Biden did not help himself in appointing Jean-Pierre as Press Secretary
Upon reading the headline, those on the radical left will be screaming RACISM … HOMOPHOBIA … SEXISM. It’s the triple crown of the left’s knee-jerk responses to any and all critical analyses not in keeping with their political playbook.
They can use all three of their standard hyperbolic retorts because the new White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre is Black … gay … and a woman. It does not matter that none of those facts are the reasons that I believe Jean-Pierre is a bad choice – and it is not because she will be persuasive in carrying President Biden’s message. It is because in my opinion, she will not be. Looking at it from that angle, the appointment benefits my side.
In the Biden administration, the White House Press Secretary is more important than in previous administrations. In case you had not noticed, the Biden strategy is for the President to spend as little time as possible answering questions from the press. And when he does talk to the press it is usually limited to talking points and platitudes. Most of the critical and detailed questions are answered by his Press Secretary.
The outgoing Press Secretary Jen Psaki was good at her job. She came to the position with experience holding the same job in the Obama White House and for the Department of Defense. Psaki was so good at the job that any replacement will suffer by comparison. That alone makes Biden’s messaging more challenging in the future.
The comparison between Psaki and Jean-Pierre was seen on those occasions with the latter taking over the podium in the White House press room. Jean-Pierre did not have that stage presence and skilled craft of her predecessor. Psaki spoke like a person who was in the room when major decisions were made and knew what she was talking about. Jean-Pierre came across as a person who was handed the talking points shortly before walking up to the podium.
Jean-Pierre does not have the aura of credibility that Psaki had. I do not mean that Psaki was always telling the truth, but at least you knew that the political propaganda, the hyperbole, and the mendacious explanations were Biden’s. At times, it seemed that perhaps the President was getting his thoughts from Psaki – that she was the spokesperson for the strategy team around Biden
Psaki is unarguably a hard act to follow, but Jean-Pierre has some significant liabilities of her own. Unlike Psaki, Jean-Pierre is not a professional spokesperson but rather a very radical left-wing activist. She has spent her adult life pushing HER agenda, not serving as a megaphone for the thoughts of others.
Based on her own political philosophy, Jean-Pierre will have to be selling a lot of policies and positions that she has opposed in the past. She is more in line with the far left’s criticisms of several Biden policies.
Among Jean-Pierre’s “firsts” is the fact that her partner is CNN correspondent Suzanne Malveaux. No other Press Secretary has had such a potential conflict of interest. Even if Malveaux is not a member of the White House Press Corps, the potential for “pillow talk” is inevitable. The national issues are not divided between the White House and not-White House. Ironically, the potential conflict of interest may weigh more heavily on Malveaux and CNN than the White House. It would not be the first time that “special relationships” became problematic for the news service. CNN already has had two primetime examples of on-air personalities abusing their positions – Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon.
Like any hardline activist, Jean-Pierre has a long history of intemperate statements. Can she be fair-minded with FOX News after calling the network and its reporters racists? How will she handle issues relating to Israel and the Jewish community when she supported the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) Movement against Israel. Rather than report the President’s view to the public, will Jean-Pierre use her position to influence policy? Will she continue to be the “squads” access in to the Oval Office?
And finally, there is that almost indefinable issue. Does she have the demeanor and stage presence that evokes confidence and credibility? I am dubious.
And while I totally discount her skin color, sexual preferences, and gender as factors in my analysis, I wonder how much they played in her selection by the woke White House.
So, there ‘tis.