After just over a year and three months as the White House Communications Secretary, Jen Psaki will step aside, leaving her position in the hands of Karine Jean-Pierrethe first African woman to hold office in the entire history of the United States.
(Read: Biden appoints Karine Jean-Pierre as spokesperson, the first Afro in office)
The 43-year-old American closes her cycle in the White House after having held various positions related to communications, being a very valuable token for Joe Biden since he took office in 2021.
(He is interested in: Biden: Ukraine will be the axis of his first speech on the State of the Union)
She could be in the role of being charming, making explosive statements, or just beating around the bush. Whichever version of Jen Psaki appeared on the White House lectern leaves little doubt that her departure robs President Joe Biden of a capable ally.
Immediately recognizable by her shock of red hair, Press Secretary Psaki has been the public face of the Biden administration since the Democrat moved into the White House on January 20, 2021.
Psaki, who always said she didn’t expect to stay in that high-pressure job for more than a year, is now headed for a lucrative new job as an anchor at MSNBC.
He’s leaving just as brutal midterm campaigning begins and Biden is piling up with domestic problems like inflation and illegal immigration. Furthermore, as the Russian invasion of Ukraine enters increasingly complex geopolitical terrain.
Jen Psaki did more briefings in less than two years than all of Trump’s spokespersons in his presidency. Remarkable turn in the link between the White House and the press. https://t.co/E4bObbk8Lu
– Rafael Mathus Ruiz (@rmathus) May 11, 2022
There is no doubt that Psaki’s successor, Karine Jean-Pierre, who makes history by becoming the first black and openly lesbian woman to hold the position, has a torrid outlook ahead of her in the coming months.
Jean PierreNevertheless, will inherit a rebuilt press office after the broadsides against the media and reporters that had left the Trump administration, where the famous James S. Brady newsroom gathered dust.
This is the best job I’ve ever had, maybe the best job I’ll ever have.
Psaki leaves behind a certain ethical cloud, as he was receiving media offers – and negotiating his salary – while continuing with his daily work as a spokesman. Outside of that, she has been widely recognized for her professionalism.
Psaki herself underlines the very high responsibility of her role. Last weekend she spoke at foxnewsone of Biden’s biggest antagonists, on the importance of a free press.
The reform of the press room
Psaki restored the tradition of daily televised question and answer sessions and he put together a team that was always available for questions, even if he didn’t always give answers.
In its drive for self-promotion, the Trump administration has rendered the White House press office unnecessary, preferring to deliver its message directly, often via Twitter.
The goal, according to aides, was to avoid biased media, but Trump’s reliance on informal, chaotic press briefings and sometimes confusing or poorly written tweets fueled the perception that his main goal was to make the presidency his personal reality show.
One of the press secretariesStephanie Grisham, did not hold a press conference in her nine months of work. Her successor, Kayleigh McEnany, did do a few sessions, but the meetings often turned into testy exchanges in which McEnany made it clear that she shared the president’s hatred of the media.
From the lectern, Psaki often answers questions on everything from Biden’s views on abortion to trade tariffs on Canadian lumber to the war in Ukraine to the ups and downs of the presidential family’s pets.
With skills that will apply well to her role as a television presenter, Psaki arrives at press conferences so prepared that it’s rare that any journalist can trip her up.
“One day, people will learn not to provoke Psaki, but that day is not todayTwitter user @Angry_Staffer, a popular political commentator, joked with a clip of the spokeswoman this week answering a seemingly tough question from a journalist with vehemence and a torrent of counter-arguments.
Psaki’s self-confidence stems from his deep experience in the Democratic Party and his time in the presidency of Barack Obama as State Department spokesperson, White House communications director and campaign press secretary.
And although his sharpest answers in the press room are celebrated by his followers in the virtual environment with #psakibomb memes, she bets more on the willingness to dialogue cordially with interlocutors challenging than to hostile tactics.
That feature received approval from none other than Peter Doocy, the correspondent for foxnews in the White House who has assumed the role of Psaki’s main opponent.
Some of their on-camera exchanges have been tense, but when the spokeswoman announced her departure, Doocy thanked her, saying she was “always a good match” and “sorry to see her go.” To which Psaki replied, unleashing laughter in the meeting room: “Really?”
*With information from AFP
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