Well, well, well. Just when you thought that the story was over, the little spokesman who couldn’t drops a political IED right in the middle of the first positive news cycle President George Walker Bush has had since Ari Fleischer departed. Mike Allen of The Politico broke the story just moments ago: McClellan Points Finger at Bush, Rove.
In McClellan’s forthcoming memoir, “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and What’s Wrong with Washington.” the former spokesman detonates a long-burning fuse, and will likely give the anti-Bush Left even more fuel for the fire. Bush loyalists and Republicans will roll their eyes, knowing that Scott McClellan is in the post-Beltway freefall. Once upon a time, he mattered politically and was powerful. His BlackBerry hummed all day long. He had access to the President.
And that is fine, because everyone expects him to decompress. Washington isn’t about sweetness and light. It is hardcore, bloodsport. Every moment of every day. And even the closest of friends, or the most biter enemies have each other’s number. It is always about what comes next.
The controversial statements are just ripe for dissection:
“I stood at the White house briefing room podium in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and publicly exonerated two of the seniormost aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby,” McClellan wrote.
“There was one problem. It was not true.”
McClellan then absolves himself and makes an inflammatory — and potentially lucrative for his publisher — charge.
“I had unknowingly passed along false information,” McClellan wrote.
“And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice president, the president’s chief of staff and the president himself.”
McClellan says he was in that position because he trusted the president: “The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.”
Buckle up those seatbelts, folks. Smart publisher, it’s a slow news week – and holiday book sales are just getting started.
— Media Lizzy