WH Pool Report: Glad You Cleared That Up Edition

Between these White House pool reports, Scott McClellan does some serious spin control. From pool report #1:


In the gaggle (transcript to come) Scott McClellan said that President Bush had been briefed by Secretary Tom Ridge on the preparations for the approaching storm. Resources have been deployed. The Saturday radio address will be a message to Olympians and Mr. McClellan noted it will also touch on the Iraqi soccer team' success as well. He said it was "a good question'' who Mr. Bush would back should the Iraq and U.S. soccer teams meet.

Guess Bush is more committed to a free Iraq than we thought! Or, uhm, rather, from pool report #2:

To clear up any possible misconception from Pool Report No. #1, Scott McClellan says that President Bush would of course support the American soccer team in any hypothetical game with Iraq. The initial report should have done more to reflect the exchange was mainly in jest.

Ah. This raises a question sent in to the Wonkette Ethicist earlier this week: "Does rooting for the Iraqi soccer team mean that you are giving tacit approval to the Bush administration's foreign policy?"

The answer is "no." Rooting for the Iraqi soccer team doesn't make you a neo-con. It makes you a dork. As would rooting for any soccer team. What are you, French?

Sent: Friday, August 13, 2004 2:58 PM

Subject: POOL REPORT #1, 8/13/04

The trip of the President to Portland, Ore. Aug. 13, 2004 Pool Report #1

The presidential motorcade departed the luxurious Beverly Wilshire Hotel just before 8 a.m. on Friday the 13th. Uneventful trip to LAX with its CHIPS-like atmosphere of roaring highway patrol motorcycles. The 405 was shut down for the trip and few people made the effort to catch a glimpse of the passing president. There were no doubt some scowling commuters behind the windshields of those blocked cars.

Arrived at LAX around 8:25 a.m. The President and Mrs. Bush quickly boarded Air Force One together and made a joint wave before ducking in. Wheels up about 8:40 for the trip to Portland. Senator Gordon Smith, Republican of Oregon, was in the motorcade and on the plane.

The movie in the press cabin: "Man on Fire.'' Make your own joke here.

In the gaggle (transcript to come) Scott McClellan said that President Bush had been briefed by Secretary Tom Ridge on the preparations for the approaching storm. Resources have been deployed. The Saturday radio address will be a message to Olympians and Mr. McClellan noted it will also touch on the Iraqi soccer team' success as well. He said it was "a good question'' who Mr. Bush would back should the Iraq and U.S. soccer teams meet.

At the first event, Mr. Bush will announce a proposal to deepen the Columbia River channel. He will talk about the importance of the project economically, environmentally and export-wise.

In Seattle, Mr. Bush will make some brief remarks to the pool after a tour of a Boeing facility. Unsure about taking questions.

Mr. McClellan took questions on new CBO analysis of the tax cuts and other topics. Said the president's position on the N.J. gubernatorial situation was that it was between the governor and the people of the Garden State.

Air Force One touched down about 10:30 a.m. Mr. Bush exited with the first lady followed by Sen. Smith. Took some photos with the locals and we headed to the port, crossing into Washington for a time.

There were protesters - a handful or so - outside the port entrance though we did not get close. A few people on the roadside did turn thumbs down and one man had a sign that said Remove Invasive Bush.

Then we arrived.

Sent: Friday, August 13, 2004 3:58 PM

Subject: POOL REPORT #2, 8/13/04

The trip of the President to Portland, Ore., 8/13,

Pool Report #2

To clear up any possible misconception from Pool Report No. #1, Scott McClellan says that President Bush would of course support the American soccer team in any hypothetical game with Iraq. The initial report should have done more to reflect the exchange was mainly in jest.

The pool got a closer look at the protesters outside the port on the way to the second event and it appeared there were a dozen or so. Badly outnumbered by the police. Uneventful ride over to the high school, with the number of supporters gradually increasing along the roadside. One extremely profane protest sign in the back of the supporters near the entrance to the parking. Even the enthusiastic supporters were facing a security line in commando gear.

Your pool also followed up with Scott Stanzel on the invitation vs. open event issue and here are a few quotes: he said that tickets are distributed through grass roots organizations that then distribute them to supporters and undecideds "interested in what the president has to say.''

"We take every opportunity to encourage people to get involved in the campaign and as we travel around the country, we are actively engaging voters and encouraging them to be involved.''

"We have such tremendous interest in the campaign's events that all of the events of course are ticketed. And first priority goes to volunteers and supporters and then we reach out to people who are undecided and want to hear what the president has to say.''

Mr. Stanzel said this has been the practice during tenure of the president.

"It is important for us to make sure that the people who are working hard on behalf of this campaign have an opportunity to see the president and hear what he has to say.''

"We wish we could involve everyone, but it is just logistically not possible.''

"Sen. Kerry may have problems building crowds. He may have issues attracting supporters. But that is an issue for their campaign.''

Carl Hulse

New York Times

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