Two documents reveal the secret to former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan’s conversion to Bush basher.
First is his proposal from January of last year to his publisher PublicAffairs books. In contrast to what he says in his book “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception,” McClellan’s proposal defended President Bush and said the book would address myths about him, some of them “deliberately perpetuated by liberal activist liberals and some created by the media.”
Specifically, McClellan said in his proposal, “Those on the far left of the political spectrum tend to demonize him and view him as an incurious, incompetent politician that will twist the truth to further his own goals.”
Rather than saying the media were not tough enough on Bush, as he says now, McClellan wrote, “The public holds the national media in low esteem. I think there are several reasons why, and I intend to write about them in some detail while discussing ways the media could improve their image.
"It is more than just the perceived arrogance, cynicism, gotcha-journalism, and lack of accountability. The establishment media does not tend to reflect Main Street America, or spend enough time focusing on the issues that matter most to the general public, and too often sacrifice substance for process. They tend to reflect the liberal elites of New York and Washington that are part of the social circles in which they run, and it shows in their reporting. Yet, they live in a constant state of denial when it comes to acknowledging such an obvious fact. “
The second pertinent document is a Washington Post story that quotes Peter Osnos, the left-leaning founder of PublicAffairs, as saying that before making an offer for McClellan’s book, he had to determine just what the book would say. At the same time, he candidly set forth what it could not say.
‘We are journalists, independent-minded publishers,” Osnos said. “We weren't interested in a book that was just a defense of the Bush administration. It had to pass our test of independence, integrity, and candor.”
In other words, by definition, anyone who defends the Bush administration lacks integrity and candor. The quote explains why McClellan did a 180-degree turn from his submitted book proposal. If he had not, the book — which had been turned down previously by New York book publishers — would never have been published.
While the advance of $75,000 was low, McClellan will receive royalties of about $4 per copy. At last report, the print run was 130,000, meaning his total take would be $520,000 if all books are sold, not including paperback and foreign sales.
As noted in the Newsmax story “Scott McClellan’s Allegations Lack Credibility,” McClellan cites no specifics to back up his assertion that Bush manipulated public opinion about the invasion of Iraq. In that regard, McClellan follows in the footsteps of his father Barr McClellan, who did extensive legal work for Lyndon Johnson in Texas and then turned on him, writing a book called “Blood, Money and Power: How LBJ Killed JFK.”
Saying the book offers “often nonsensical theories,” Publishers Weekly, which normally touts books, described that book as presenting “many detailed accounts of conspiratorial meetings that turn out to be not fact but ‘faction’ or ‘journalistic novelization’ — that is, conjecture designed to distract readers from the lack of evidence.”
Mitt Romney’s Help for John McCain
Mitt Romney is helping John McCain in more ways than one with McCain's presidential bid. Besides acting as his surrogate and raising money for him, Romney has lent McCain his fundraising list of 130,000 names with mailing addresses.
Romney has started a new PAC designed to support Republican candidates across the country and Romney’s own fundraising efforts for Republican candidates, including McCain. In the process, the Free & Strong America PAC will further Romney’s future political ambitions.
“Governor Romney’s plan for the remainder of this year is to support candidates who are in competitive races,” Eric Fehrnstrom, Romney’s longtime spokesman who is an adviser to the PAC, tells Newsmax. “A lot of them supported the governor, but all believe, as Governor Romney does, that we are at a critical time in our nation’s history, and we need to adopt policies that will strengthen our economy, our families, and our military.
"The PAC will allow Governor Romney to remain politically active on behalf of the causes and candidates he supports, starting at the top of the ticket with John McCain.”
Reading from Romney’s schedule, Fehrnstrom cites one or two fundraising or political events a day, beginning with a Republican National Committee fundraiser featuring President Bush at Romney’s home in Park City, Utah. The political events include acting as a surrogate for McCain.
The PAC will target 30 to 40 races to be posted on its Web site, www.freestrongamerica.com. So far, the PAC has supported conservatives like Rep. Dean F. Andal of California, Keith Fimian of Virginia, Rep. Tom Feeney of Florida, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, Rep. Connie Mack of Florida, and Rep. Joe Knollenberg of Michigan.
The PAC is based at the former Romney presidential campaign headquarters in East Boston but will move to new offices in July. Peter Flaherty, a Romney deputy campaign manager who was a liaison to religious conservatives, is executive director of the PAC. Rob Cole will be political director, and Beth Myers, Romney's former campaign manager, will be a senior adviser.
Romney has a network of friends and supporters he can turn to for advice, including former Rep. Vin Weber, attorney James Bopp, counsel Ben Ginsberg, Freedom's Watch’s Carl Forti, and spokespersons Kevin Madden and Matt Rhoades.
As for speculation about McCain choosing Romney as his candidate for vice president, “Frankly, it’s not something that Governor Romney expects to come his way,” Fehrnstrom says. “All of his plans are consistent with supporting Republicans running at different levels of office through the remainder of this year.”
A Memorial Day barbecue at McCain’s Sedona, Ariz., home “was a social visit, and it was more about the barbecue than about politics,” Fehrnstrom adds.
Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via
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