The first book from a Washington insider that I remember reading was a book by former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O’Neill, The Price of Loyalty or was it Richard Clarke’s Book, Against All Enemies. Anyway, it doesn’t matter. Both books painted a picture of Vice President Dick Cheney as more in charge of the White House than President George W. Bush. They also portrayed the White House as being less than truthful with the American people. The reaction from the White House was swift and severe. The White House really tried to crush Richard Clarke.
The push back from the White House is about the same against Scott McClellan. The story line is that McClellan was out of touch or not in the loop. They say he was disgruntled. What they don’t say that but was closer to the truth is that McClellan was drinking from the Bush nectar. He was reading Bush’s press clippings and believing them. I think that McClellan truly likes and admires Bush. He thought that Bush would try to govern as he did in Texas. What he forgot is that Texas is a conservative state; A liberal in Texas is a right-wing conservative in New York. So, being bipartisan in Texas is a lot easier than it is in Washington. Finally, after 9/11 McClellan– like all of the rest of us– wanted desperately for Bush to lead us out of that misery. We wanted Bush to be right. We gave him some slack. Liberals didn’t give Bush as much slack but they did give some. I’m sure that from inside the White House you would be tempted to give Bush a lot of slack.
I don’t think that McClellan is the devil or a saint. I think that he is a man who believed. Unfortunately, Bush popped McClellan’s bubble.