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Good Riddance, Scott McClellan

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 12:26 pm - April 19, 2006.
Filed under: Blogging,Media Bias,National Politics,New Media

Well, new White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten prevented me from writing a post that I had been planning at least since November. It shows that instead of waiting until I feel I can say what I want to say as well as I imagine saying it that I might do well to turn the idea into a post when it first crosses my mind. But, then, I want to make my posts thoughtful essays — and that often takes more time than most posts.

Just before bed, in praising the president for tapping fellow Cincinnati native Rob Portman as Director of Office of Management and Budget, I suggested that the president also “needs to do what the first (and greatest) Republican president did after Antietam — Fire McClellan.” Well, it looks like that plan was already in the works. I woke this morning to learn that he had done just that. “White House press secretary Scott McClellan announced his resignation.

It couldn’t come a moment too soon — and at least six months too late. With an aggressive, antagonistic media, the president was not well served by a press secretary who, to borrow William Kristol’s expression, seemed to be in a perpetual “defensive crouch.” As Deroy Murdock put it “White House Press Secretary Scott McMilquetoast . . . exudes timidity. His briefings instill neither confidence nor inspiration.

The White House press operation has done a terrible job of responding to disingenuous reporting. It seems as if the president, quite unlike his media savvy predecessor, thought it was merely the job of the press office to dispense information (as it once had been and perhaps should be in an ideal world where the media’s agenda in reporting the facts rather than giving its spin) and let the conservative pundits and blogs set the record straight. It’s been amusing to read all the false charges the MSM and others on the Left have leveled against the president. It’s been depressing to watch the Administration fail to rebut the better part of them.

The president needs a press secretary who exudes confidence, not timidity, and who is ever eager to promote the good news — especially about the robust economy and the signs of progress (despite occasional and significant setbacks) in Iraq. That Josh Bolten saw fit to replace Scott McClellan in his first days on the job suggests he is well aware of what ails this White House. With Rob Portman coming back to the White House and Scott McClellan on his way out, it seems that the president is moving to correct his mistakes of the last few months and has taken a step in the right direction. His naysayers notwithstanding, perhaps this president, stubborn though he may be, does learn from those mistakes.

-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com

UPDATE: Just saw that Tammy has similar thoughts on McClellan: “Nice enough guy, but he always seemed to me to be in the defensive, regardless of what was happening. I never got the impression, frankly, that he was in charge of the press room.” Now that I’ve whet your appetite, read the whole thing.

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32 Comments

  1. “His naysayers notwithstanding, perhaps this president, stubborn though he may be, does learn from those mistakes.”

    As we Jews say: from your mouth to Gods ears.

    Comment by Leah — April 19, 2006 @ 12:37 pm - April 19, 2006

  2. We’ll just all hope he choses someone better instead of worse as a replacement.

    I prefer stuborn anyhow. Not that people should *never* change, but that they shouldn’t change too easily. Which is sort of the definition of conservatism. It’s not that conservatives don’t want change, they just want to take their time and think about it first. Make sure the changes are the right ones.

    Comment by Synova — April 19, 2006 @ 12:46 pm - April 19, 2006

  3. Uncle Jimbo, over at Blackfive, is planning to apply for the job.

    Comment by Synova — April 19, 2006 @ 1:37 pm - April 19, 2006

  4. Drat, the html didn’t work.

    http://www.blackfive.net/main/2006/04/mcclellan_resig.html

    Comment by Synova — April 19, 2006 @ 1:37 pm - April 19, 2006

  5. Ari was much better at bitchslapping the idiot reporters when they needed it.

    Comment by rightwingprof — April 19, 2006 @ 1:51 pm - April 19, 2006

  6. Polipundit is supporting Lt. Gen. Honere’ for the post of Press Secretary. The entire WH Press Corps needs a good bitch-slapping, and a dose of common-sense….the Earth does not revolve around the WH Press Room.

    While I don’t necessarily agree with Rummey, I always liked his press-style;
    – I know the answer and here’s the facts,
    – I know the answer, but I’m not going to tell you,
    – I don’t know.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — April 19, 2006 @ 2:03 pm - April 19, 2006

  7. Um, it’s obvious that McClellan has no pride. Anyone who had any pride would have resigned after what Bush said about him to the Canadian Prime Minister:

    The President chuckled.

