Does anyone remember the connection between Scott McClellan and Bush's approval numbers?
On July 6, 2003, Joe Wilson's op-ed appeared in the New York Times, where he claimed that something G. W. Bush had said months before wasn't true. Putting aside the question of the validity of Wilson's statements, the timing was interesting.
Over the next week, Ari Fleisher and Condoleeza Rice did an admirable job of explaining the situation and dealing with the incessant questions from the White House press corps.
On July 15, 2003, Scott McClellan took over as White House Press Secretary and began leading the press briefings. Here's a link to his first press briefing. Personally, I think it showed his incompetence. That was the beginning of the end of Bush's high approval ratings.
Here's a list of links to White House press briefings. Peruse them for yourself and see if McClellan did a competent job as Press Secy. My personal opinion, he was a victim of Murphy's Law who got the position because Bush is loyal to the people who are loyal to him, even if they're not up to the job. Consider the Harriet Myers SCOTUS nomination.
Here's a chart of Bush's approval ratings. Under McClellan's watch (July '03 to April '06) Bushes numbers dropped below pre-9/11 levels and below 50%, 40% and almost to 30%, and they basically stayed there. The only time that the ratings climbed was when Saddam was captured. Otherwise, it was in a steady decline the entire time he was press secretary.
The Bush administration has been widely criticized by conservatives for not selling a conservative agenda (or even the Bush agenda where it differed) to the public. Scott McClellan was a big part of that failure.
He's no Ari Fleischer. Even Tony Snow couldn't reverse the trend.
His 'tell-all book'? Considering the source, I won't bother reading it. It's already being discredited by his co-workers.
[Cross-posted at 5views.com]