Wanting to Get to the Bottom of It

· Republicans

The very next Q&A in the press conference xian links to below is also a prize specimen of weasel-wordedness:

Q Two questions. First, you’ve said in the past that, on the matter of Matt Cooper and Judith Miller that the President supports the investigation. What specific steps is the White House taking to support it? Has the President called people into the Oval Office?
MR. McCLELLAN: What I said is the President wants to get to the bottom of the investigation; no one wants to get to the bottom of it more than he does. It is a very serious matter and the President has said that if anybody has information, they ought to provide that information to the prosecutor so that they can continue forward on their investigation.
Q Has he called specific people into the Oval Office to ask them if they —
MR. McCLELLAN: What we made a decision to do was to support the efforts of the independent prosecutor to move forward on the investigation and that’s what we’re doing. If there are any specific questions you have about individuals, those are questions that are best directed to the special prosecutor in this matter.

There’s an eerie similarity to the Unocal/PR exchange, where the indirectly stated answer was, “No, the President can acknowledge no conflict of interest imputed to a crony. He’s a stand-up guy, you know?” Here, what’s indirectly stated is “No, the President hasn’t actually done anything to find out which of his staff members implemented the decision to punish Joseph Wilson.”
I particularly like the phrase “wants to get to the bottom of the investigation,” which McClellan, like a blues singer, gives us twice with minor variation. The purity of Bush’s intention — he wants to; he really, really wants to — outweighs his actual inaction.