Regardless of his hopes and intentions, by the time Scott came along, he was a bagman for the inner team, and the arrogance of this inner team had grown many fold.
Karl Rove can be and is an ass, and especially with those that he considers lower than gum on his shoe. Another ego in the size and arrogance of Karl was Scooter Libby who joined the team in 1999 also.
Scott’s boss was Dan Bartlett, but his senior boss was Karen Hughes.
These were and are the spin meisters.
As the campaign wore on the lead voice of the Bush campaign was Ari Fleischer and the inner circle was now formed.
After Iowa, John McCain kicked Bush’s butt in the New Hampshire primaries – the first vote. The implosion of the Bush campaign which had been riding inexorably high on ego left the first ex-plosion of George W. Bush. He looked for a head to lop off and found the architect of it all – James Francis as his fall guy. Of course, Francis wasn’t only the mastermind, but was also the designer of the fundraising mechanism. This former Dallas Cowboys executive knew how to raise big bucks and promote big ventures. But he had also become the chief confidant and his wife was Laura’s best friend from the days in Texas. Francis was Bush’s mentor when it came to getting things done in Texas.
He was the artist as well as the architect. He was able to keep the brashness of Allbaugh, the super ego of Hughes, and the dirty tricks and bad habits of Karl Rove in line and blend the oft times good old boy friends like Donald Evans into the picture to keep Bush happy and jovial. Bluntly, Jim Francis, was able to focus Bush and the entire team and keep them positive. All the hype about working across party lines in Texas was actually the product of Jim Francis and no one else.
But when Bush lost New Hampshire, the ego driven claims of Karl Rove on how to run elections won out. Evans, Hughes and Bartlett backed the coup to unseat Francis, and Francis went home to Dallas.
Within hours, Rove unleashed the same tactical deployment of dirty tricks that he had unleashed against Jim Hightower and Ann Richards in Texas. None of the claims had any basis in fact. They were Swiftboating at its worst. From the claims of illegitimate children to emotional instability they derailed the straight talk Express in South Carolina using hate, race, and a heavy dose of religious extremism in the faces of Bob Jones, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.
This was the New Republican Party.
It was brash. It was militaristic and it was lethal.
This was two levels beyond (not above) Lee Atwater. It was all the things that a young G. W. Bush without a job or career had tried to force on his Dad’s campaign and G. W. blamed his dad for having lost his bid for re-election.
Sometimes today, I wonder if we would have been forced into a Bush eight years of darkness if his Dad had won the 1992 election. Perish the thought on both ends.
Scott McClellan was not an insider.
Now isn’t that really what Dan Bartlett, Ari Fleischer, Karl Rove, and even the President’s statement said when you go back and read it.
It’s obvious this “inner sanctum” feels most wounded because they let Scott play on the outer edges of their kingdom. They gave him everything he had – his high profile position, his wealth and he owed everything to them.
(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).