Focusing on being forward looking… You have done well, grasshopper…
As we can see from these excerpts, Scott McClellan did indeed snatch the pebble from Ari Fleischer’s palm:
Q Does the President consider Paul O’Neill’s book an act of disloyalty?
MR. McCLELLAN: Look, people — one, people have the right to express their views. That’s one of the strengths of our democracy. And the President is going — as I said, the President is going to continue to be forward-looking. He’s got plenty to focus on, on behalf of the American people, and he is someone who focuses on getting things done, and focuses on the results that we’re achieving.
Q But he’s not holding a grudge against Paul O’Neill?
MR. McCLELLAN: Look, that’s — like I said, that’s just not the way the President looks at this. The President is someone that is forward-looking.
Q Did O’Neill or anyone acting on his behalf make any effort to contact the White House or administration officials in advance of the publication of the book?
MR. McCLELLAN: Look, I understand that there is a media interest in this book. But it’s just not something this administration gets caught up in. We are focused on what we are trying to accomplish on behalf of the American people. And that’s what we will continue to do.
Q So there was no effort?
MR. McCLELLAN: I don’t know what contacts may or may not have been made. But I can tell you what I know speaking for the White House.
Q But he chose O’Neill to be part of his administration. So you may have known him a long time, but why shouldn’t the public believe what the former Treasury Secretary of the United States says about the President?
MR. McCLELLAN: And, David, we very much appreciate his service. That’s the President’s view. We appreciate his service. Again, I think I would say what I said a minute ago, that while I certainly haven’t seen the book, I’ve just seen what you all have seen, but it just appears to be more about trying to justify personal views and opinions than it does about looking at the results we’re achieving on behalf of the American people. And that’s where the President is going to keep his focus, on the results we’re trying to accomplish for the American people.
Okay, thank you, everybody. See you in Monterrey.
…and with that, POOF!, Scott was gone to some mystical land where he could focus on a series of scotch and sodas and look forward to sweet oblivion.
(Added): From Kicking Ass