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Still Waiting for Jay

by Keith Koffler on February 15, 2011, 12:29 pm

Today is Jay Carney’s second day on the job, and for the second day he is not scheduled to brief. And it’s little wonder. I’ve never seen a new press secretary – particularly one with so little public relations background and no experience doing the daily White House briefing – dropped into the job at such an inopportune moment.

Obama decided to hold a press conference today, giving Jay an excuse to sit out another briefing.

“I figured that I’d give Jay one more taste of freedom before we lock him in a room with all of you,” the president wisecracked. “So I’m here to do a little down field blocking for him.”

But the concerns about putting Carney on the field must be real. The novice spokesman will want to make sure he’s completely ready, and his bosses probably don’t mind keeping him on ice for awhile.

Carney for years was a mere reporter and only began flacking two years ago when he took the job of cleaning up Vice President Biden’s various communications crises. So while it’s been a busy two years for him, it’s still only been two years.

And now he’s got the world’s most important PR job. And the world is not making it easy.

The annual battle of the budget began just Monday, a critical period in which Republicans and the White House will joust over spending levels, cuts, and a myriad of programs. With President Obama’s budget having just been released Monday, Carney is sure to be called on to explain some decisions with as much painful detail as he can offer – all while staying attuned to the politics of the issue.

Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary with Joe Biden

Please, Mr. Vice President, just say what we wrote for you.

He can’t simply say, “the president believes this is a good program.” He has to say: “The president believes this is a good program and Republicans suck for wanting to cut it and are generally evil people,” – but all while not seeming to “divisively” criticize Republicans.

But far worse is the escalating situation in the Middle East, where incipient revolutions threaten key U.S. allies and one of our worst foes, Iran. Jay, in his first podium experience, will suddenly find himself with the power to completely screw up U.S. foreign policy and ignite choruses of angry ululating throughout the Arab world.

Monday, from the Upper Press area, where the press secretary’s office sits, the sound of someone wailing “Why me?” and “What was I thinking?” and “I’d rather have my foot amputated than go out there” could be heard.

OK, maybe he was saying something else, like “What’s for lunch?” Whatever.

Senior White House aides will have to decide whether to send Carney out with a few scripted lines from which he must not budge, or to give him some leeway to improvise.

The dilemma is that if they do the former, his reviews will be bad, and first impressions can’t always easily be erased. He’ll be seen as senior adviser David Plouffe’s darling little puppet. But if they choose the latter, they risk a catastrophe.

{ 3 trackbacks }


borntobePolitical February 15, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Maybe he is just tired of not telling the truth.

Nightwriter February 15, 2011 at 2:15 pm

No, they don’t lie there… they “mis-speak” now.

Tom February 15, 2011 at 2:50 pm

“Mis speak” is incorrect. The new term is now: “walking back.”

bob litfin February 15, 2011 at 12:46 pm

This is a hoax right??…Inexperience in an inexperienced organization like Obama’s??

What a hoot..Gibbs was a dickhead but this guy is a joke

Tom February 15, 2011 at 2:49 pm

“dickhead” is not politically correct. The new term is “penilekopfpolitik”.

irishkay February 15, 2011 at 5:00 pm


juaniguana February 15, 2011 at 5:20 pm

perfect! roflmao

Progressive Ed February 15, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Maybe his conscience won’t let him tell the whoppers necessary to cover for The Emperor.

Gibbs Bentley February 15, 2011 at 12:52 pm

“No matter how cynical you become, it’s never enough to keep up.” ~ Lily Tomlin

GG February 15, 2011 at 12:55 pm

I guess 2 years is just not enough experience for any job

Nightwriter February 15, 2011 at 2:16 pm

not at this level… unless, of course, you are affirmative action, then two years is an abundant level of experience

Huck Pituey February 15, 2011 at 12:55 pm

And even the two years of experience he has barely counts: “cleaning up Vice President Biden’s various communications crises” typically consists of making placating gestures, smiling broadly and rolling one’s eyes while saying “Oh, don’t worry about ole Joe– he didn’t mean nothing by that. You know how he can be!”

Nightwriter February 15, 2011 at 2:17 pm

kind of like “community organizer” isn’t it!

Tom February 15, 2011 at 2:48 pm

“Community organizer” is not politically correct. The new term is “neighborhood lobbyist.”

d55may February 15, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Politically Correct isn’t correct anymore, people want the bare honest truth.

irishkay February 15, 2011 at 5:01 pm

You’re ON FIRE! lol

Tom February 15, 2011 at 6:17 pm

“Politically Correct” is now … officially … politically incorrect. The new term is ‘Brainstem-backbone Challenged.’

