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One question for McClellan

Posted by Richard on May 29, 2008

I can remember watching some of Scott McClellan's press briefings and literally shouting at the TV because he was so incompetent and did such a pi**-poor job of representing the administration. As he was being badgered by a hostile press more interested in argumentation than asking questions, McClellan looked about ready to wet his pants.

The first time I saw his replacement, Tony Snow, in the same role, my reaction was, "Now that's a press secretary! He should have replaced McClellan ages ago."

I remember when McClellan resigned (we now learn he was pushed), he and President Bush made a love-fest out of it, heaping praise on each other. McClellan talked about how proud he was to have served and how grateful for the opportunity.  

I haven't seen too many of the excerpts from McClellan's new book — the one the MSM is fawning over. In the ones I've seen, McClellan's "revelations" consist mainly of his speculations about what took place in meetings he didn't attend and his "conclusions" about Iraq and the Plame affair that simply aren't true. News flash, Scott: Richard Armitage is the man who leaked Plame's identity to Bob Novak.

There are a lot of valid questions about this book. How much was it shaped by PublicAffairs Books' leftist editor Peter Osnos? Why is it coming out now? Isn't it interesting that the publishing house is owned by Perseus Books Group — along with Nation Books (affiliated with the ultra-leftist magazine of the same name) and Vanguard Press (publisher of The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder) — which has lots of rich leftists on its board and has ties to George Soros

Blue Grass, Red State found six other "fun books" from Perseus, which should give you an idea of their focus. (HT: Suzy Rice)

The most appropriate reaction to McClellan's book that I've read is this one:

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.

But that wasn't really a reaction to McClellan's book. That was what Scott McClellan himself said about Richard Clarke's book criticizing the Bush administration.

So I'd like someone to ask McClellan one question — the classic cross-examination question: Were you lying then or are you lying now? 

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