>In a scathing new book recounting his years in the White House, former Bush press secretary Scott McClellan sharply criticizes the president for “self-deception” for political gain and “convinces himself to believe what suits his needs at the moment,” according to this NY Times article.
McClellan also called Iraq a “serious strategic blunder.” Also:
Mr. McClellan writes that top White House officials deceived him about the administration’s involvement in the leaking of the identity of a CIA operative, Valerie Wilson. He says he did not know for almost two years that his statements from the press room that Karl Rove and I. Lewis Libby Jr. were not involved in the leak were a lie.
“Neither, I believe, did President Bush,” Mr. McClellan writes. “He too had been deceived, and therefore became unwittingly involved in deceiving me. But the top White House officials who knew the truth — including Rove, Libby, and possibly Vice President Cheney — allowed me, even encouraged me, to repeat a lie.”
McClellan was also critical of the Bush administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina, saying Bush “spent most of the first week in a state of denial” and “allowed our institutional response to go on autopilot.”
Mr. McClellan blames Mr. Rove for one of the more damaging images after the hurricane: Mr. Bush’s flyover of the devastation of New Orleans. When Mr. Rove brought up the idea, Mr. McClellan writes, he and Dan Bartlett, a top communications adviser, told Mr. Bush it was a bad idea because he would appear detached and out of touch. But Mr. Rove won out, Mr. McClellan writes.
Most of the blogosphere, particularly the afrospear, were well aware of the shenanigans of the Bush presidency. We all knew Bush was in denial about Hurricane Katrina. We remember the speeches on Social Security Bush made days after the disaster. We all remember the President praising former FEMA director Michael Brown for the agency’s “response.” We also remember Brown being relieved of his hurricane duties amid criticism.
So, McClellan’s book won’t bring any new revelations to light for me. What about for you? Are you surprised by McClellan’s depictions of the President and his White House?