Boy these cats can scratch.
Matt Latimer lashes out in his new memoir Speech-less at a number of his former White House colleagues, and boy do they lash back.
The latest backlasher is Latimer’s former boss, the second-term chief speechwriter Bill McGurn writing in The Wall Street Journal:
• Accusing Latimer of favoring his former boss Donald Rumsfeld in this account because he’s still in Rumsfeld’s employ.
• Saying Latimer’s “West Wing cubby” was taken away from him when the White House “needed spade for someone more important.”
• Saying the only reason Latimer was ever on Air Force One was “because he was failing,” and McGurn was trying vainly “get the president to warm up to him.”
“These are distasteful things to say publicly about someone who once worked for you,” McGurn adds. “And I would have taken them to the grave had Matt not used these props and snippets of conversation he picked up to paint a highly distorted view of some very good people during some very tough times.”
And now Politico has a piece about a 2007 e-mail from McGurn to Latimer calling him “a freaking star … [who] makes *me* look like a freakin genius!”
And on and on it goes, and will go, until it peters out.
We’ve got an interview request into Latimer. We hope to ask him the only thing that really matters to Vital Speeches:
Does he know or care what effect this book and others like it might have on speechwriters and their relationships with their bosses?
He just begins answer that in his interview with Terry Gross today, but we’ll hope to press the point.