DJH February 15, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Would you want to get out in front of this empty suited charlatan, lying, cowardly, deceitful, race baiting clown? Why would anyone want to be the mouth piece for jimmy carters second failed term?

vla February 15, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Throw him out there, can’t wait to see him do the old Obama two-step. The press knew Gibbs was not worth his paycheck let alone an honest answer. Come on throw the guy out there and let’s see him dance!

d55may February 15, 2011 at 4:41 pm

These people are practiced “walk backers”!!!! Maybe he’s still practicing

smart@ssboy February 15, 2011 at 1:01 pm

What a putz. He should have had plenty of warm up’s having to be the frontman for Joe BiteMe and all of his flubs.

‘Course king barry could push the experience of anyone. Poor guy is probably thinking “What in the h3ll was I thinking? Can I work for a Repubilican?”

Jonboy February 15, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Work for a republican? so he can continue to announce sex scandals? We’re up to 12 and counting the last 2 years alone.

Dee February 16, 2011 at 12:01 am

So you’re counting sex scandals now? Does John Edwards ring any bells with you? Bill Clinton’s Oval Office escapades? McGreevey, Spitzer, Barney Frank…the list is just as long for dems. How about tax cheats which would include almost all of Obama’s appointees.

chris February 15, 2011 at 1:01 pm

obama carries himself with the authority of a school ground bully.

TPP February 15, 2011 at 1:02 pm

where’s the gravitose in this president????

noel jones February 15, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Robert Gibbs left with zilch for credibility. If Jay has any integrity, he’ll really suck at this job and I predict, he will really suck at this job. His self preservation will find him leaving too soon and this administration groveling for excuses.

Except you possess a doctorate in charlatanism, how does one stand behind a public podium to evade, dilute and twist the truth to historic proportions?

The bamboozling mislabeling strategy of every issue is a requirement of this administration, for this job. It’s certain that Jay Carney cannot stay long.

Peter Ducker February 15, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Hell be fine – no one will notice or even care about yet another “incompetent amateur” in the White House “Locker Room” – he might even make Gibbs (or even Dee Dee Myers!) look almost competent – oh for Tony Snow ?

Dee February 16, 2011 at 12:02 am

I miss Ari Fleischer.

Jacob February 15, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Is it required of a PR man to show up at the podium on day one? I find this much ado about nothing. Secondly, a thought on the 2012 budget released on Mon, Feb 14th 2011; before dissecting this budget congress should pass the 2011 budget. How can a 2012 budget be resolved if the 2011 budget hasn’t been? Thirdly, if “incipient” revolutions make allies take notice and prepare for the worst, then we have truly built a house of cards masked as strategic alliances.

Jonathan Scherck February 15, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Mr. Koffler:

Here’s one question certain to throw Jay Carney for a loop in the coming days–if someone were to ask: What is the administration’s honest assessment of Saudi Arabia’s ballistic missile capabilities in light of reports that Riyadh received CSS-5 missiles from China during the Bush-Cheney years?

Jonathan Scherck
author, Patriot Lost

Wasabi Peanut February 15, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Someone to inexperienced for the job they were given at an inopportune time…sounds like he is a perfect fit for this administration.

Mike February 15, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Can he do any worse than President Moron?

CC February 15, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Hey guys, what’s the rush? It’s just one more inexperienced groupie hiding in the back room trying to figure out how NOT to make his nose grow each time he tells a lie. Obviously, the rest of the administration have it down pat. I’m still sticking with my viewpoint: Carney’s should stick to the circus. Oh wait, he is…

Massimo Deportado February 15, 2011 at 1:37 pm

His former job was to keep Joe Biden in check?
We ALL know what a GREAT job liitle lib weenie did with THAT!
LLW’s going to be slaughtered!

Star February 15, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Pluffy’s poodle–love that one, Keith! You know, by hiding under the desk (as O’Reilly likes to say), Carney has lowered the bar so low now he can’t lose…just showing up would be an act of consummate mastery!

Steve February 15, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Dude, 17 million people in this country are unemployed. Who gives a damn.

Larry Garnier February 15, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Please learn how to use the word “myriad.” You incorrectly wrote: “…cuts, and a myriad of programs.” Correct: “…cuts, and myriad programs.”

