What Happened

( 37 )

Overview

With unprecedented candour, one of George W Bush's closest aides takes readers behind the scenes of the Bush presidency, and what exactly happened to take it off course.Scott McClellan was one of a few Bush loyalists from Texas who became part of his inner circle of trusted advisers, and remained so during one of the most challenging and contentious periods of recent history. Drawn to Bush by his commitment to compassionate conservatism and strong bipartisan leadership, McClellan served the president for more ...
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Overview

With unprecedented candour, one of George W Bush's closest aides takes readers behind the scenes of the Bush presidency, and what exactly happened to take it off course.Scott McClellan was one of a few Bush loyalists from Texas who became part of his inner circle of trusted advisers, and remained so during one of the most challenging and contentious periods of recent history. Drawn to Bush by his commitment to compassionate conservatism and strong bipartisan leadership, McClellan served the president for more than seven years, and witnessed day-to-day exactly how the presidency veered off course.In this refreshingly clear-eyed book, written with no agenda other than to record his experiences and insights for the benefit of history, McClellan provides unique perspective on what happened and why it happened the way it did, including the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, Washington's bitter partisanship and two hotly-contested presidential campaigns. He gives readers a candid look into what George W Bush is and what he believes and into the personalities, strengths, and liabilities of his top aides. Finally, McClellan looks to the future, exploring the lessons this presidency offers the American people as they prepare to elect a new leader.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Scott McClellan was there: From 2003 to 2006, he served as White House press secretary, functioning daily as one of President Bush's inner circle. What Happened is neither a conventional apologia or a critique: "This is not a book to settle scores or enhance my own role, for better or worse…as a member of the President's senior staff. What I want to do is write in detail about what I know and what I learned in hopes that this account will place the events of the time, particularly after September 11, 2001, into a framework that make sense to me, to readers and later, to historians." To achieve his purpose, McClellan writes candidly about the president, the vice president, and their advisers; Iraq and the war on terror; Congress and the media.
Seattle Times
The former press secretary of President Bush (No. 43 version) empties out his notebooks, and all of Washington will be holding its breath.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781458766786
  • Publisher: ReadHowYouWant, LLC
  • Publication date: 2/16/2010
  • Edition description: Large Print Edition
  • Pages: 718
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Scott McClellan served as White House press secretary from 2003 to 2006. before that he served as the principal deputy White House press secretary and as traveling press secretary for the bush-Cheney 2000 campaign. Earlier in his career, Mr. McClellan served as deputy communications director in the Texas governor's office and campaign manager for three successful statewide campaigns. He is now a senior adviser to a global technology firm and communications strategist. Born in Austin, Texas, he now lives near Washington, D.C
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Read an Excerpt

The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. So I stood at the White house briefing room podium in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and publicly exonerated two of the senior-most aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby.

There was one problem. It was not true.

I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice President, the President's chief of staff, and the President himself.
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Table of Contents

Preface ix

1 A Made-for-Washington Scandal 1

2 A Small Part of Something Grand 11

3 Growing Up in Politics 21

4 Governor Bush Runs for President 39

5 The Permanent Campaign 61

6 The Early Days 87

7 September 11 and the Partisan Ceasefire 99

8 Selling the War 119

9 Becoming White House Press Secretary 149

10 Deniability 165

11 Betting the Presidency 191

12 Brush Fire 213

13 Triumph and Illusion 233

14 Revelation and Humiliation 255

15 Out of Touch 271

16 After the Trial 293

17 Changing the Culture of Deception 311

Acknowledgments 325

Index 327

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 37 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(11)

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(7)

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(4)

2 Star

(9)

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 31, 2009

    A Must Read for All Leaders/Followers of National Politics

    This book is truly a must read for all currently active players in national politics - at whatever level, of whatever Party and wherever positioned on the political spectrum - who truly aspire to serve our country first, before their Party, before their supporters and before their own personal self interests. It is a must read for all others of us who wish simply to cast informed and intelligent votes, or contribute their time and money wisely to support a particular Party or slate of candidates. It is a must read for still others who merely consider themselves students (serious or dillitante) of American politics and who look back on the last few decades and wonder "What ... (in holy hell) ... happened?"

    The Bush43 presidency - all eight years of it - was a Shakspearian tragedy of monumental proportions, for him, for his cherished legacy, indeed for the entire nation. McClellan delves deeply into an explanation of just how and why. Especially rewarding is his explication of the "permanent campaign" style so prevalent and so deeply harmful in the national politics of our day, whose roots he traces clearly all the way back to Nixon and beyond, touching (perhaps too lightly) on Johnson's contributions.

    Is the book flawed? Yes, but not irredeemably so. Is it partisan? Yes, inevitably to a degree, but the author's writing reveals an honest, genuine effort to be fair and balanced. Might the reader wish some parts downplayed or eliminated outright as minimally relevant to the central story, and other parts greatly expanded upon as vital pieces to the puzzle? Yes, but upon completing it and laying the book down, this reader felt compelled to declare, "Thankyou so much, Scot. Now I feel I have not just a deeper understanding of what the hell really happened, but a goodly inkling of what needs to be done on all sides to heal the wounds.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Does Scott McClellan Know What Happened?

    I have read many books written by many other officials from various presidential cabinets; to date, this is the first one that was so poorly written. Mr. McClellan obviously fell into a job he was not qualified for. It is obvious from his writing, his description of events, and yes, his opinion of his President. This man took a chance on him and this is how he repays him. I surely wouldn't want someone like Mr. McClellan for a friend or a colleague. He was the teflon that all decisions made by anyone flipped off of.

    He talks about the lack of organization in the White House. It doesn't sound like organization was something that he much thought of at anytime in his life. He is a whiner, the worst kind of employee, colleague or supposed friend. We don't hear an unkind word about any of his team from President Bush. Perhaps the Presidency was bigger than he expected. We all have to remember the events of 9/11 that took place and from which he led us out of. He also had Katrina, a devastating hurricane that affected more people than anyone could imagine at once. When we have all walked a mile in his shoes we have the right to condemn. Mr. McClellan should be the last one to throw stones at the administration that he was a part of. It was a privilege to serve and he has darkened his image by writing this poorly written book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 26, 2008

    High Treason - Scott McClellan

    I actually read this book and threw it in the garbage in complete disgust. This book is childish scribbles. Terrible! The big deception is from the author who wrote this to pad his bank account. Scott McClellan is a liar. Do not buy this book. Clearly a money making scheme if ever there was one.

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2010

    Very factual

    This book was loaded with facts and did provide insights to the Bush administration decisions. In general I thought it was pretty dry and was almost a chronological diary of McClellan's time in the White House.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    How Could I (We) Have Been So . . . ?

    Another book written by a White House staffer trying to assuage a guilty conscience, similar to the book Egil (Bud) Krough wrote about his experiences in the Nixon Administration. Scott McClellan candidly relates how he feels the Bush (#43) Administration lost its way, and how he, through excessive loyalty and some naivete, tried to go along with the Bush policies if not defend them as #43's Press Secretary. Finally he could take it no longer and quit.
    Its quite interesting to whom he assigns the most blame for "losing their way". To me, that was the most compelling part of the book, something an outsider might have suspected, but to have McClellan write it in detail gives it special credence.
    A good read for people interested in political Monday morning quarterbacking.

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