We both have tons of insider information. Or as we like to call it, “feelings about what’s really going on on the inside”.
Peggy Noonan calls for more tell all books. The kind filled with the “truth” about what’s going on. She then moves on to talk of what Scott “believes” was happening in the WH. Not what WAS happening, but what he “believes” was happening.
He believes the invasion of Iraq was “a serious strategic blunder,” that the decision to invade Iraq was “a fateful misstep” born in part of the shock of 9/11 but also of “an air of invincibility” sharpened by the surprisingly and “deceptively” quick initial military success in Afghanistan.
the implication of his assertions and anecdotes is that Mr. Bush is vain, narrow, out of his depth and coldly dismissive of doubt, of criticism and of critics.
She notes that IF that’s what he believes, he should just come out and say it instead of implying it, then she goes on to say she believes this book. Huh??
She’s been whacked for a while now and hates Bush, so I’ll take that with all the “facts” she mentions in her columns for what they are worth. $.02.
We always forget history. Why is that?
Here’s what “they” were saying of McClellan back in 2005.
In the Bush White House, the press office has been less enmeshed in strategies to influence news coverage, in part because Bush cares less about the daily headlines than his predecessor did. Some reporters say they do not regard McClellan, a Texan who began working for Bush in Austin, as a valuable source.
How did the Bush WH go from not giving a rip about influencing the news coverage to being in “eternal campaign mode” meant to influence the public about the war?
Scott wrote a book. I write a blog.
Here’s my insider information.
1. The war in Iraq was more than just about WMD. If Bush had KNOWN there were WMD, then he could have pointed to them on a map and suggested strongly that Mr. Blix go there. Intelligence is filed under “knowing”, not knowing the exact truth.
2. I LOVE press secretaries. I admire them, I think they are amazing people. Very talented. Scott McClellan is NOT one of the ones I ever thought was talented or amazing. He came across as a spokesperson who never knew all the facts and just spouted party line vs someone who had been convinced of anything based on facts that maybe couldn’t be shared.
What did that tell me? That Scott was not so trusted as to be in on meetings where everyone became convinced of an idea. There are a million decisions to make every day. Fly over New Orleans? Or stop there and see what’s going on on the ground? Or fly past it and never look down?
As a human being you realize that tons of folks are yahoos. You’re the president and you care. You can care while sitting on your toilet but unless you “look” like you care no one will think that you care. President Bush has never been good at putting out the right impression and the yahoo folks don’t give him the benefit of the doubt.
Hiring Scott never helped with that. Why? Because Scott didn’t care enough about what his job was to do it at 100%. He always looked half interested and 1/4 knowing of what was going on around him. Peggy’s columns makes it sound like he was pretty much amazed to be where he was doing what he was doing and I suspect that is true.
So, as the President do you let this naive kid with stars in his eyes into all the high level meetings you have. Not no, but hell no.
I haven’t read the book and I probably won’t. Based on the quotes/interviews etc, etc, it sounds like Scott had “impressions” of what was going on around him based on his own view of the world. That doesn’t make them true.
Richard Armitage leaked Plame’s name.
Bush had a lot of reasons for going into Iraq and yes, one of them was to change the Middle East. Democracies don’t attack us.
If Bush was on permanent “campaign mode”, he’d have done a heck of a lot better job of persuading people than he he has on many subjects.
Scott must have been convinced that going public with his “feelings” is important for history. Lord help us all from that assuredness of our own importance.
Scott’s going to look around in 6 months or a year and wonder what happened to all those people who are propping his ego up right now. And I bet I know who’s going to reach out? President Bush.