Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Trent Duffy to Scott McClellan -- You, Sir, Are a Liar

We wanted to avoid this story regarding Scott McClellan, and not because we did not care, but because he tossed a hatchet job out for a paycheck and fifteen minutes of fame. He has been denounced by quite a few pundits who do not buy his assertions -- an amazing fact given the bias within the MSM -- and ignored by the White House. But Trent Duffy is a different person. He was Scot McClellan's deputy press secretary, and the op-ed he pens in today's WaPo excoriates and eviscerates Mr. McClellan's allegations:

Dear Scott,

Since you're not answering my e-mails anymore, I'm writing to pose a few questions that haven't been asked on your truth, honesty and candor tour:

· Was it the truth or a lie when you told me, during a series of personal discussions in your West Wing office in late 2005 and early 2006 (at the apex of what you now call your period of "disillusionment" and "dismay"), that you were happy in your job and proud to serve
President Bush and that you had no intention of leaving soon? What about in April 2006, when rumors swirled about a change at the podium, and you again told me you wanted to stay?

· Was it the truth or a lie when you told me around Christmas that the excerpts released by your publisher were being "taken out of context" and that your book wasn't going to be a hatchet job?

· Was it the truth or a lie when you assured your former deputies that you wanted our "full participation" in the book?

· Was it the truth or a lie when, after countless briefings, you complained that the
White House press corps was too tough, unfair, over the top and didn't get it?

· And, finally, you like
Barack Obama's message and don't know if you're a Republican? ...

You hired me as your deputy in October 2003 and said more than once that the typical tenure of a White House press secretary before burnout was about two years. After two years went by, we were about halfway into what you now call your period of disillusionment.

As Christmas approached, your mood was as festive as the White House eggnog. Seeing your delight, I suspected you might be having second thoughts about serving only two years or so. So I asked you. You said you weren't going anywhere, you loved the job, you were feeling good. Now, you say you were actually suffering through a gut-wrenching ordeal and were looking for the exits.

When the first "teaser" excerpts of your book hit the press in December, my phone lighted up with calls from reporters. Before responding, I called you; you said the publisher had taken liberties, you didn't mean to attack the president and to point reporters to your 2006 interview with
Larry King as your genuine take on things. You told me that your book was still about the poisonous partisan atmosphere in Washington and didn't breathe a hint about Iraq or Hurricane Katrina. This was long after you were outside the White House bubble, amigo.

You also assured me, when we've talked the past two years, that you wanted your deputies to review the book and share our thoughts. Thinking you actually meant what you said, I reached out to you two months ago to take you up on your offer. Radio silence. Why didn't you keep your promise to me and the other professionals who gave years of their lives working for you?

The press was easy on us? How many times did you race up the ramp from the briefing room to your office after a raucous media cross-examination to complain how the press was unfair, naive, too tough and way too "liberal." Would any in the White House press corps agree they were softies? ...

Perhaps you have had an epiphany. Maybe it is better to appease terrorists and let them fight us here instead of taking them on overseas. Maybe we should return our public education system to factories of mediocrity run by teachers unions instead of demanding and delivering educational excellence for our children. Maybe we should let the government ration health care and get between us and our doctors. And maybe we should raise taxes, punish individual enterprise and destroy the incentive for hard work to pay for more government programs.

Think about it. You may not be able to now, since you have conceded your inability to think clearly and independently inside a bubble atmosphere, be it at the White House or while on a media-frenzy book tour.

But do it anyway. On your own, without a publisher around. And let me know what you figure out.

Scott McClellan supposedly penned this book to relieve his doubts that he had while working in the White House. He knew that there would be those out there that would take him to task. But we think he was counting on the White House's tradition, at least during this administration, to not answer crank critics. Trent Duffy is no longer in the White House, and he worked closely with McClellan on a daily basis. He knew him well enough to know that this book would not pass the smell test.

Captain Ed notes that Robert Novak questions whether Mr. McClellan even wrote the book himself. That is something that both Thomas and I agreed could be a possibility given the fact that former press secretary Ari Fleischer said that Mr. McClellan told him that his editor "tweaked" a few things just before publishing. It stands to reason that it is a possibility the book was ghost-written. Mr. Fleischer acknowledges that in certain areas of the book the voice he is reading does not sound like Mr. McClellan.

Needless to say, Mr. McClellan's book has become a sort of political obituary for his career. No one in their right mind would be willing to touch this man because nobody would want to risk being attacked when the guy is let go or quits. The book is nothing more than a hatchet job, and Mr. McClellan knew he would get his free airtime on the talking heads shows. Are there any serious revelations in the book? Not really. The majority of his contentions do not pass muster, given the fact he claims to have been privy to meetings he would not have attended.

We hope he enjoys his thirty pieces of silver. It will likely be the last paycheck he gets fro quite some time.



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