Bush but also quite hard on the "liberal elites" of the Washington press corps and their "hostility" toward the administration.

Reading through McClellan's original book proposal, obtained by, it is clear that before his editor Peter Osnos took the book on a sharp leftward turn, McClellan wanted to turn the tables on foes in the press gallery including far-left columnist Helen Thomas and NBC correspondent David Gregory.

"I came to know and respect those who were assigned to the White House beat. They are solid professionals, but rarely scrutinized or put under the microscope. I will take a look at notable personalities in the White House Briefing Room, including David Gregory and Helen Thomas. I anticipate an entire chapter about the former," McClellan writes in his proposal.

According to McClellan, America's elite journalists have a dramatic problem with political diversity which in turn leads them to skew the political debate in a leftward direction. The media are in a "constant state of denial" when it comes to admitting this.

Read on . . .

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Posted at 7:10pm on Jun. 1, 2008 Let's Beat Up On Scott McLellan Some More

By Pejman Yousefzadeh

Because, Heaven knows, he keeps giving us reason to:

Scott McClellan's most explosive charges about the Iraq war are based not on any new evidence but rather on his reading of books and magazine articles after leaving the White House and on a period of "reflection."

On morning talk shows this morning, Mr. McClellan repeated a statement from his book: that he charges President Bush with a misleading the country into war based on reading a book by reporter Bob Woodward.

Mr. McClellan said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he realized Mr. Bush had in late 2001 made up his mind to invade Iraq "when the president did interviews with Bob Woodward for his book."

[. . .]

During the interview, the 40-year old former Bush administration press secretary defended his portrait of Mr. Bush as "too stubborn to change and grow," but also admitted he should have voiced his doubts and questions about the march to war in 2002 and 2003.

There's more. Read on . . .

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Posted at 4:12pm on Jun. 1, 2008 "Crooks And Liars"

By Pejman Yousefzadeh

What an apt name for a website that puts out this at-best-negligent/ at-worst-utterly dishonest post concerning Scott McClellan's decision to donate some of his book proceeds to Iraq War veterans:

It's not all, but a portion.  However, without giving McClellan too much credit, it's a damn sight more than any other Bush administration official has done.

Fatuous nonsense. Look at the little print at the bottom left hand of the main page:

NOTE: The author is donating all of his book revenues to charitable organizations serving U.S. veterans and their families.

(Emphasis mine.) This was done long before any petition from came out. And it is being done because Douglas Feith is actually a good person, not a preening, self-righteous opportunist. Maybe the Crooks and Liars over at Crooks and Liars would like to issue a correction.

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Posted at 1:25am on Jun. 1, 2008 I Never Thought That I Would Write This . . .

By Pejman Yousefzadeh

But I completely agree with Terry McAuliffe.

Posted at 11:13am on May 31, 2008 McClellan, Mama "Crass", And A Bob Dole B-Slap

By haystack

There's more to the McClellan story than what our purveyors of truth and fairness in the main scream media have told you: his Mama made him do it.

The thrice-married Mrs. Strayhorn has switched from Democrat to Republican to independent during her more than 30 years in politics, which culminated with two terms as Texas comptroller and an unsuccessful run for governor in 2006.

During her second term as comptroller, Mrs. Strayhorn frequently attacked members of her own Republican party, including Gov. Rick Perry and leaders in the legislature.

Many regarded these moves as a tactic to increase her own name recognition and lay the groundwork for her 2006 gubernatorial run.


For the record, I have already suggested that folks like McClellan (who suck at their jobs) might yet find ways to improve their sorry lives by writing books and using them as shivs in the backs of those who stood by them while they sucked at their jobs. But even Monica Lewinsky knew when to keep her mouth shut, and when to open it [do with that what you will].

