Monday, May 9, 2011
White House Official Spokesman
I really miss Tony Snow who served as George W. Bush’s White House press secretary until cancer took him from us too soon. Snow was a journalist with an impressive resume, but beyond that, he had a charm that made him the master of that ugly little pit of hell where White House correspondents gather to report on its events.
I was no fan of Robert Gibbs, President Obama’s first press secretary. I used to call him Glib Gibbs and often wondered if some of the correspondents had secret voodoo dolls with his image. It wouldn’t have surprised me. For all that, he was good at his job which was to protect Obama from the growing perception that he was an idiot who hated America.
I was not surprised when Gibbs decided to move on. Being press secretary is a killer job and he had served in that capacity all through Obama’s campaign and into the White House for most of the first two years there.
Why anyone thought Jay Carney, a former Time Magazine Washington bureau chief, could ever take over is beyond me. I am confident in saying he was probably never picked to play on anyone’s team during his school days. He looks like he has a permanent weggie,. He is beyond being a nerd. He is a caricature of one. Nervous, twitchy, and in way over his head.
In a very real way, Carney reflects the incompetence that can no longer be hidden from the American public (and all others). It’s a national embarrassment to watch Attorney General Eric Holder’s glassy-eyed ignorance, real or feigned, of any question members of a congressional committee might ask.
Then there’s Homeland Security's Janet Napolitano who apparently has no idea where Mexico is located. As for any useful anti-terrorism action, it was airline passengers who subdued the last two terrorists who tried to blow up a plane and passengers who fought the terrorists in one of the 9/11 planes.
The Obama administration has alienated States that have gone to the courts to put an end to Obamacare, that have sought the right to enforce immigration laws the federal government will not, and are demanding that drilling moratoriums and other restrictions be lifted.
The skyrocketing national debt will be an issue that the administration cannot paper over with calls for higher taxes and measures that sound increasingly bizarre to ordinary Americans—the latest being to tax people based on how many miles they drive their cars anywhere, such as to work, if they have a job in this economy.
And it’s not just the press secretary who looks and sounds foolish much of the time. Following the triumphant announcement that Osama bin Laden had been found and killed, the next few days were a cornucopia of conflicting statements leaking from the White House and other government spokespersons regarding the specifics of the event.
The decision to not release the photo of a dead bin Laden only managed to ignite the febrile imagination of every conspiracy enthusiast from Cleveland to Karachi.
Anybody remember who was tapped to replace Tony Snow? It was Dana Perino, a blond with movie star good looks, a sweet demeanor, smart as they come, and solid as a rock behind the podium. She is now one of Fox News Channel’s great assets.
My guess is that Carney’s replacement is already being interviewed as this is being written.
If it was my job to pick a new press secretary I would want someone with journalism credentials, but I would want him to be a snappy dresser with a dazzling smile and nerves of steel. If he had also been a professional magician, that would clinch it for me because the next press secretary will spend 95% of his time distracting the press corps by pulling rabbits out of hat.
This is an administration that is imploding.
Everything that can go wrong in the year and a half remaining until Obama is replaced will go wrong. It will be the Gulf oil spill in spades. It will be the million-person crowd that turned out to oppose Obamacare before it was passed. It will be a growling, menacing Tea Party 2.0.
It could also be a series of terror attacks in retaliation for killing bin Laden and, with a 100,000 troops already in the Middle East just who would we attack—other than Iran—that we haven’t already?
There is weakness, vacillation, at the core of the Obama administration and our enemies know it. They will not likely wait around for a new president before striking.
© Alan Caruba, 2011