Keith Koffler February 15, 2011 at 3:20 pm


tka1115 February 15, 2011 at 5:08 pm


Usage Discussion of MYRIAD
Recent criticism of the use of myriad as a noun, both in the plural form myriads and in the phrase a myriad of, seems to reflect a mistaken belief that the word was originally and is still properly only an adjective. As the entries here show, however, the noun is in fact the older form, dating to the 16th century. The noun myriad has appeared in the works of such writers as Milton (plural myriads) and Thoreau (a myriad of), and it continues to occur frequently in reputable English. There is no reason to avoid it.

Keith Koffler February 15, 2011 at 5:37 pm

tka, laxxandy – thank you. I have now checked a myriad of sources on this issue – I do also care about such things – and have determined that my original usage – “myriad of” – is acceptable. I appreciate your help. It is Mr. Garnier who stands corrected, though I do appreciate his attempt to broaden the use of proper English, even if mistaken.

Tom February 15, 2011 at 6:19 pm

… like the word, there is a myriad of Obama’s. Can I say that? Mr. Garnier? Comment?

RufusVonDufus February 15, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Did you understand what he was saying? If so, that is all that really matters to a myriad of people.

allen liles February 15, 2011 at 1:54 pm

With the early WH departure of Gibbs, Axelrod and Emmanuel, I believe there is a 50-50 chance that President Obama will opt out of seeking a second term. LBJ did not bow out until March 31, 1968, seven months before the presidential election that year. 2011 is the key. If the approval ratings do not go well north of 50% by year’s end, a university presidency at Harvard, Stanford or the University of Chicago may look ever more enticing.

Regulas February 15, 2011 at 1:58 pm

He is still in “How to be a convincing habitual liar” class. He has to in order to spin the lies from his Kenyan boss.

GarandFan February 15, 2011 at 2:08 pm

Improvise? Why not, his boss does that every day.

Nightwriter February 15, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Poor old Jay is probably getting his chip adjusted so the lame stream media will buy his spin! Is the communist head at the red house even capable of hiring competent staff or has political correctness and affirmative action run amuck there!

Mark Smith February 15, 2011 at 2:28 pm

What difference does it make if Jay Carney shows or not?

They will just send out the talking points and you will dutifully report them as facts with no follow up anyway

RufusVonDufus February 15, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Bingo, we have a winner!

juaniguana February 15, 2011 at 5:30 pm

second that!

Bill February 15, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Just like his boss…. not ready for prime time.

Tom February 15, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Fleisher: “Scripted.”
Gibbs: “Scripted.”
Carney: “Scripted.”

No wonder 87% of Americans do *not* trust their government.

Tom in NY February 15, 2011 at 2:49 pm

I’m familiar with Carney from his appearances (now a long time ago) on the McLaughlin group and from his writings. He is a decent Washington journalist. But if he’s not ready to take the podium on day one of being White House Press Secretary, they gave the job to the wrong person.

Archy Cary February 15, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Jay Carney any relation to Art?

RufusVonDufus February 15, 2011 at 4:09 pm


Roger Johnson February 15, 2011 at 3:26 pm

How appropriate can it get. A president who doesn’t know what he’s doing with a press secretary who doesn’t know what he’s saying. I’d be laughing my head off if I didn’t feel so sick.

Bob February 15, 2011 at 3:29 pm

This guy is proably puking somewhere. He’s been given the most thankless job in the world. Maybe he won’t stutter and uh, uh ,uh like Gibbs did. Gibbs was a clown.

Linda February 15, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Give him a while… takes time to get all the lies straight.

CV February 15, 2011 at 3:33 pm

I love Obama, even at his presser today he still can lie with that sh*t eating grin.

William Hurd February 15, 2011 at 3:37 pm

This administration is an absolute joke. Even with 4 years it will take decades to undo the damage done by these socialist morons. How in the name of God can there still be supporters. Heaven help our next generation and beyond!!!

R. Nevlle February 15, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Anybody hear Glenn Beck’s montage of audio clips yesterday where Gibbs responded to questions with, “well, I’m not…..xxxx”? You fill in the XXX’s…everything from “lawyer”, to “expert on China”, and on an on and on. Whatever it took for Gibbs to dodge giving an answer, and you could hear some of the questions. They weren’t tricky. Example: if the question was about the economy, Gibbs would simply say, “Well, I’m not an economist so I can’t comment on that.” It was hilarious.

