Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

From Holden:

Little Scottie needs to compare notes with Dan Bartlett, who has already confirmed that Commander Bunnypants did not fulfill his military commitment while in Boston:

Q Back to the National Guard. The Boston Globe has a story analyzing the records that are out. It says that the President didn’t fulfill a commitment to check in for duty in the Boston area. Could I get your response to that?

MR. McCLELLAN: If the President had not fulfilled his commitment he would not have been honorably discharged. He was honorably discharged in October of ’73. The President is proud of his service in the National Guard.

Q Are you saying the story is wrong?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think if you look —

Q Bartlett already said that he misspoke, right?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think, if you look at the Boston Globe story, the Boston Globe has bought into the line of attack by the Kerry campaign. The paper turned to a Kerry supporter for its analysis, a guy who works for a Democratic front group that backs the Kerry campaign.

Q This is Colonel Lechliter?

MR. McCLELLAN: Lawrence Korb.

Q Korb?

MR. McCLELLAN: Lawrence Korb works for the Center for American Progress.

Q So are you saying their analysis is wrong?

MR. McCLELLAN: The analysis is based on a supporter of John Kerry. And that’s why I said that if the President had not fulfilled his commitment, he would not have been honorably discharged.


Q I’m sorry, just for clarification because I couldn’t hear you — who is the person who is the front for the Kerry campaign?

MR. McCLELLAN: Lawrence Korb, Center for American Progress, the 527 that backs Kerry.

Q My understanding is that the article, reading it right in front of me, in fact, it quotes someone else, an Army Colonel who said he broke his contract with the U.S. government without any adverse consequences, because, in 1968 and 1973, he signed these documents that said he would show up and didn’t ever show up in Boston. We understand that he was honorably discharged, but is it fair to say that he did not fulfill his commitment?

MR. McCLELLAN: No. As I said — absolutely not. If he had not fulfilled his commitments, he would not have been honorably discharged.

Q — if he was supposed to show up in Boston, or he transferred to Boston, and he didn’t —

MR. McCLELLAN: The President met his commitments in Texas. He met his commitments in Alabama. He met his commitments when he returned to Texas in 1973.

Q Did he meet his commitments in Boston?

MR. McCLELLAN: As I said, Caren, if he had not fulfilled his commitments, he would not have been honorably discharged.

That exchange gives this prior request a bit of sizzle, doncha think?

Q Before I get to my question, has the President spoken to any reporters or taken a question since this plane a week ago with Columbus?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think you’ve been around — since a week ago Columbus? No, I don’t think so.

Q Can you advocate to put him in front of us?

MR. McCLELLAN: He takes questions on a regular basis. He did a number of interviews before the convention. You know that he takes questions on a regular basis.

Q I’d be grateful if we could talk to him today. There’s a lot of news going on.

MR. McCLELLAN: Your request is heard. I’ll take it under consideration. At this point, I think the plan is to be touring these areas and then speaking to the Floridians.

Q Just a five-minute detour to the press. I’d really appreciate it.