Remarks by the President and Press Secretary Scott McClellan in Announcing His Resignation
9:39 A.M. EDT
MR. McCLELLAN: Good morning, everybody. I am here to announce that I will be resigning as White House Press Secretary.
Mr. President, it has been an extraordinary honor and privilege to have served more than seven years now, the last two years and nine months as your Press Secretary.
The White House is going through a period of transition; change can be helpful, and this is a good time and good position to help bring about change. I am ready to move on. I've been in this position a long time, and my wife and I are excited about beginning the next chapter in our life together.
You have accomplished a lot over the last several years with this team, and I have been honored and grateful to be a small part of a terrific and talented team of really good people.
Our relationship began back in Texas, and I look forward to continuing it, particularly when we are both back in Texas.
THE PRESIDENT: That's right. (Laughter.)
MR. McCLELLAN: Although, I hope to get there before you. (Laughter.)
I have given it my all, sir, and I've given you my all. And I will continue to do so as we transition to a new Press Secretary over the next two to three weeks. Thank you for the opportunity.
THE PRESIDENT: First of all, I thank Scott for his service to our country. I don't know whether or not the press corps realizes this, but his is a challenging assignment dealing with you all on a regular basis. And I thought he handled his assignment with class, integrity. He really represents the best of his family, our state and our country. It's going to be hard to replace Scott. But, nevertheless, he's made the decision and I accept it.
One of these days he and I are going to be rocking on chairs in Texas, talking about the good old days and his time as the Press Secretary. And I can assure you I will feel the same way then that I feel now, that I can say to Scott, job well done.
Poor Scottie..he had a rough go of it. A tough job in even tougher times. It will be interesting to see how much blame is attributed to him in the future for the alarmingly low approval rate of Bush. In certain situations, there is only so much someone can say to put a good face on it. Scottie wasn't the best at dealing with the press, but he didn't have much help.
Generally speaking, is there any more difficult job in public relations than serving as the White House press secretary? Probably not, although the spokesperson for Union Carbide during the company's India cyanide gas leak disaster was no picnic. Nevertheless, the resignation of the press secretary is a phenomenon we have seen numerous times before, particularly with Dee Dee Myers and Ari Fleischer. I bet McClellan is breathing a huge sigh of relief right now that he longer has to face the vultures that are the White House press corps.
The White House Press Corps have given this administration a free ride. Lobbing soft questions to POTUS (a la Rose Garden sycophancy) so that they can retain their privileges has diminished the American Press in the eyes of the world and the similarity with vultures starts and ends with picking over carcasses for remnants of meat.