PR Week’s Mark Hand reports that there are increasing rumors that Scott McClellan may not be at the White House much longer. Two years of battering and his now infamous promise that Karl Rove wasn’t involved in Plamegate are taking their toll.
There are some interesting quotes as Hand examines the “credibility gap” facing the White House right now:
But Deborah Mathis, a nationally syndicated columnist and former White House correspondent for Gannett News Service, says that many reporters who cover the President no longer trust McClellan.
“[When reporters] come up to him after a press briefing, pat him on the back, and say, ‘Hey Scott,’ they do that because they still need him. He should not mistake that for respect,” Mathis says. “Behind the scenes, they still need a relationship with him, and he shouldn’t confuse the two.”
The money quote, though? “A White House correspondent, who asked not to be identified, predicts McClellan, who replaced Ari Fleischer as press secretary in summer 2003, will soon be leaving his post. ‘I’m expecting very big changes,’ the correspondent says.”
Anyone wnat to start a pool?
> An e-mailer asks: “Regarding McLellan’s possible departure: Who would be his replacement? Is there a logical successor already in place? Before Ari Fleischer resigned, did everyone know McClellan would take over once he left?”