Former Bush speechwriter Matt Latimer told Red State today that the same blind loyalty he saw during his time in the White House is also fueling the attacks against him for his tell-all book, “Speech-Less”:
“The fact is that appallingly bad communications strategies crippled the president, and the people attacking me were the ones responsible for it.”
The book with its dishy anecdotes about George Bush and his inner circle (see Reliable Source’s rundown), slots neatly into the debate about the future of the GOP. It’s currently sitting 27th on the New York Times bestseller list.
Former press secretary Dana Perino dismisses Latimer as a nobody, “I’m pretty sure that almost everyone who worked in the White House could not pick Matt out of a lineup”.
The attacks and counterattacks reached fever pitch two weeks ago when Latimer’s former boss Bill McGurn slammed his disloyalty in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. Politico in turn, got in touch with Kevin Kellems, a friend of the author’s and Dick Cheney’s communications director at the time. Kellems produced emails for 2007 deflating the premise of McGurn’s argument:
Latimer was promoted to Deputy Director of presidential speech writing AFTER the period McGurn cites–which destroys his argument. There are higher obligations in public service than loyalty to the buddy system. In fact that’s what this book is about–so people can read SPEECH-LESS and make their own mind up. When Bill has time to think about this and rereads some of his old emails contradicting his Journal column, he’ll probably want to retract a few things like any decent manager would.