McClellan's awakening -- cards were on the table

A lot of folks are not exactly surprised at former White House press secretary Scott McClellan's realization that the run-up Iraq war came with an excess of hype and salesmanship. As former Bush aide Andy Card said back then:

``From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August.''

Dan Kennedy has browsed McClellan's book and he has a typically smart take. Here's a sample:

1. There is nothing in "What Happened" that is interesting beyond the identity of the person who wrote it. As press secretary, McClellan was the slow-talking, dull-witted stooge who knew little and said less. Unlike his predecessor, the sharp and disdainful Ari Fleischer, or his successor, the sharp and combative Tony Snow, McClellan's very presence came across as a way of telling the media that they didn't matter — to "de-certify" the press, as Jay Rosen has written.

Thus it is of passing interest that McClellan has come to see that he was used; that the cool kids he thought were his friends were snickering behind his back and lying to him, as he says Karl Rove and Scooter Libby did regarding their roles in the Valerie Plame matter. But his book — which should have been titled "What Happened?" — is simplistic and unoriginal in its analysis.

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