White House press secretary Scott McClellan had one of those days yesterday. By one of those days, I mean the kind where a PR professional knows he’s/she’s going to get asked challenging questions. McClellan’s day at the podium responding to Vice President Dick Cheney’s accidental shooting of a fellow hunter was definitely one of those days.
Watching from the sidelines, I think McClellan will be remembered as one of the better presidential press secretaries. I say this because (a) he’s had to face some of the world’s top reporters often with limited or incorrect information — and fought his “clients” to do the right thing, and (b) because of classy exchanges like yesterday’s with NBC’s David Gregory:
“‘David’s a good guy and a good reporter,’ McClellan added. He said that yesterday was ‘one of those days where I knew exactly what to expect.'”
McClellan took his hits and upheld his respect for the important role journalists play in a free democracy. It is that thick skin and ability to see the bigger picture that, in my mind, makes McClellan (and people like him) professionals.