Tom February 15, 2011 at 6:31 pm

I watched it.


Gibbs is such a Marxicrat.

Mark February 15, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Remember the episode of ‘The West Wing’ when Josh filled in at the briefing for CJ? Disaster. I wonder if that is what they fear?

chris February 15, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Gibbs made me sick, especially with that sore on his lip, I like this guy better already.

ralph February 15, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Yuk Yuk – the blind leading the blind. Down “field blocking,” You ain’t
too good at QBing Mr O.

MDWhite February 15, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Hey, it’s a matter of priorities. I hear there was a parking lot sale at Bed, Bath & Beyond.

chris February 15, 2011 at 4:00 pm

They should start playing calliopi music in the backround when these idiots talk.

Jon February 15, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Nobody else in the White House has any experience doing their jobs, so why should the new press secretary be required to have any?

Anthony February 15, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Have you ever seen a more unprofessional administration.

Todd P February 15, 2011 at 4:08 pm

This Administration only engages the press when it feels it can safely dole out what has traditionally been known as “propoganda”. The Admin. feels “above the law” and NBC, CBS, MSNBC, and CNN are providing cover and support to this corrupt, “Chicago-thug” bunch occupying the White House.
PS- 1.-most “schoolyard bullies” are actually INSECURE pansies and 2.- community organizer used to be known as “communist agitator”……

CommonCents February 15, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Let’s call him exactly what he is for this regime:

The new Minister of Propaganda.

VoterX February 15, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Amazing that we have such a bunch of total buffoons in the WH.

When will the insanity end?

Tom February 15, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Possibly in 2012 if the cocktail-swilling, elite, rich, buffoons of the Republican Party get their shyte together and put a REAL CONSERVATIVE on the ballot

-not Romney
-not Huckabee, and certainly not the prissy wimp

If the RINO bluebloods have their way, we will loose the election and Obama will be able to continue destroying the country until 2016.

Trump’s the only one (I beleive) who can beat the boy President because Trump will GO AFTER this prig in the debates and *squash* him like the twerp he is. The RINO’s, who BEG the liberal MSM for coverage will simply bend over and hand Obama the lube.

thussaiththewalrus February 15, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Your version of a “real” conservative would be able to pull about 30% of the electorate IF he could get on the ballot.

Your version of a “real” conservative would not even be able to get on the Republican ticket.

And, your version of a “real” conservative would not be able to raise the necessary funding (“real” conservatives are notoriously cheap).

And, your version of a “real” conservative does not have the REAL WORLD EXPERIENCE to solve the problems that the post-Obama president will be faced with.

Face it! Your version of a “real” conservative cannot get elected to any post more complicated than city council, school board, or dog catcher.

WHY? Because intelligent voters know that your version of “real” conservatives are nothing but ideological windbags!

PS: Learn to spell “believe” and learn that only former Democrats use the term RINO! (Real Republicans know that RINO is used by former Democrats who have become conservatives. They are not Republicans, they remain “conservative” Democrats, which is why they still call names and still whine around the clock. Democrat to the core (and still demanding the “government” solve their problems), but wearing a “conservative” label.)

Tom February 16, 2011 at 10:45 am

What bullshit.

1. Your obviously either a liberal Republican or liberal-Marxist Democrat. What you say has absolutely NO basis.

2. The Rep Party is undergoing a civil war for its soul: we MUST target RINO liberals and show them the front door. Though I agree with the big tent theory, thats for social issues, not ideological ones.

3. You are correct: I am an ideologue. Ideology is the reason the Democrats voted in a liberal, Marxist, pro-Islamic bigot to office … on guilt alone.

4. Do us a favor: LEAVE our party.

retiredcopper February 15, 2011 at 4:27 pm

It sounds to me like Mr. Carney is not up to the job or the thought of him being the head cheerleader for the Obama administrations bs is making him sick to his stomach. At any rate, the man is not ready for prime time and should go back to reporting.

Handy Andy February 15, 2011 at 4:41 pm

The mind control procedure isn’t quite complete for Carney. Another day or two and the brain implants will be activated and the procedure will be done. Then he’ll be ready to come out and lie to the reporters. Be patient!

YouCouldn'tMakeThisStuffUp February 15, 2011 at 4:43 pm

He’s in an undisclosed location, getting pointers from Sarah Palin, on what NOT to say.

astralweeks February 15, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Hasn’t spoken for two days? I already like this guy better than Butterball Gibbs.