One of Many

Perhaps there should be a special category in books stores for tell-all books by former members presidential administrations. Let’s face it. A book in praise of a current administration will likely end up in a discount bin soon after release or probably not be published at all. A critical book draws attention. The recount of behind the scenes conversations are hard to document so controversies quickly degenerate to he-said-he-said arguments. without resolution.

David Stockman was the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under Ronald Reagan and a point man for a much of the budgets cuts the Reagan administration implemented. When Stockman left government he cashed in on his public service with the memoir, Triumph of Politics: Why the Reagan Revolution Failed, which was highly critical of the Reagan economic plan. Of course, the book was hailed as the product of honest reconsideration of Reagan’s policies and the media just lapped it up. A couple of decades later, most remember Reagan and his time positively and only political junkies remember Stockman. Stockman has had a checkered career in finance since then.

When Georege Stephanopoulos,  President Bill Clinton’s Communications Directory retired,  he wrote  All Too Human. It describes the mental summersaults required for otherwise discerning and perceptive people to sustain the suspension of disbelief required to protect the President. Stephanopoulos’s key insight is that the ferocity and devotion required to support the political fight consumes so much intellectual and emotional energy, there is little strength left for doubt. The Clinton Administration was none too amused. However, Stephanopoulos has managed to maintain his prominence as a pundit and ABC journalist.

Now Scott McClellan has written a tell-all book about his time a press spokesman for President Bush with the not so clever title What Happened. Those not inclined to support president quickly seized upon the book.  Unlike other Bush press spokesman Ari Fleischer or Tony Snow who were respected by the press even while acting as vigorous spokesman for the president, McClellan not particularly well-respected for his competence. The book has a air of desperation about it.

This controversy will pass and only avid partisans will remember much about McClellan. However, McClellan will not be much respected by Conservatives and the Left will ignore him after he ceases to be useless. McClellan will fall into obscurity unless he moves further to the Left. It will be interesting to see what path he chooses.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.