    “Well, you got a pretty face,” he told the surprised Mr. Reid (the Canadian PM’s Scott). He wasn’t done. “You got a pretty face,” he said again. “You’re a good-looking guy. Better looking than my Scott anyway.”

    Comment by raj — April 19, 2006 @ 4:29 pm - April 19, 2006

  8. Bring back (Ambassador) Margaret Tutwiler!

    Julie the Jarhead

    Comment by Julie the Jarhead — April 19, 2006 @ 4:50 pm - April 19, 2006

  9. I hear they asked Tony Snow to do it. That’s the blogosphere buzz anyway, though I did see a story about it on Fox.

    Comment by rightwingprof — April 19, 2006 @ 5:52 pm - April 19, 2006

  10. McClellan Resigns…Helen Thomas Reloads

    Where’s the new punk….make my day! Whilst Helen Thomas is reloading, check out both sides of the Blogosphere’s reax to the news: Michelle Malkin, Hugh Hewitt, Power Line, Power Line (2) Beth @ MVRWC, Ace of Spades, Atlas Shrugs, Poli Pundit, The R…

    Trackback by All Things Beautiful — April 19, 2006 @ 5:59 pm - April 19, 2006

  11. raj said…

    “Um, it’s obvious that McClellan has no pride. Anyone who had any pride would have resigned after what Bush said about him to the Canadian Prime Minister:”

    That’s the typical leftist for ya – all feelings, all the time.

    I’m laughing at the superior intellect.

    Eric in Hollywood

    Comment by HollywoodNeoCon — April 19, 2006 @ 6:23 pm - April 19, 2006

  12. I agree Dan and this change is long overdue.

    I think Dave Chappelle would be a good replacement.

    Comment by Scott — April 19, 2006 @ 6:23 pm - April 19, 2006

  13. You know… I don’t see why saying that someone elses press secretary was prettier than McClellan is such a greivous insult. Who’s to say Scott wouldn’t have thought it was funny? Being a “pretty face” could, itself, almost be considered an insult.

    I mean… it’s not like failing to say your lover is the most attractive and beautiful person in the world, after all.

    Comment by Synova — April 19, 2006 @ 6:59 pm - April 19, 2006

  14. I never liked Scotty Mac much. He never seemed to have any enthusiasm for the job. Fleischer was better suited for the job. I thought McCurry was a good PS for Clinton. Bush should get a Latino or black woman to for the job (who is qualified of coarse). Or better yet, since everyone is wanting Rumsfeld to retire as Sec of Def, why not transfer him over to the Press Sec position. That would be so much fun to watch, and absolutley throw the rabid left into a spin worthy of a whirling dervish.

    PS. Now that I think about it, what exactly are the qualifications for that job?

    Comment by sonicfrog — April 19, 2006 @ 7:40 pm - April 19, 2006

  15. >

    To be able to lie with a straight face.

    Comment by Erik — April 19, 2006 @ 7:56 pm - April 19, 2006

  16. Ari was definitely better that Scott, but a new official mouthpiece is only a small part of the president’s problems. Some better at spin isn’t the solution to a boatload of broken promises, incompetence and corruption from his party.

    Comment by Average Gay Joe — April 19, 2006 @ 8:25 pm - April 19, 2006

  17. It certainly illustrates the limits of promoting people almost exclusively from within, and valuing the Texas inner circle above, oh, competence. The last few years have exposed the President’s blind loyalty as a tremendous Achilles’ heel. Every once in a while, you’ll get lucky by hiring a pal or a sycophant — but not often.

    Comment by Malcontent — April 19, 2006 @ 8:34 pm - April 19, 2006

  18. Average Gay Joe, I agree that a new mouthpiece is only part of the problem. But, I only see the corruption in a handful of House Republicans and saw McClellan (as well as the congressional relations staff at the White House) as the principle White House incompetent.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — April 19, 2006 @ 8:39 pm - April 19, 2006

  19. Malcontent, seems you were commenting before I had a chance to refresh my browser. Great assessment. Just like his father, the current president’s Achilles’ heel seems to be his loyalty to his appointees. I mean, his Dad should have fired Dick Darman long before that arrogant insider leaked to the Washington Post.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — April 19, 2006 @ 8:44 pm - April 19, 2006

  20. GPW: Corruption involves more than illegal gain of money or goods, in my book it includes the fleecing of the public through pork of which damn near all the GOP is very guilty of. Bush is also involved in this, in part because of his refusal to veto a single spending bill in his presidency.

