What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception

What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception

author: Scott McClellan
name: Elaine
average rating: 3.06
book published: 2008
rating: 3
read at: 2009/01/15
date added: 2009/02/05
shelves: autobiography, history, non-fiction, politics
I read this book because of The Big Sort: I wanted to open-mindedly read something from a very different viewpoint from my own.

I found McClellan’s writing voice engaging and friendly, but I constantly wondered how much dissembling he was doing throughout. What did he really know? He reads as being furious at Karl Rove, because Rove (according to McClellan) lied to him…is that really so? It wouldn’t surprise me, but neither would the opposite.

For me, the book focused around 3 events or phases: McClellan’s early engagement in politics, as the son of the conservative Democrat mayor of Austin; the Valerie Plame affair, and Hurricane Katrina. Plame he treats as a marker for all the lying and hedging before the Iraq war. (Did he really always think it was a bad idea?) Katrina he treats as a public relations disaster, which echoes Bush’s last press conference.

Some of the details have faded after several weeks, but I can definitely say that it’s worth a read just to get a view from the other side that is relatively thoughtful about the years just past.

(Also, I kept reading the title in my head as What the F*** Happened?)