Scott McClellan, the former White House press secretary who sharply criticized President Bush in his memoir last spring, told CNN Thursday he's voting for Barack Obama.
"From the very beginning I have said I am going to support the candidate that has the best chance for changing the way Washington works and getting things done and I will be voting for Barack Obama and clapping," McClellan told new CNN Host D.L. Hughley
McClellan, a onetime Bush loyalist whose scathing critique of the president sent shock waves across Washington last spring, has long hinted he was leaning toward the Illinois senator.
With despair rising even among many of John McCain’s own advisors, influential Republicans inside and outside his campaign are engaged in an intense round of blame-casting and rear-covering—-much of it virtually conceding that an Election Day rout is likely.
A McCain interview published Thursday in the Washington Times sparked the latest and most nasty round of Washington finger-pointing, with senior GOP hands close to President Bush and top congressional aides denouncing the candidate for what they said was an unfocused message and poorly executed campaign.
McCain told the Times that the administration “let things get completely out of hand” through eight years of bad decisions about Iraq, global warming, and big spending.
The candidate’s strategists in recent days have become increasingly vocal in interviews and conference calls about what they call unfair news media coverage and Barack Obama’s wide financial advantage — both complaints laying down a post-election storyline for why their own efforts proved ineffectual.
These public comments offer a whiff of an increasingly acrid behind-the-scenes GOP meltdown—a blame game played out through not-for-attribution comments to reporters that operatives know will find their way into circulation.
Top Republican officials have let it be known they are distressed about McCain’s organization. Coordination between the McCain campaign and Republican National Committee, always uneven, is now nearly dysfunctional, with little high-level contact and intelligence-sharing between the two.
“There is no communication,” lamented one top Republican. “It drives you crazy.”
At his Northern Virginia headquarters, some McCain aides are already speaking of the campaign in the past tense. Morale, even among some of the heartiest and most loyal staffers, has plummeted. And many past and current McCain advisors are warring with each other over who led the candidate astray.
One well-connected Republican in the private sector was shocked to get calls and resumes in the past few days from what he said were senior McCain aides – a breach of custom for even the worst-off campaigns.