Scott McClellan on the Second-Hardest Job in DC -- 5.7.06

Our Voice this week, Scott McClellan. The man at the podium was all smiles at his last press conference on Friday, after three tough years in the most public White House job. But, when he leaves next week, he'll have some secret advice for Tony Snow.

Scott McClellan: "White House press secretaries have a tradition. When you're leaving the position, you leave a note for your successor. And what they have is a flak jacket -- it's literally an old FBI flak jacket from I think the '70s or '60s. And in that pocket of that flak jacket, there are a bunch of notes, from previous press secretaries that they have passed on to their successor.

And they leave various messages to the one that is succeeding them. And I'll be doing that to my successor as well, Tony Snow.

Most press secretaries probably don't miss the podium, but they do miss doing the job and they do miss the people they worked with, and they do miss the press corps too, that they've spent a lot of time with.

I tended to enjoy the more contentious briefings. There are some probably that I didn't. But you know exactly what's going to be coming your way and you know to some extent the press corps might be trying to get under your skin a little bit or get you off message."

President Bush: "One of these days he and I are going to be rocking them chairs in Texas talking about the good old days and his time as press secretary."

Scott McClellan: "I got a good laugh out of that. I started to say to him, sir, I'm not that old yet. But the president has been great to me. Mrs. Bush has been great.

That's one bit of advice I would give to any successor, and anyone who wants to do this job: Keep your sense of humor. Recognize it's going to be tough. But don't forget to have a lighthearted side to this. You've got to get through it."

Tony Snow: "Mr. President I want to thank you for the honor..."

Scott McClellan: "When I saw Tony last week, I looked up, I told him, "You know, I used to be that tall, too."