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Tony Snow's Greatest Hits

September 1, 2007

On Friday, White House press secretary Tony Snow announced he would be leaving his post on September 14. Snow attributed his departure neither to his cancer battle nor the implosion of the Bush presidency. Instead, the highest paid staffer in the Bush White House at $168,000 a year, Snow cited that most Republican of motives as fueling his resignation: money.
But while Snow may need "the dough," he may need redemption even more. Asked about his future plans, Snow responded, "I will spend a lot of time trying to speak out on things I care about, and looking at opportunities and trying to do some good." And well he should. As a quick review of his statements as press secretary reveals, he has a lot to atone for.
Here, then are the Greatest Hits of Tony Snow.
"You know, it's 130 degrees in Baghdad in August, I'll pass on your recommendation."
Tony Snow, asked if the administration tried to talk the Iraqi parliament out of taking off the month of August, July 13, 2007.
"I don't know if they're going to do a reprinting of the book to try to get the facts straight."
Tony Snow, on Al Gore's book correctly identifying President Bush's deceptions in the run-up to the war in Iraq, May 23, 2007.
"Trying to take advantage of a sick man. Because he had an appendectomy, his brain didn't work?"
Tony Snow, on James Comey's assertion that Alberto Gonzales tried to coerce John Ashcroft, then bed-ridden with a pancreatic condition following gall bladder surgery, May 16, 2007.
"What do you gain from a transcript?"
Tony Snow, on why Karl Rove and Harriet Miers should not testify under oath with transcripts, March 21, 2007.
"Zip it."
Tony Snow, to Ed Henry of CNN, March 19, 2007.
"Anything's possible, but I don't think so."
Tony Snow, on whether President Bush suggested U.S. attorney firings, March 16, 2007.
"At this juncture, people have hazy memories."
Tony Snow, March 16, 2007.
"Well, I don't know."
Tony Snow, asked whether Osama Bin Laden is the head of Al Qaeda, March 1, 2007.
"We didn't create the war in Iraq."
Tony Snow, March 1, 2007.
"It is interesting to me that it seems that some politicians maybe are trying to protect Iran."
Tony Snow, February 18, 2007.
"I'm not sure anything went wrong."
Tony Snow, asked what went wrong in Iraq, February 15, 2007.
"The Iranian people are more pro-American than any American university faculty."
Tony Snow, January 26, 2007.
"It's like looking in a drawer full of diamonds."
Tony Snow on President Bush's 2007 State of the Union address, January 22, 2007.
"I'm not playing the game anymore."
Tony Snow, asked whether the U.S. is winning in Iraq, December 18, 2006.
"What complaint do you have with a man who has been so successful?"
Tony Snow on UN Ambassador John Bolton, November 11, 2006.
"It's a silly question."
Tony Snow, asked whether President Bush had many any mistakes in handling the North Korea crisis, October 10, 2006.
"I hate to tell you, but it's not always pretty up there on Capitol Hill. And there have been other scandals, as you know, that have been more than simply naughty e-mails."
Tony Snow, on the Mark Foley scandal, October 2, 2006.
"It's not really a reversal of policy."
Tony Snow, on the Bush administration decision after the Hamdan ruling to apply Geneva Conventions to terrorist detainees, July 11, 2006.
"Because he wanted to."
Tony Snow, on why Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta resigned, June 23, 2006.
"It's a number."
Press Secretary Tony Snow, on President Bush's reaction to U.S. death count reaching 2,500 in Iraq, June 15, 2006.
"George Bush has become something of an embarrassment."
Tony Snow, column, November 11, 2005. (Note: removed Tony Snow's columns from its web site.)
Bonus Tar Baby Special Edition
As White House press secretary, Tony Snow was not only an elusive dissembler and aggressive liar, he was a trendsetter as well. It was Snow who in his first days on the job reintroduced the racial slur "tar baby" back into the vernacular. Snow's casual slur - and the subsequent obligatory "unpology" - became quite the fad among 2008 Republican White House hopefuls:
"I don't want to hug the tar baby of trying to comment on the program."
Tony Snow, May 16, 2006.
"The best thing for me to do politically is stay away from the Big Dig -- just get as far away from that tar baby as I possibly can."
Mitt Romney, July 29, 2006.
"We are getting into a, uh, uh, tar baby of enormous proportions."
John McCain, on fathers' divorce rights, March 16, 2007.

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Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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