“The only news is that somebody within the administration has confirmed what a lot of us have thought for some time.”

That’s Barack Obama’s take on a “tell all” book by former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan.
Having not read the book and being without plans to do so, I’d be shooting in the dark if I reviewed it, but I find myself wondering what juicy scandals it contains, since it’s occupying a huge amount of print, talk show, and blog space. I mean, after all, since Bush is the target of McClellan’s wrath, and Bush is a lame duck whose only political relevance is the extent to which John McCain can be tied to him, the book would have to be a real eye-opener to merit all this attention.
So what happened? Did McCain throw a tantrum in the White House and punch Bush in the face? Is McCain rumored to have had late night romantic meetings with sexy lobbyists in the White House while Bush snorted coke?
Being a complete ignoramus about these things, I figured I’d start from scratch, so, I Googled Scott McClellan. Quite predictably, the Wiki entry came right up.
The guy seems to have been a natural born and bred politician:

Born in Austin, Texas, McClellan is the youngest son of Carole Keeton Strayhorn, former Texas State Comptroller and former 2006 independent Texas gubernatorial candidate, and attorney Barr McClellan. McClellan’s brother Mark McClellan headed the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and formerly was Commissioner for the Food and Drug Administration. McClellan is the grandson of the late W. Page Keeton, longtime Dean of the University of Texas School of Law and renowned expert in tort law.
After graduating from The University of Texas at Austin, where he was president of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Texas Alpha Chapter, McClellan was the three-time campaign manager for his mother. In addition, he worked on political grassroots efforts and was the Chief of Staff to a Texas State Senator.

That someone with this background would become a career politician is not surprising. Considering the unpopularity of Bush right now (and the desire of the Democrats to run against Bush), a “tell-all” book is probably an excellent career move, regardless of how much it actually tells.
The Wiki review of “What Happened” does not point out what’s making leading leftists like the gleefully gloating Gleen Grenwald find most damning — the “deferential” remark:

“[T]he national press corps was probably too deferential to the White House and to the administration in regard to the most important decision facing the nation during my years in Washington, the choice over whether to go to war in Iraq,” he writes.
McClellan also writes that “the ‘liberal media’ didn’t live up to its reputation. If it had, the country would have been better served.”
On this point, White House reporters bristle. “When people say White House reporters weren’t asking the tough questions, that’s false,” said Mason, who contended that White House aides such as McClellan kept reiterating talking points and that reporters “weren’t getting any usable responses.” When asked about McClellan’s criticism, NBC’s David Gregory responded in an e-mail to Politico: “I think my work speaks for itself and is the clearest refutation of Scott’s claim.”
McClellan wasn’t press secretary during the invasion but took over as the case for war began crumbling…. (Emphasis added.)

Hmmm… Who’s the target? Bush? Or the “deferential” press?
During the critical time period in which he claims reporters were said to be too deferential — when “the choice over whether to go to war in Iraq” was under debate — McClellan was not Press Secretary, but Ari Fleischer was. However, McClellan nonetheless appeared (as Deputy Press Secretary) at some White House press conferences before he took over from Fleischer. (Full list of White House briefings here.)
I don’t know what he was doing in 2002 (he has a long history of working for his mother), but perhaps McClellan missed the “deferential” behavior of most Democrats and nearly everyone else during that period. (See my compilation of “Quotes from war-mongering Democrats.”)
There’s talk of McClellan’s alleged Soros connections, as well as possible Obama connections, but what most fascinates me is McClellans conspiracy theory connection by way of his father, Barr McClellan.
Seriously, I’d rather read his father’s book than his son’s. His theory is that LBJ killed JFK:

Disallowed from practicing law, McClellan published Blood, Money & Power: How LBJ Killed JFK*[3], in 2003 which became a best-seller in November of that year. In the book McClellan presents a theory that Lyndon B. Johnson and Edward Clark were involved in the planning and cover-up of the Kennedy assassination. McClellan also named Malcolm Wallace as one of the assassins. The killing of Kennedy, he alleged, was paid for by oil millionaires such as Clint Murchison, Sr. and Haroldson L. Hunt. McClellan purports that Clark got $6 million for this work. French journalist William Reymond published a book the same year in which he claims that Cliff Carter and Malcolm “Mac” Wallace were key to helping plot the murder of JFK. McClellan’s book has been translated into Japanese. He is presently completing a sequel to his book.
McClellan states, the assassination of Kennedy allowed the oil depletion allowance to be kept at 27.5 percent. It remained unchanged during the Johnson presidency. According to McClellan this resulted in a saving of over 100 million dollars to the American oil industry. During President Richard M. Nixon term, in 1970, it dropped to 15 percent.
McClellan and his wife Cecile live in Gulfport, Mississippi. He is rewriting a novel on the death penalty that was recognized in international competition in 1982 and is producing a play first presented in Houston in 1992.

Now that’s what I call a cool theory.
And hey, “Blood, Money & Power: How LBJ Killed JFK” is available at Amazon! I’ll bet the son’s new book ought to help dad’s sales. As one reviewer said, “McClellan sacrificed a brilliant legal career for this case.” Maybe such self-sacrificing behavior runs in the family.
But alas! There’s so little time. I don’t think I’ll be able to read either book.
MORE: Don’t miss Rick Moran’s “White House Backstabbing for Fun and Profit,” which looks at a long history of such “tell-all” books. Most of them, notes Moran, were written by prominent big shots “fairly substantial men who built solid reputations outside of government” — like Regan, Haig, and Stephanopoulos:

Not so Mr. McClellan. He was far from being an administration big shot. He had no reputation to rescue nor did he necessarily have a political axe to grind. He wrote his vicious little pamphlet and nailed it to the wall because his publisher recognized a market for his scribblings, nothing more. There is doubtless some historical value in what we are told is a book all of 321 pages, although I doubt whether it would be anything much beyond footnote worthy. In essence, Mr. McClellan sold his memories — faulty or otherwise — for no other reason than he could.

I think he probably saw this as a career enhancer, and wanted to get in on what’s left of the anti-Bush feeding frenzy.
MORE: Via Glenn Reynolds, Clayton Cramer asks:

if [..] he could see that Bush was intentionally misleading the nation into war back then, why didn’t McClellan say anything? Why didn’t he quit his job and blow the whistle? . . . It makes me wonder how much of this is that McClellan is trying to sell a book.”

And Ann Althouse expressed wonder over the discovery of McClellan’s sudden wisdom:

“It’s not the disloyalty that bothers me. It’s the press suddenly finding wisdom in a guy they previously disregarded as stupid and unreliable. It’s inevitable that critical Bush-era memoirs will come out, but written by smarter people. I’ll read those.”

Maybe so, but my inner paranoid conspiracy theorist will still want to read the senior McClellan’s JFK theory.
MORE: It appears that McClellan is a likely Obama supporter:

Scott McClellan, making the media rounds to promote his book and push back against the ferocious counter-attack by Bush loyalists, declined to come out tonight for John McCain and said he liked what he had heard from Barack Obama.
“I haven’t made a decision,” McClellan told Katie Couric on CBS’s “Evening News,” when asked if he was backing the Arizona senator. McClellan paid homage to McCain, saying that the Republican nominee had “governed from the center, and that’s where I am.”
But without prompting, he said he was “intrigued by Sen. Obama’s message.”
“It’s a message that is very similar to the one that Gov. Bush ran on in 2000,” McClellan said.
He offered similar comments about Obama on ABC’s “World News Tonight.”

If McClellan says Obama is very similar to Bush, then shouldn’t McCain say he’s running to prevent Bush from having a third term?