The Same Plame Game

I feel a little more confident about my previous post, where I discussed Scott McClellan’s handling of the recent spate of (unanswered) questions about 's alleged leak of Valerie's Plame's covert position at the CIA. I had previously asserted that McClellan has basically resorted to stonewalling, followed by a personal appeal to the press. Newsweek’s Richard Wolfe and Holly Bailey wrote a commentary one day after my post, stating that the emerging scandal “leaves White House aides with only one escape route, short of telling the full story about what Rove said and what Bush knew. That escape route is to fall back on personal charm and goodwill.”

The bad news is, though, that the most recent poll numbers indicate that personal charm might not carry Bush, or his administration, too far. Tim Russert breaks it down for us TV viewers: “[t]he Bush White House always felt whether you agreed or disagreed with the president on any issue, there was a sense that he was honest and straightforward. The president may be losing some of that trust.” He then points to a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll that indicates that 41% of Americans think that Bush is honest and straightforward, and 45% say that he is not. Ah, but this poll was conducted before the Plame issue started popping up in the news again, so the numbers may be lower right now. Feel free to check out the full poll results.

Do I sound a little smug over Bush’s continuing run of bad news? Maybe a little. But I think that I’m happier to find that some credentialed news people agreed with something that I wrote. Grover Cleveland would be proud. And hungry.

Also, thanks to another real journalist, the Washington Post's Dan Froomkin, whose links I've blatantly exploited here.


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