Almost every report I've seen on Tony Snow's new post has cited at least one of his sometimes harsh criticisms of George W. Bush. Several Democrats seem to think those old quotes should embarass the administration, while Republicans are gamely trying to spin them as proof the president doesn't surround himself with yes-men after all.
I don't buy that, but I do think Snow's past attacks probably helped him get the job. One reason Scott McLellan is on his way out is because the press corps just didn't trust him anymore. Who better to replace him than a man with a history of knocking Bush when he's wrong? If someone asks Snow about his old columns, all he has to say is, "I haven't always agreed with everything my boss has done, but I think he's a good man and a fine leader and I'm proud to work for him." Both the president and the press secretary will look good.
I realize it's dangerous to suggest that this White House knows what it's doing—before you know it, you might end up excusing every little screwup with the word "rope-a-dope" or some similarly inane refrain. But replacing McLellan with Snow seems like a genuinely smart move to me, at least as long as Snow can stomach the job.