You might remember from last summer and the first big blow-up of the Valerie Plame/Karl Rove leak investigation, but Scott McClellan has a few people he calls on in the briefing room to help deflate any tough lines of questioning and to suck the energy out of the room. Numero uno? Raghubir Goyal of the India Globe, a.k.a. the Goyal Foil.
Goyal can be reliably counted upon to run to ask some complicated question about an obscure area of India-Pakistan relations, thereby distracting everyone in the room and causing the front row network reporters to instantly fall asleep.
Yesterday, though, as McClellan weathered tough questions on Jack Abramoff, his foil failed him. Yes, even Goyal wanted to talk about Abramoff:
Q Scott, two questions. One, in India and in many countries we call it “corruption” when you — without paying — Here a number of congressmen, including — were making statements against India because they were getting paid by the — lobbying on the Hill. Is this what we call legal corruption here, lobbying?
MR. McCLELLAN: I’m sorry?
Q Legal corruption?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, there are laws in place and those laws should be followed. There are guidelines in place regulating those matters, as well, and they should be followed.
Maybe today he’ll try Les Kinsolving instead.