The Lost Interview, Pt. 2 -- McClellan's Book

See my previous post for explanation. We now turn to former Bush press secretary Scott McClellan's new book, "What Happened."

Q: Do the scathing accusations in McClellan's new book hurt the Bush administration?

A: Only in the sense that a dead squirrel in the road is "hurt" by the 18th car to run over its carcas.

Q: Then why are they flooding the media with current and former White House figures to dispute the claims and denounce the author?

A: Because that's what they do; that's the primary function of the Bush White House operation, as McClellan describes it.

Q: Well, is it working? Are they effectively discrediting his claims?

A: Unfortunately for the White House, if the general public was asked today to believe either Bush administration personnel or a homeless, strung-out junkie, roughly 65% would believe the junkie.

Q: So, what are the specific allegations in the book?

A: How should I know? I haven't read it. Neither has anybody who's talking about it. Nobody has. Nobody wants to. Nobody cares.

Q: You don't think the voting public is interested in a peek at the alleged disgraceful inner workings of the Bush White House?

A: At this point, most of the voting public thinks of the Bush administration the way you'd think of a bad tenant you've evicted but must by law give 60 days to move out. You no longer want to even know what terrible things are going on in there -- you just want to plug your ears and wait it out until you can send in a team to clean the place out and start fresh.

Q: Then why is every news outlet in America covering the book like it's the most important thing in the world?

A: Because we have finally entered into the phase of the Presidential election campaign season that I have previously dubbed "The Great Lull." That's the period after we know who the nominees are, but before the party conventions in late summer. Little or nothing of significance happens in the race during this period, but the media outlets are fully invested in time, space, personnel, and resources for obsessive presidential coverage. McClellan's book is exactly the kind of thing that fits the need perfectly -- as I'm sure his publishers knew when they chose the release date.

Q: Does McClellan's book hurt John McCain?

A: Probably a little. I see the underlying narrative of a McCain/Obama campaign as "slight, cautious change" vs. "big, risky change." Anything that reinforces the public's disgust with the current situation figures to reinforce the desire to risk big change.

Q: Has anything good come out of this whole McClellan episode?

A: Yes: it provided CNN's John Roberts the opportunity to use the word "flense," both on-air and on the web site.

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