Mike Allen: Bush Mouthpiece, Ctd.

Mike Allen responds:

While I was writing the piece, a very well-known former Bush administration official e-mailed some caustic criticism of Obama’s decision to release the memos. I asked the former official to be quoted by name, but this person refused, e-mailing: "Please use only on background." I wasn’t surprised: While Karl Rove and former Vice President Dick Cheney have certainly let loose in public comments, most top Bush officials have been reluctant to go on the record criticizing Obama. They have new careers, and they know it’s a fight they’ll never win. He’s popular; they’re not they get it...

Of course I would have preferred to have the official on the record, just as we would appreciate on-the-record comments from the Obama officials who demand anonymity every day. But we use their comments for the same reason: They reflect a viewpoint worth reporting, even if it would be more powerful with their names attached.

I have asked the top Bush administration official and others to go on the record on the CIA memos and will post their comments when they do.

And I’ll try to think of a headline that’s bland enough that Sullivan won’t accuse us of going for “buzz and traffic.”