    Jack Bauer on the other hand is an excellent suggestion for Press Secretary. 😉

    Comment by Average Gay Joe — April 19, 2006 @ 9:28 pm - April 19, 2006

  21. I guess Scott’s mama, Carole Keeton Strayhorn, must have gotten enough signatures here in Texas to run for governor. I’ll lay 5-1 odds that he starts working on her campaign.

    Just my thoughts.

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — April 19, 2006 @ 11:09 pm - April 19, 2006

  22. Loyalty is something is a strength as well though. Particularly, it’s something that the military finds reassuring. When there is loyalty *down* the chain of command, there’s more likely to be loyalty *up* it as well.

    Comment by Synova — April 20, 2006 @ 2:26 am - April 20, 2006

  23. Fleischer only lasted two (or so) years, McClellan for four. Fleischer could lie with a straight face, and obviously didn’t care that he was lying. Fleischer probably viewed the daily press briefings as a jousting match, and didn’t give a tinker’s damn whether the people were actually informed.

    McClellan couldn’t lie with a straight face. And he obviously gained more than a bit of weight during his tenure–not good for one’s health.

    Comment by raj — April 20, 2006 @ 9:45 am - April 20, 2006

  24. raj said…

    “And he obviously gained more than a bit of weight during his tenure–not good for one’s health.”

    raj again, bringing new meaning to the term “bitchy queen.”

    Unable to resist the temptation to comment on the man’s weight, he demonstrates just how completely shallow one miserable queer can become.

    Eric in Hollywood

    Comment by HollywoodNeoCon — April 20, 2006 @ 10:32 am - April 20, 2006

  25. #24 HollywoodNeoCon — April 20, 2006 @ 10:32 am – April 20, 2006

    Oh, Eric in Hollywood (das Land des Happyends), so you believe that becoming overweight/obese is good for one’s health?

    If so, you’d be a perfect PR guy for the American fast-food establishment.

    Comment by raj — April 20, 2006 @ 11:31 am - April 20, 2006

  26. YET AGAIN…..

    raj treats us to a sample of life sans substance

    I wonder if that might not be as blissful as he seems to think it is…

    Eric in the Land of Silk & Money

    Comment by HollywoodNeoCon — April 20, 2006 @ 11:38 am - April 20, 2006

  27. Raj, pointing out your comment was petty and irrelevant to the discussion in no way implies that Eric thinks obesity is a good thing, and you know better. Trying to pursue a line of attack in that vein is a pathetically weak attempt to divert attention from the embarassment of being called out on it.

    Comment by Amber — April 20, 2006 @ 12:51 pm - April 20, 2006

  28. #27 Amber — April 20, 2006 @ 12:51 pm – April 20, 2006

    As you wish. I stand by my point.

    Comment by raj — April 20, 2006 @ 1:21 pm - April 20, 2006

  29. Good summary of the state of the press secretary.

    Comment by Jeremayakovka — April 20, 2006 @ 6:12 pm - April 20, 2006

  30. It was always painful, for me, to watch McClellan work a press conference because he always looked like he hated his job.

    I don’t know whether it was because he was a bad liar or because he just never got comfortable in general with the pressure. But, especially when faced with a really tough question, he always looked like he was about to pass a gallstone.

    Comment by Lori Heine — April 20, 2006 @ 11:21 pm - April 20, 2006

  31. #30 It was always painful, for me, to watch McClellan work a press conference because he always looked like he hated his job.

    Lori, from what I could tell, McClellan wasn’t chained to the podium.

    Comment by raj — April 21, 2006 @ 9:17 am - April 21, 2006

  32. He certainly wouldn’t be the first person in this administration who wanted the position without the responsibility.

    Comment by Lori Heine — April 21, 2006 @ 1:16 pm - April 21, 2006

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