WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 — When the White House press secretary, Scott McClellan, came to the press room just before 10 a.m. Tuesday and suggested he was wearing an orange tie to avoid a stray shot from Vice President Dick Cheney, it seemed to signal an effort to defuse the accidental-shooting story with a laugh.
But by midday, it was clear that the staffs of the president and the vice president had failed to communicate. Just after arriving at work around 7:45 a.m., Mr. Cheney learned that the man he had shot, Harry M. Whittington, was about to undergo a medical procedure on his heart because his injuries were more serious than earlier believed, Mr. Cheney's spokeswoman said.
No one in Mr. Cheney's office passed the word to Mr. McClellan, senior officials at the White House said, adding that the press secretary would never have joked about the shooting accident if he had known about the turn of events involving Mr. Whittington.
It was the latest example of the degree to which Mr. Cheney's habit of living in his own world in the Bush White House — surrounded by his own staff, relying on his own instincts, saying as little as possible — had backfired since the accident in Texas on Saturday. Mr. Cheney's staff members have kept their comments to chronological details and to repeating the vice president's written statements.
Really, if they're not open, if they're not cooperating amongst themselves, if they're not working together, - and if they're lying to us- isn't it time we had a re-org?
But wait it gets better- there's actually apologists for Cheny on the right!
"What he did was not an irrational thing," said Mary Matalin, Mr. Cheney's former communications adviser, who spoke to him Sunday morning. "This was a very close friend this happened to. Everyone was shaken up about it. When I spoke to him, it was all about Harry, worrying about him," not whether he should get a statement out, or let his South Texas host tell a local newspaper.
So our friends on the right who love to decry about excluded middles would contend therefore it was rational for Cheney to shoot that guy?
Even at the most secure meetings in the White House situation room, Mr. Cheney tends to ask questions but leave the participants guessing about his own views — largely, his colleagues say they suspect, for fear of leaks. His movements, once hidden for security reasons, are now often cloaked out of habit. Several senior members of the administration said they were not told of the shooting accident until late Sunday.
The man appears to be paranoid, and clearly when armed, dangerous. And this guy's in power?