Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Press Secretary Scott McClellan resigns

I've got two words to explain this resignation... Helen Thomas.

Hey, after years of trying to explain things to that old battle axe, you'd resign too...

WaPo - McClellan is the most visible face of the White House after the president himself since he presides over the increasingly contentious daily briefings that have become common fare not only on C-SPAN but on the late night humor shows.

Since the perjury indictment of vice presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the briefings have featured many more angry questions from some reporters who feel they were misled by McClellan on White House involvement in a series of leaks on pre-war evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

First we've already discussed the fact that when a president declassifies materials for public release it's not a leak. So let's just get that out of the way right now. Other than that, The Today Show was discussing rumors circulating the beltway that Scott's resignation wasn't his idea or preference. That's probably ture, but I don't think it's a big deal. Scott's worked with Dubya for a long time, back to his governor days, so I'm sure he'd prefer to stay on if he had his druthers. But the administration appears to be looking for some new blood, and a new face in the press room might help Dubya more clearly promote his agenda. Not that the press will be at all hospitable, because on top of Helen Thomas, there's David Gregory also leading the charge in a hostile press room. Good luck to whoever gets Scott's job. I'd get a prescription for high blood pressure now, because if you don't have an ulcer, migranes, and high blood pressure yet, you will soon.

The WaPo article above also tries to make a big deal of Karl Rove giving up duties on policy oversight, but read the fine print. He'd only been doing that for a year anyway, so it's really no big deal. He's going to spend more time focusing on the 2006 elections where Republicans could certainly use the extra help.

UPDATE @2:50pm: Blogs4Bauer had the same reasoning behind Scotty's resignation... namely Helen Thomas and the rest of the White House press corps. Here's the artist's interpretation...