Wednesday, July 13, 2005

"He really dove for Goyal today"

Scott McClellan's stonewalling on Rove is creating the best WH briefing room theatrics in a long while. The correspondents are full of self-righteous fury at having been lied to. McClellan's instructions are to robotically decline comment. At times like this he seems like a befuddled kid rather than the voice of a giant and powerful political machine. This is no reason to feel sorry for him. He possesses no knowledge of what's going on in the White House and has no apparent desire to possess any. His responses betray no incipient creativity, no pleasure in jousting with the big egos, poofy hair and big lips arrayed in front of him in the room. He is just a witless apparatchik looking for an out, anything to break up the barrage of Rove questions. In the absence of Jeff Gannon, that's being provided by Raghubir Goyal of the India Globe with an occasional assist from Les Kinsolving. Fishbowl DC has more:

After nearly ten minutes today of grilling by various TV networks and other top news organizations, he turned to Goyal:

McCLELLAN: It doesn't change what I just said. Go ahead, Goyal.

GOYAL: Scott, two questions. One, this morning at the National Press Club, John from the Heritage Foundation was speaking. This is -- my question is in connection with the Prime Minister of India's visit on Monday, next Monday. He said that the U.S. should change its policy as far as India, China and U.S. is concerned because China is getting away.....

Blah, blah, blah. As he blathers on, the moment passes. It takes some time to wind the conversation back to the topic of the day, and more often than not the questioning never reaches the intensity it once had.