McClellan's Critics: What They Really Think

Scott's old mates seem none too happy with him these days. Of course, what they're saying may not be exactly the same as what they're thinking.
05/29/2008 03:53 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Don't look for Scott McClellan at any Bush administration reunions. His old mates seem none too happy with him these days. Of course, what they're saying may not be exactly the same as what they're thinking.

WHAT PRESS SECRETARY DANA PERINO SAID: "[The President] is puzzled, and he doesn't recognize this as the Scott McClellan that he hired and confided in and worked with for so many years."
WHAT SHE WAS THINKING: "Of course, if the president wasn't puzzled, how would we know he was awake?''

SHE ALSO SAID: "[The president was] disappointed that if he had these concerns and these thoughts, he never came to him or anyone else on the staff."
AS SHE WAS THINKING: "Consider, for example, the warm reception with which he greeted the dissenting opinions of Paul O'Neill, Christie Whitman and Colin Powell.''

WHAT FORMER PRESS SECRETARY ARI FLEISCHER SAID: "I'm heartbroken because I just don't understand. Not once did Scott tell me about any misgivings he had."
WHAT HE WAS THINKING: "And that's mostly what we did all day -- sit around the West Wing and talk about how the president was fucking up.''

WHAT KARL ROVE SAID: "If he had these moral qualms, he should have spoken up about them. And frankly I don't remember him speaking up about these things. I don't remember a single word."
WHAT HE WAS THINKING: "But if any of you wants to hear my plan for turning the GOP into the permanent ruling party -- that's one I have memorized.''

FLEISCHER ALSO SAID: "That's one of the reasons this book comes as such a shock. It comes from the last person that anyone would have thought would have said these things or written these things... You've heard the way Scott briefed -- it doesn't sound like him."
WHAT HE WAS THINKING: "Yeah -- you've heard the way Scott briefed -- he got the job because he sounded like he couldn't locate his own navel lint. Who the hell knew he was really paying attention?''

"Here's a man who owes his whole career to George W. Bush, and here he's stabbing him in the back and no one knows why. He appears to be dancing on his political grave for cash."
WHAT HE WAS THINKING: "The bastard told all the good stories and left none for me.''

"The allegations that the media was soft on the White House are total crap."
WHAT HE WAS THINKING: "Yeah, once we immersed the country in an unwinnable war, lost a city and outed a CIA agent, they really started to act mean. Sorry, no follow-ups.''

HE ALSO SAID: "It's almost like we're witnessing an out-of-body experience. We're hearing from a completely different person we didn't have any insight into."
WHAT HE WAS THINKING: "We thought he was a lump on a log. Geez, he didn't repeat that stuff I said about McCain, did he?''

WHAT FORMER HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISOR FRANCES TOWNSEND SAID: "For him to do this now, frankly, strikes me as self- serving, disingenuous, and unprofessional.''
WHAT SHE WAS THINKING: "If we knew he had this in him, we would have assigned him to work for Cheney.''

ROVE ALSO SAID: "It was misguided for him to make these kind of broad accusations and draw these big conclusions about the president."
WHAT HE WAS THINKING: "We generally leave that sort of thing to Fox.''

PERINO ALSO SAID: "Scott, we now know, is disgruntled."
WHAT SHE WAS THINKING: "The rest of us think this is heaven on earth.''