Huffpost Politics

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Jackson Williams Headshot

Want Ads: White House Press Secretary; Must be Able to Put Lipstick on a Pig

Posted: Updated:

The loss of a real pro like Tony Snow to put the daily spin on things is a real problem for the Bush White House, because Dana Perino, the nice person we've seen in his place this week, is going to be eaten alive. The press will probably give her a short "grace period" because they genuinely feel sorry for her having to fill such big shoes, but soon enough they'll have her for lunch as she struggles to spin all the crap coming down the pike.

Bless her heart.

Somebody desperately needs to take the gig for these final 18 months. After all, this job requires "managing" the daily message from the White House and putting the public face on it. When times are tough (like NOW), it's a hard job even for the best of them. But it's a disaster in tough times when the person doing it has been on the bench.

Clinton had the great Mike McCurry to handle it during "Monicagate" and impeachment, but the rough patch ended and there was an able assistant in Joe Lockhart to all but finish out the second term.

Bush has just lost his McCurry, there's no Lockhart in the wings, and the rough patch is just beginning.

Maybe they'll call back Scott McClellan. He could write his own ticket if they beg him hard enough. Or Karen Hughes, who has disappeared into a hole over at the State Department, but the problem with Karen is A/ her facial expression, which in repose is a permanent scowl, and B/ her consistent wardrobe malfunctions.

Another option is Dan Bartlett. Better than Dana, and already in the White House, but that's also his problem. He's been so associated with the administration that he lacks credibility as a purveyor of honest information for the citizens, and the press secretary must at least sound like they are being straightforward. Usually that's achieved by keeping them somewhat in the dark (think McClellan, swearing that Rove and Libby knew nothing about the Valerie Plame leak.)

Bartlett clearly lacks arm's length, but he is probably the best on-site when it comes to bantering back and forth on his feet.

I hate to say it, but Ken Mehlman, former head of the RNC, would probably be the best choice. Mr. Talking Points himself would certainly stay on message, insufferably so, but does he want to re-enter this den of thieves?

At every turn in his life, personal and professional, George W. Bush's biography tells us that he's had folks who've danced him around some sad old situations. Tell me, who's next to cross this borderline?