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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 April 2006, 15:43 GMT 16:43 UK
Profile: Scott McClellan
Scott McClellan
Scott McClellan has faced a tough time from reporters

For almost three years Scott McClellan has been the second most visible face of President George W Bush's administration.

As White House press secretary he has faced the task of communicating the president's words to a roomful of reporters more often than not fighting to knock him off message.

Since he took over the $160,000-a-year (89,000-a-year) job from Ari Fleischer in the summer of 2003 - a few months after the US invaded Iraq - Mr McClellan, 38, has been an almost daily fixture on television news bulletins.

But it has been the troubled aftermath of that conflict that has caused the greatest headaches for the man on the podium, fending off frustrated reporters in the West Wing's press briefing room.

Political family

A graduate of the University of Texas, Mr McClellan has been part of the Bush inner circle ever since the president's days as governor of that state.

One of these days, he and I are going to be rocking in chairs in Texas and talking about the good old days
President George W Bush

He comes from a political family.

His brother Mark is the administrator of Medicare and Medicaid. Their mother is Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, who is divorced from their father Barr McClellan, an attorney.

Scott McClellan's career path reflects the administration's tendency to promote from within.

After impressing as campaign manager for his mother, he began working for Governor Bush in early 1999 as deputy communications director.

He served as Mr Bush's travelling press secretary in the 2000 presidential election.

Later, after Mr Bush won the election, he became the White House deputy press secretary in 2001.

'The good old days'

Some commentators suggest that Mr McClellan's credibility was undermined by his defence of presidential adviser Karl Rove over the Valerie Plame affair, which involved the leaking of a CIA agent's identity.

Mr McClellan told the media that he had spoken to Mr Rove who had assured him he had nothing to do with the White House leak.

Mr Rove has not been indicted for the leak, but he remains under investigation and privately Mr McClellan is said to feel misled regarding the leak investigation.

Critics also say that in recent months, Mr McClellan has become less and less subtle about simply repeating his talking points over again when faced with stiff questioning at news conferences.

But his departure from the limelight seemed friendly enough.

Standing next to the president on the White House lawn, Mr McClellan said he had given his all.

President Bush said Mr McClellan had handled his job with class and integrity.

"It's going to be hard to replace Scott," Mr Bush said. "But nevertheless he made the decision and I accepted it."

"One of these days, he and I are going to be rocking in chairs in Texas and talking about the good old days."

Mr McClellan married Jill Martinez in November 2003.

White House spokesman steps down
19 Apr 06 |  Americas

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