I forgot: No cameras at the gaggle, which suggests that NBC’s David Gregory wasn’t just mugging when he started badgering Tony Snow yesterday and indignantly demanded, “Don’t point your finger at me.” This reminded me of another finger-pointing incident when the cameras weren’t rolling:
Why was the White House relying on a Texas rancher to get the word of Cheney’s hunting accident out over the weekend, asked Gregory, accusing McClellan of “ducking and weaving.’’
“David, hold on… the cameras aren’t on right now,’’ McClellan replied. “You can do this later.’’
“Don’t accuse me of trying to pose to the cameras,’’ the newsman said, his voice rising somewhat. “Don’t be a jerk to me personally when I’m asking you a serious question.’’
“You don’t have to yell,’’ McClellan said.
“I will yell,’’ said Gregory, pointing a finger at McClellan at his dais. “If you want to use that podium to try to take shots at me personally, which I don’t appreciate, then I will raise my voice, because that’s wrong.”
“Calm down, Dave, calm down,’’ said McClellan, remaining calm throughout the exchange.
Maybe he’s not mugging for the cameras, per se. But look who we’re all talking about. Again.
I blame his parents. They never paid attention to the “tough questions” either
ALSO: MB reader Jim G. e-mails with a great point about the substance of Gregory’s question:
What is fascinating about the Gregory/Snow confrontation is the first sentence that Gregory puts forward:
There’s so much emphasis by the President on his resolve and on the consequences of failure, which seems to dovetail to the political strategy of casting the vote as not a referendum on his leadership or his conduct in the war on terror, leading the war on terror, but on a choice between two parties and their visions.
Gregory ignores that any election between competing candidates is necessarily between “two…visions.” If it were a recall election (as with Gray Davis in CA), then he could claim that it is a referendum. The point-blank blunt truth of the matter is that it is the DEMOCRATS (and Gregory, by his own words) who are attempting to falsely recast the election as a referendum, when the November election is indeed a series of contests between competing candidates. The Democrats are attempting the recasting of the election… the GOP is merely pointing out that the election is really a competition between two visions, no matter what anyone claims. Tony Snow did a fine job in exposing Gregory as the water boy for the Dems. I just wish he had slammed Gregory more explicitly for intentionally falsely recasting the election basis. The delicious irony is that Gregory attempts to accuse the President of doing that which Gregory himself is doing…quite poorly, I might add.
There’s also the question itself: “… shouldn’t [the administration’s Iraq policy] be put before the voters this fall?” The president isn’t up for re-election. Instead of just pointing that out, Snow made the mistake of trying to debate Iraq policy with David Gregory. Then again, it was hard to get a word in edgewise.