It is the waning days of the Obama Administration, and top staff members are leaving. The surprise announcement came Friday, May the 30th. President Obama stopped the regular briefing, to announce his Press Secretary, Jay Carney, was resigning. He would be replaced by Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest. President Obama praised the professionalism of both men, and called them his good friends.
The move was not unexpected and had been anticipated for awhile. The only surprise was the timing. President Obama had already come to the press room once during the day, to announce the resignation of General Eric Shinseki. He resigned under fire, amidst the growing scandal in the Veterans Administration, which he directed for over five years.
Jay Carney and Josh Earnest are friendly and well liked by most of us in the press corps, despite the usual frustration when we do not get all the questions and answers we want. The top news outlets get most recognition, but they have the most to offer an Administration. When the rest of us get recognized, we have to make it count! Even after the surprise announcement there was tension. Jay was peppered over the fact the President held a private, unannounced luncheon with Hillary Clinton. One can imagine Joe Biden was not too happy either!
Jay says he wants more family time, but he has many opportunities: a book, lobbying, PR, return to journalism, ambassadorship to Russia, or band and baseball sessions with his children. His friendship with the Obamas and the Bidens is likely to endure in the next few years, and that is a valuable asset, along with his fame and name recognition.
As for Josh Earnest -- we have high expectations. Let's enjoy it! Connie Lawn at the White House