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Bush White House: Pushback on Scott

The New York Times' Stohlberg notes the campaign against McClellan. "The result was a kind of public excommunication of Mr. McClellan, waged by some of the people with whom he once worked most closely, among them Karl Rove, the political strategist; Frances Fragos Townsend, the former domestic security adviser; Ari Fleischer, Mr. Bush's first press secretary; and Dan Bartlett, the former counselor to the president. Their cries of betrayal served as a stern warning to other potential turncoats that, despite some well-publicized cracks, the Bush inner circle remains tight. Their language was so similar that the collective reaction amounted to one big inside-the-Beltway echo chamber."

"All seemed to take their cues from Dana Perino, the current press secretary. Ms. Perino used the words 'sad' and 'puzzled' to describe the White House response, as if Mr. McClellan had undergone some kind of emotional breakdown, while making the case that if Mr. McClellan had problems with Mr. Bush, he should have raised them while in the president's employ."

The Washington Post has an interesting nugget regarding the spin being used against McClellan -- that was once used BY McClellan. "When he was press secretary, McClellan made some of the same arguments against other ex-officials that he now faces. In 2004, for example, former counterterrorism adviser Richard A. Clarke published a book sharply critical of Bush's anti-terrorism policies. 'Why, all of a sudden, if he had all these grave concerns, did he not raise these sooner?' McClellan said. 'This is 1 1/2 years after he left the administration… He is bringing this up in the heat of a presidential campaign. He has written a book, and he certainly wants to go out there and promote that book."