July 14, 2005

McClellan struts his stuff

Whatever else you might want to say about him, you've got to admit that Scott McClellan has mastered the art of adhering to his talking points. Note carefully how our President's spokesman allows the reporter plenty of time to carefully ask the question before repeating his three non-responsive talking points:

Q There's a difference between commenting publicly on an action and taking action in response to it. Newsweek put out a story, an email saying that Karl Rove passed national security information on to a reporter that outed a CIA officer. Now, are you saying that the President is not taking any action in response to that? Because I presume that the prosecutor did not ask you not to take action, and that if he did, you still would not necessarily abide by that; that the President is free to respond to news reports, regardless of whether there's an investigation or not. So are you saying that he's not going to do anything about this until the investigation is fully over and done with?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think the President has previously spoken to this. This continues to be an ongoing criminal investigation. No one wants to get to the bottom of it more than the President of the United States. And we're just not going to have more to say on it until that investigation is complete.

That's a textbook-quality demonstration of media-relations savvy, for sure.

Posted by Carey at July 14, 2005 05:44 PM

While I have a general distaste for politic-speak (and certainly for this administration and its spokes-people) I think a case can be made that the last sentence of McClellan's response -- although reducible to a single word "yes" -- is, in fact responsive to the last question asked.

Posted by: Denise at July 19, 2005 11:00 AM