What McClellan tells us in his book, while juicy and delicious and delectable for those who spend every waking moment looking for reasons to hate President Bush (or be vindicated for already hating him) really doesn't concern me very much. The bigger issue with this latest rumor-mill style of so-called tell-all trash from an inferior and disgruntled employee is in understanding why he did this when he did it. But, before we go below the fold for more details, let's segue with a love letter from Bob Dole...just to set the tone:

No doubt you will 'clean up' as the liberal anti-Bush press will promote your belated concerns with wild enthusiasm. When the money starts rolling in you should donate it to a worthy cause, something like, 'Biting The Hand That Fed Me.' Another thought is to weasel your way back into the White House if a Democrat is elected. That would provide a good set up for a second book deal in a few years"

Funny you should mention that Bob, given that last may be exactly what 'ol Scotty boy has in mind...

More below the "pass the popcorn" fold...

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Posted at 2:34am on May 31, 2008 What Dole Said

By Pejman Yousefzadeh

Indeed. No person and no Administration is above criticism and certainly not above even the harshest criticism. But there is a difference between dissenting and selling out. Scott McClellan could have dissented far, far, far earlier than he did and Dole is right to call him out for what is blatant opportunism.

Posted at 5:08pm on May 28, 2008 Scott McClellan

By Dan McLaughlin

Paul Mirengoff asks when Doug Feith's book will get similar attention from the MSM to that lavished on Scott McClellan, who after all was not as directly involved in the great policymaking battles of the Bush Administration as Feith. As John Hinderaker notes in an addendum to Mirengoff's post, "facts have been notably absent from the press accounts I've seen of [McClellan's] book" - which is why historians will be much more interested in Feith's extensively documented account than in McClellan's subjective impressions. Reporters who pride themselves on writing the first draft of history might try looking at the two books in that light, rather than just playing up the one that confirms their comfortable prejudices.

And Ana Marie Cox captures the real haplessness of McClellan's notoriously incompetent tenure as press secretary:

I must respectfully disagree with the characterization of Scottie as "robotic," though he was certainly repetitious. What made him such a hapless figure was the obvious difficulty he had in staying on message. Not that he veered from it, exactly, but he just hewed to it with naked desperation, unable to perform the kind of ruthless parrying that marked the tenures of Ari Fleischer and Tony Snow. Towards the end, he often looked on the verge of tears. If he was a robot, he was a sad one.

Posted at 10:26am on May 28, 2008 Incompetence, Thy Name Is . . .

"Scott McClellan"

By Erick

There's not much more that needs to be said than what Haystack said, but let me pile on a bit.

Since I began blogging, I've begged and pleaded for the White House to fire the guy. He was a terrible press secretary who now resorts to sounding like one of the Kos Kidz. I have no doubt he'll be trolling here shortly after registering his account at Fire Dog Lake. In fact, Moe blammed some dude last night with Texas in his name, though that could have been Nick Lampson.

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.

Geez. No class with this guy.

*Or, per Haystack, "he who smelt it, dealt it".

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Posted at 7:45am on May 28, 2008 When You Suck At Your Job, Quit And Write A Book Ripping Your Old Boss Who Stuck With You

you'll sell more books, and you can gloss over how much you sucked at your job

By haystack

Here we find Scott McClellan shaking hands with the President as he leaves his post back in November 2007. I can't help but wonder if that smile on his sorry face was hiding thoughts of the book advance he had coming once he signed on to rip his former the name of a couple bucks and a shot at rewriting his sorry history as Press Secretary.

He was no Ari Fleischer, but Bush stuck with him...until, apparently, he got the book deal. What a scumbag.

From the NY Daily News:

Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan has blasted his old boss, saying President Bush failed to be "open and forthright on Iraq" and relied on "propaganda" to sell the war.

McClellan's take on the Bush administration comes in a surprisingly scathing tell-all memoir, "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception," to be published next week, reports.

From Mike Allen at the Politico:

Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan writes in a surprisingly scathing memoir to be published next week that President Bush "veered terribly off course," was not “open and forthright on Iraq,” and took a "permanent campaign approach" to governing at the expense of candor and competence.

Go to the Politico for the lowlights of Scotty boy's biggest gripes. I need a shower.

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