President Bush’s Real Problem: Substance or Style?

The WSJ on White House spokesman Scott McClellan’s resignation:

Some Republicans have said that the affable Mr. McClellan wasn’t a forceful-enough advocate of White House positions, contending that he relied too much on stock phrases and occasional stonewalling. His departure gives the White House a chance to find a more effective voice, addressing complaints that the administration’s real problem is more style than substance.

The administration’s real problem is more style than substance? Can someone please get me what they’re smoking?

I’m no political expert, but I do marketing and communications for a living in the corporate world. I’d say the issue is more substance than style. Or, more specifically, the communications demonstrate a lack of authenticity, reflecting denial of valid, growing claims of bad policies and bad decisions. But the problem doesn’t lie with the spokesperson; it lies with the two guys at the top.

Consider Bush, who spoke unsuspectingly commented into a live microphone at a September 2000 political rally: "There’s Adam Clymer — major league asshole — from the New York Times." Then Cheney, who returned: "Yeah, big time." Despite the New York Times’ liberal biases, our U.S. President just can’t carry around an attitude like that.

I don’t like to talk politics, but I feel sorry for McLellan. He’s a victim of a childish game called "shoot the messenger." Do you think he’ll have a heart-to-heart with his predecessor Ari Fleischer? I’d love to sit in on that discussion.



Published by Max Kalehoff

Father, sailor and marketing executive.

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