Scott McClellan is stepping down as white House Press Secretary. This comes as little surprise due to the mounting criticism of everything Bush. McClellan's credibility has been taking a huge beating in the press over the past year. One of the things most important for a press secretary is to have the trust of the journalists. But, that credibility has taken a tumble recently.
There were always the obvious factors. Rosy statements on Iraq and the war on terror, but what really did McClellan in was the whole Valerie Plame scandal. First, he swore up and down that Rove and Libby had absolutely nothing to do with the leaks. He swore up and down that he had talked to both of them and that there was no high ranking official in the Bush Administration connected with the affair.
That, of course, turned out to be false. Whether McClellan knew the truth or not is irrelevant for a White House Press Sec. What matters is that what is coming out of his mouth is true because he is the mouth piece of the president.
Then, came along the news that Bush himself had authorized the cherry picked information from the NIE to be "leaked" to certain journalists before it had become officially declassified. McClellan took another beating for reiterating how "forward" the president had been with the investigation and how "cooperative" the administration was being. Additionally, he was Bush's mouth piece for condemning the exact type of behavior that Bush was engaging in.
There is a certain amount of spin that all Press Secs. are known to engage in. That was not at the heart of the issue. The information was seen to be blatantly misleading, and the trust was lost. Only time will tell if the press corp gives the benefit of the doubt to the next Press Sec. but since the misinformation seems to be coming from the highest levels of the White House, the press corp is unlikely to jump right in bed.
In other news, Rove will be taking less White House responsibilities over the next 6 months so he can spend more time beating his neighbors dog.
McClellan Out as White House Press Secretary