The Empire Strikes Back against McClellan

We could have used our Carnac the Magnificent impression to predict the White House’s response. Scott McLellan is bitter. He wasn’t in the loop. Dana Perino released a statement in which she threw McClellan under the bus: “Scott, we now know, is disgruntled about his experience at the White House. For those of us who fully supported him, before, during and after he was press secretary, we are puzzled. It is sad — this is not the Scott we knew.”

The rest of the White House staff and some former staff have been lining up against McClellan.

Okay, here’s the interesting thing in my book (pun intended): McClellan has been out of the White House for over two years. He had several opportunities to smack the president around for whatever wrongs he thought the president committed, but he didn’t. He could have gone on Countdown with Keith Olbermann and said that President Bush was an ostrich with his head in the sand, but he didn’t. As a matter of fact, he went out of his way a couple of months ago NOT to bash the president. So, what’s the deal? I believe that McClellan didn’t necessarily drink from the neocon well of ideology BUT he had faith in Bush. He believed in Bush (and perhaps still does). Bush that let him down. Now, I have no evidence to prove this. This is what I believe.

Think Progress has a number of examples where the White House has lashed out at former Executive Branch employees.

Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill

WROTE: Bush planned to invade Iraq before 9/11 and was like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people during Cabinet meetings.

SMEAR: “We didn’t listen to [O’Neill’s] wacky ideas when he was in the White House, why should we start listening to him now?” — A senior official who informed Bush of O’Neill’s comments, 1/12/04

Former Campaign Chief Strategist Matthew Dowd

SAID: Bush has “become more, in my view, secluded and bubbled in”; that “our leaders have to understand what they [the American public] want. They’re saying, ‘Get out of Iraq.’”

SMEAR: “He’s going through a lot of personal turmoil but also he has a son who is soon to be deployed to Iraq. That could only impact a parents’ mind as they think through these issues.” — Dan Bartlett, 4/1/07

Former Counter-Terrorism Chief Richard Clarke

WROTE: Bush “ignored terrorism for months”; sought to tie 9/11 to Iraq immediately.

SMEAR: “He wanted to be the deputy secretary of the Homeland Security Department after it was created. … He did not get that position, someone else was appointed to it. … His best friend is Rand Beers, who is the principal advisor to the Kerry campaign.” — Scott McClellan, while serving as press secretary, 3/22/04