The Bush Administration is crazy for mounting so vigorous a defense to the McClellan book, talking about what an ungrateful sleaze he is and asking how he could possibly do this to W. All this publicity is just helping book sales and leaving the average person with the impression that a top Bush official wrote a tell all book saying that Bush was a phony on the war in Iraq.
But the fact is that McClellan’s book doesn’t have anything in it. It is not really derogatory and makes no important new revelations. It says Bush was negligent on Katrina. So that’s news? That he used “propaganda” to convince us to invade Iraq – well, what was the Gettysburg address but propaganda to encourage us in wartime. That’s what a president is supposed to do. And it says that Karl Rove and Libby conspired to conform their testimony in the Valerie Plane affair. Who cares? This is a scandal that shouldn’t ever have happened. The special prosecutor revealed that no crime was committed when her name was leaked because the guy who leaked it didn’t know she was handling covert material. And the guy who was convicted — Libby — wasn’t the guy who leaked it. So what difference does it make.
But by highlighting the book and attacking it so vigorously, the Bush people are giving it credibility. Before you engage in damage control, be sure there is damage to control.