A former spokesman for President Barack Obama, Bill Burton, went on CNN last night to unload on the president's former defense secretary and former CIA director, Leon Panetta. Burton is upset about some of the things Panetta wrote in his memoir, which hit shelves yesterday, and called the long-time public servant "sad," "dishonorable," "small and petty."
"On Secretary Panetta," said Burton, "he is a guy who has had a long and storied career in Washington and has really served his country well. And it is kind of sad that in its twilight he's done such a dishonorable thing by -- at a time -- by going after the president that he served at a time of a lot of different instabilities around the world.
"I think if you ask the question, Do you think that Leon Panetta's book helps or harms our interest, or help or harm the credibility of this administration as the president is conducting the job of foreign policy and keeping our nation safe? It's hard to say yes.
"On the substance, this president has shown his leadership time and again. He's made some tough calls. He's advanced our interest in very real ways. He got Osama bin Laden. He got our troops out of Afghanistan. He has moved this country in the right direction. And to attack his leadership I think is small and petty."
Daniel Halper is author of Clinton, Inc.: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine.