In Scott McClellan, the White House built a Frankenstein monster to regurgitate its “talking points, monotonously if not mindlessly, no matter what argument or fact stood in the way,” Dana Milbank writes in the Washington Post. Well now the monster is back, with “famous fealty to his message…as stubborn as ever”—but now he’s programmed for Bush-bashing, not Bush-boosting.
In media interviews, McClellan hits key slogans—“permanent campaign culture,” “getting off course,” “selling of the war,” “media narrative”—over and over, like the broken record he’s always been known to embody. So is the White House learning to ease up on the programming? Not judging from its latest rebuttals, comically echoing the “we’re puzzled” punchline Scott himself used to stick it to Benedict Arnolds.