Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

From Holden:

Scottie is leaving, and he gets really testy about it during the gaggle.

Q Can you confirm that Treasury Secretary Snow is out?

MR. McCLELLAN: Who said that?

Q I heard reports of it.

MR. McCLELLAN: You heard reports of it. Look, there are going to be a lot of — there’s going to be a lot of speculation.

Q Heard rumors.

MR. McCLELLAN: There’s going to be a lot of speculation as a new Chief of Staff is coming on board. And that’s what it is, it’s speculation. And we’re not going to get into responding to anonymous sources or the speculation that’s going on.


Q Have you had any thoughts that you might be leaving soon?

MR. McCLELLAN: I don’t speculate on any personnel matters.

Q You’re not speculating for yourself.

MR. McCLELLAN: I’m focused on helping the President advance his agenda, just like the rest of the team at the White House.


Q Any announcements this week, maybe? Or would you not want to —

MR. McCLELLAN: If there’s anything to announce, we will keep you posted on it. How many times do you want to ask the same question? And you all know, this has been a policy of ours from the get go. We just don’t speculate on any personnel matters.

I don’t know why Scottie gets so pissed off, seems to me it would be a relief to not have to defend Chimpy’s Vanity War any longer.

Q Despite Straw and Rice’s visit to Iraq, the Iraqis don’t seem any closer to a unity government. What more can be done here?

MR. McCLELLAN: You said, they don’t seem to be closer?

Q They don’t seem any closer, right. They seem further away.

MR. McCLELLAN: Based on what?

Q Well, based on the fracturing of the Shiite coalition.

MR. McCLELLAN: I think — the fracturing of the —

Q Well, the Shiite block is having some internal strife, problems about calling for Jaafari —

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, my understanding is that the Iraqi leaders are continuing to work form a government of national unity, a government that represents all the Iraqi people. You heard from Secretary Rice this weekend, from Iraq. That’s really where we stand. We continue to urge the Iraqi leaders to move forward as quickly as possible to get a unity government in place. That’s what the Iraqi people want. It’s important that they do so, in order to, as Secretary Rice put it, help disable those who want to create sectarian violence, and continue to foment sectarian strife.

And Secretary Rice talked about how there’s a vacuum, and it’s not good to have a vacuum in politics. And so that’s why she said it’s time for the Iraqi leaders to move forward and get a unity government in place.