The job of the White House press secretary has always struck me as an awkward gig. On the one hand, the press secretary gets to be the chief spokesperson for the president of the United States. On the other hand, he or she gets peppered with questions every day – of varying degrees of quality – and coming up with new ways to dodge them must get tiresome.
With this in mind, Jay Carney is departing for greener pastures after a lengthy stint in the briefing room.
“Jay has become one of my closest friends and is a great press secretary and a great adviser,” Obama said. “He’s got good judgment, he has good temperament and he’s got a good heart. And I’m going to miss him a lot. I will continue to rely on him as a friend, an adviser after he leaves to spend as much of his summer as he can with his kids before he decides what’s next for him. Whatever it is, I know he’s going to be outstanding at it.”
Carney, who replaced Robert Gibbs in early 2011, will be succeeded by Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
After three-and-a-half years in the job, Carney’s tenure lasted longer than most who’ve held the position.
Members of the White House press corps can speak with far greater authority than I can about whether Carney excelled in his post, but he seems to have fared well: “Carney developed a reputation among his former peers as a disciplined and even-tempered spokesman who rarely disclosed news by mistake or made mis-statements that were damaging to the White House.”
For my part, I consistently enjoyed Carney’s willingness to engage congressional Republicans on Twtter during assorted policy disputes.
Plus, I found this rather endearing: