When former White House press secretary Scott McClellan started making his own news early this month, Republicans, caught off guard, ran on a dead sprint to the cable news networks, laid down a thick line of fire, but ultimately failed to kill the messenger. Current press secretary Dana Perino acted all fake-confused and fake-hurt ("We are puzzled. It is sad."), Karl Rove alluded to mind control, and Rush Limbaugh figured somebody else wrote McClellan's book. The name Judas was bandied about, and people like Sean Hannity and Dick Morris blamed the "liberal media," which is what they do when they got nothing. One of the important lessons learned was that we should trust the White House press secretary no more than any other press secretary, which everyone knew anyway, but at least now we've got the memo from a White House press secretary.
McClellan, who maintains an oft-quoted "personal affection" for the president and is probably still holding out for a position on the Bush front porch during the rocking-chair years (Bush extended the offer on McClellan's last day, even though McClellan was a baby-faced 38), now finds himself getting cheers from the left. He's currently doing a truth-telling victory lap around the country with his book What Happened, lightening his conscience with every stop. Ask the right question, and who knows what you'll find out?
Tue., June 24, noon, 2008