by AMBER KELLY Photographer
Jay Carney, the White House Press Secretary for the Obama Administration since 2011, recently filed for resignation from his job. On Friday, May 30, President Barack Obama made a public announcement concerning said resignation.
The Press Secretary is a senior White House official whose main concern is the media. His or her responsibility is to maintain the relationship between the press and the president through daily press briefings, and it is at these briefings where journalists from various media sites and broadcast stations ask questions about whatever is occurring politically.
Being Press Secretary is extremely difficult because one must have an answer to conceivably every question. If a press secretary fumbles or is unable to come up with a passable answer or explanation, it reflects poorly on the president’s administration.
Carney had an especially tough time considering the fact that President Obama had promised greater transparency in his administration, so when Carney did not have the answer to a question, everyone balked at this idea of transparency.
“It seems like Carney had it pretty bad because for Obama, scandals would come all at once so Carney would need answers on these really sensitive topics. It was essentially his job to make whatever scandals he was asked about seem like no big deal. That’s no easy task,” says senior Jeena Patel.
For Obama, scandals like Benghazi, the IRS, the botched health care website, and wrongdoing in the Veterans Affairs agency left Carney vulnerable for attack by the journalists in the press briefings. Carney has been accused by many of lying during press briefings, especially concerning Obamacare, which left people unsupportive of him.
While people are pleased to see him go, others are saddened by his resignation, including President Obama who called Carney one of his best friends.
Carney first became Press Secretary on February 11, 2011, replacing Robert Gibbs. Before assuming the position, he had been director of communications under Vice President Joe Biden, and before that he had been involved with multiple news outlets, including Time Magazine and ABC News.
“It’s kind of ironic that he began as a member of a media or press group because as press secretary, he switched to the other side of the conversation. While with Time and ABC, he probably criticized whatever Press Secretary was around at the time, but until recently, he was the one being criticized by journalists instead,” says senior Danielle Rutsky.
Carney’s successor will be Josh Earnest. Before he takes up the position around mid-June, Earnest will still be considered the Principal Deputy Press Secretary. Principal Deputy Press Secretary is a job very similar to that of the Senior Press Secretary, the only real difference being that he or she does not speak directly to the press during the daily briefings.
Earnest has called his replacement of Carney as a “genuine honor,” while President Obama has described Earnest as being “honest and full of integrity.” Hopefully this description of Earnest proves to be true, as he will soon be taking Carney’s place at the podium as the new White House Press Secretary.
Do you think Jay Carney was a good Press Secretary? How do you think Josh Earnest will do in the position?