WH Pool Report: Welcoming Rick Klein Into the Fold Edition

In this White House pool report, a pool virgin pops his Air Force One cherry. How does it stack up?


Does it say what the reporter ate? Check: "Crab cakes and hush puppies were served for lunch."

Does it say what movie was shown? Check: Movie for traveling press was "The Day After Tomorrow." [Gee, not quite the liberal propaganda juggernaut everyone thought. . . or is it?]

Does it make a backhanded swipe at the administration's politics? Check: "[T]e Secret Service in the cabin in front of us chose fare that is either less or more politically tinged, depending on your point of view, by watching Fox News."

Does it include a description of Karl Rove's playful hijinks? Of course: "Karl Rove mugged for the cameras by running up behind Dan Bartlett and holding a three-fingered 'W' sign." [Oh, Karl.]

Well, it's no Milbank, but it's also no Bumiller. (Thank God.)

Full report after the jump.

Subject: POOL REPORT #1, 8/11/04

Pool Report 8.11.2004

Please bear with pooler on his maiden Air Force One journey, and maiden White House pool report.

President Bush arrived via Marine One at TSTC Airport at 12:46 p.m. central time, and walked out of the front of the helicopter with Senator John McCain, who had spent the night at the ranch with the president. Karl Rove and a klatch of aides walked down the stairs at the back of the helicopter. Bush gave a thumbs-up to the cameras, and McCain, wearing sunglasses, waved with both hands. Bush and McCain walked up the stairs of Air Force One together for a final wave, and then the aides followed up the stairs as poolers were escorted to the plane's back stairs. Wheels up via Albuquerque at 12:59 p.m.

Movie for traveling press was "The Day After Tomorrow," though the Secret Service in the cabin in front of us chose fare that is either less or more politically tinged, depending on your point of view, by watching Fox News. Crab cakes and hush puppies were served for lunch

White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan's briefing touched on John McCain, the campaign's new ad, the national sales tax, Halliburton, Yucca Mountain, Porter Goss, and other assorted topics. This morning, the president received his regular briefings, went for a short bike ride, and gave McCain a tour of his ranch. He said today's event in New Mexico will focus on the importance of supporting small businesses.

Re Yucca:

-McClellan pointed out that Kerry has in the past voted to support exploration of Yucca as a depository: "This is another example of changing positions"

"The president made a decision based on science. The president has always said that the decision should be driven by science, not politics, and the decision he made is in the best interest of the nation."

RE a national sales tax:

-McClellan reiterated president's statement that it ought to be explored, but declined to say whether the president would explore it: "The president has always believed in lower taxes and a simpler and fairer tax code, so generally speaking, he is open to ideas that lead us in the direction of a simpler, fairer tax code."

RE Porter Goss:

-McClellan said criticism from a "few Democrats"

"lacks credibility" and he noted that Senate Democrats have not yet said that they would block the nomination

Re Kerry campaign making an issue out of Halliburton:

- McClellan said the president trusts the Department of Defense to handle any issues: "There are oversight measures that are in place."

"That's the same old political attacks that they've been waging for a long time. You have someone that cannot stand on his own record, and is trying to do anything to divert attention away from his record, which is out of the

mainstream."

Re new Bush-Cheney ad:

"He's going to continue to talk about our nation's highest priorities, and those include winning the war on terrorism and strengthening our economy."

"This president recognizes his most solemn obligation is to protect the American people."

Plane landed at 1:12 p.m. mountain time, after pooler was given a good-bye goodie bag. Bush and McCain came down the stairs together, followed by aides. Karl Rove mugged for the cameras by running up behind Dan Bartlett and holding a three-fingered "W" sign.

Rick Klein

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