My friend and former boss, the late John Hannah, Jr., was Ann Richards’ first Secretary of State. From there he became a Federal Judge, where he was serving when he suddenly passed away, much too young.
John used to tell people to be very careful about what they say and do, especially with their good friends, because, “when they convene the grand jury, your enemies won’t know enough to hurt you, and your friends won’t love you enough to lie.”
That wisdom goes double for the court of public opinion, especially when it comes to book deals for former White House officials.
Former White House Spokesdrone Scott McClellan is the latest in the parade of former Bushies to jump ship. Scott’s got a great little business plan going – be among the first White house insiders to tell Americans what they already thought they knew — that George W. Bush is an idiot President presiding over a stupid unnecessary war — and get your book on the New York Times bestseller list. If you’re the first friend who spills his guts to the grand jury, they grant you limited immunity.
Ken Herman, who previews McClellan’s book, writes:
The volume makes McClellan, a Texan picked by the President and paid by the people to help sell the war to the world, the first longtime Bush aide to put such harsh criticism between hard covers. It is an extraordinarily critical book that questions Bush’s intellectual curiosity, his candor in leading the nation to war, his pattern of self-deception and the quality of his advisers.
When another friend, Molly Ivins, passed away, the cards and emails flowed like water from all corners of the country. Scores of them, especially from rural and conservative areas of the country, had exactly the same message, regardless of the words used. They all went something like this: I would have thought I was the only one who believed what I do, if I hadn’t been able to read the things Molly wrote about. She was a island of sanity in a sea of the insane.
That is exactly why Scott McClellan, no matter the quality of his book, is about to be a very rich man. People need to know that they’re not the crazy ones – Bush is.
Meanwhile, the White House is dismissing McClellan as “disgruntled.” But so many Americans are so angry about George Bush and his war, I’m guessing enough will be willing to shell out $27.95 to prove that we’re all disgruntled — enough to put McClellan on top of the best seller list.
Mr. Bush, apparently even your friends don’t love you enough to lie.
(Update: apparently, we didn’t have to wait long for the prediction to be proven out, since the book has already climbed to the top of the amazon.com bestseller list)