Former Bush White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan is padding his pockets this morning with money earned from his new book, What Happened, a hatchet job about the Bush White House, and McClellan's role in selling the administration's spin on stories ranging from the start of the War in Iraq to the late response to Hurricane Katrina. In the book, McClellan declares the war was unnecessary, and claims the White House just stood by and watched for the first week following Katrina.
I can't argue with many of the points McClellan made. History will no doubt be unkind to the Bush administration, and to many of the political operatives who served under Mr. Bush. But the person at the top of that "undesirables" list should be Scott McClellan himself.
I am a First Amendment hawk, and I certainly agree that McClellan has the right to write what he wrote. But as Grandma always said, "just because you can, it doesn't mean you should". In writing this book and releasing it now, Scott McClellan has revealed himself to be a cynical, disloyal, petty and bitter man. He has sold himself out, and even a long, long stay on the New York Times best seller list won't make up for that.
I would have no problem with McClellan's book if he had released it on January 21st, 2009, after President Bush left office. But by releasing it now, McClellan is not only screwing over an administration that gave him a career-changing job opportunity, he is also throwing many of his former White House colleagues under the bus on the eve of a change in administrations. These people are going to need jobs soon, and most of them will not have the benefit of the title "White House Press Secretary" on their resumes. McClellan also further undermines the U.S.' reputation on the world stage at a time when America is struggling to maintain its leadership position.
So why now? Money, of course. McClellan's book will certainly sell more copies in an election year than he ever would have once President Bush became yesterday's news. And, as a bonus, he still has both Hillary and Barack around to sell his books for him! McClellan better hope he makes enough money off of this to make working an option for the forseeable future, because I can't think of anyone in either party who would want to hire him.
You can be tardy... you can be sloppy... you can be dim... you can have no sense of humor... you can even have body odor. NONE of those traits is worse in an employee than disloyalty.
Was it worth it, Scott?