Friday, May 13, 2005

Who's At The Levers?

The following question was asked by a reporter (I'm not sure who) at yesterday's press briefing with Scott McClellan (transcript):

"Scott, may I just maybe take a slight step back? Aside from the particulars of what happened yesterday and when, maybe the larger issue has to do with whether this President is sufficiently at the levers of power on his job during the day or night. When we think of the event at the ASNE meeting, when the President said he didn't know about the issue of possibly requiring passports of all Americans who are returning from Canada or Mexico until he read it in the papers -- and I think that's the larger question we're all trying to get at."

Scott pooh-poohed the question by insisting it was unfounded.

Daily Kos has two excellent diaries on the topic: "My Pet President?: Even More to the Story than you think" by Magorn and "The Pet Goat, The Sequel" by jaysea.

While 30-35,000 people (and government officials) were evacuated from the White House grounds on Wednesday, the White House reporters that were occupying the Old Executive Office Building weren't even alerted (except by e-mail).

This exchange between a reporter and McClellan occured the day before: transcript:

MR. McCLELLAN: "One more? One more, go ahead in the back."

Q: "-- that the Secret Service has a pecking order of who they're going to save, the President, the First Lady and then the press would be -- (laughter) --"

Q: "Way down. (Laughter.)"

Q: "We might be below Barney and Ms. Beazley. (Laughter.)"

Until I did some googling, I thought the reporter was referring to characters from a sit-com. Apparently, this is who the press ranks below (according to the reporter): link.


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