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Mindy Fletcher

Telling It All

“Well, why, all of a sudden, if he had all these grave concerns, did he not raise these sooner? This is one-and-a-half years after he left the administration. And now, all of a sudden, he’s raising these grave concerns that he claims he had. And I think you have to look at some of the facts. One, he is bringing this up in the heat of a presidential campaign. He has written a book and he certainly wants to go out there and promote that book.”
No.  That is not the words of an angry Republican talking about Scott McClellan.  Those are the words straight from the horses mouth—Scott himself on March 22, 2004 talking about the book of former homeland security advisor Richard Clarke.  Seems Scott has a different take now that he is the one on a book tour.
I have known Scott for a decade, since the late 90s when I was the campaign Press Secretary for then-Governor Bush in Texas where Scott was running the campaign of his mother – Carol Keeton Rylander (aka “one tough grandma”) to be State Comptroller.  She won and Scott came to work in the Governor’s state press office for Karen Hughes.  He later joined us at the presidential campaign in a deputy press secretary capacity and the rest as they say is history. 
I was in the press room the first day Scott briefed the media on his own—it was not a pretty sight, but I didn’t say anything.  I watched for years after as he took the reins full time and I listened as others skewered him and vaulted insults his way as the collective school of thought decided he wasn’t up to the job.  A lot of people, including me, kept our mouths shut – a lot – when he was criticized by friends, colleagues and anyone else off the street.  We did it because he was a member of the family and we value loyalty—sometimes to a fault. 
I will not keep my mouth shut now. 
The book, the accusations, the charges all come from someone who appears to want to make money, regain the spotlight and who puts no value in the many people who helped him along the way.  It is not lost on anyone that without the loyalty of President Bush and senior members of his staff, Scott would never have been in a position to write this book in the first place.  And without the unquestioned loyalty of a lot of people inside the White House that he now criticizes, he would have been fired long before he resigned.
I was in a lunch yesterday with a US Senator with a history on the Senate Intelligence Committee who pointed out that at Scott’s clearance level as press secretary, there were no way he could even have known some of the things he is touting in the book.
I believe, aside from the money, that Scott has also gotten caught up in the desire to be popular in social circles.  Right now it is cool to trash the President—join the 70% bandwagon.  Go to any cocktail party and you will experience it first hand.  Even Republicans don’t miss a beat in publicly complaining, insulting and skewering their own party’s President.  I will be the last one to say that he is perfect, and the President himself would be too.  But, he is still our President and the fact his approval numbers have spanned from the 90’s to the 30’s shows how loosely we hold our allegiances.  Despite all the criticism I have heard about the President, I have never heard lack of loyalty or core beliefs among them. 
I am grateful for former Senator Bob Dole.  In a scathing letter to McClellan, Dole says what we are all thinking.  And because he is 84 years old and a respected elder statesman he can say whatever he wants.  Sounds like fun huh?  It is a must read:  Read the letter here

At the end of the day, any of us have had times we disagree with people we work for.  But, that shouldn’t drive an opportunistic goal of making money and gaining fame.  The President treated most of us like his own kids— he bucked me up when I had to give the eulogy at my best friend’s funeral, he called to congratulate me when I got engaged to Nathan, and he always knew when Nathan was deployed with the Marines.  He cared about us, our families, our lives and because he had a vision and the leadership ability to be elected President of the United States, many of us were given a million opportunities and responsibilities we never would have otherwise had. 
So in attacking the President, Scott has also attacked his former colleagues and friends who trusted him and stood up for him.  In some ways I feel bad for Scott—when the media has moved on to the next hot story and he is yesterdays news I think he will lay in bed and wonder what he really believes.  And all the money from the book isn’t going to be worth much when you don’t have any friends. 

3 Responses to “Telling It All”

  1. Says:

    Wow. The Cult of Bush shows no mercy when someone strays.

  2. Says:

    Thank you for speaking out Mindy….Scott deserves all the abuse he’s getting….I read Senator Dole’s published email and agreed with him wholeheartedly…

    This is not about a cult it’s about loyalty and dissing those who gave you unheard of opportunities to serve your country….he chose to spit on all of them so he should be man enough to deal with the backlash

  3. Says:

    Loyalty… Yes a nice thing. But even better than loyalty based on personality is loyalty to principles, like the conservative principles of governance many of hoped for when we worked like hell to get Bush elected in 2000.

    If I knew “compassionate conservatism” translated into unheard of expansions of federal government power and expenditures, just for starters, I’d not have bothered.

    Bush and the big government Republicans spit on the values the rest of us supposedly hold dear. But I guess the truth is too dangerous to utter publicly.