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Carney Stricken with Press Secretareitis

It’s a disease that strikes all White House press secretaries eventually, though owing to Jay Carney’s background as a reporter, it’s taken a little while in this case.

The disease involves a severe and often incurable inability to speak directly in answer to a question. It’s borne of a concern with revealing too much useful information, but also the knowledge that the whole world is watching, and that incorrect answers might move markets in the wrong direction or send furious Proletarians storming the palace gates of some overseas fiefdom we support.

And it strikes because you know the guy you might piss off is the president of the United States.

Carney was asked today during the gaggle a simple question, whether President Obama will actually be negotiating during tomorrow’s meeting with congressional leaders on the budget. He bobbed and weaved for a bit and then came up with this:

“I’m not disagreeing that negotiating is a word you might use.”

Jay’s a good guy, so I called a doctor – yes, um, a spin doctor – and he said there was nothing he could do.

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11 Responses to Carney Stricken with Press Secretareitis

  1. Thanks for letting us know what is going on behind the scenes Keith. Wonder if the person who asked the question interpreted his response the same as you. Most reporters just act like stenographers, reporting the answer with no follow-up and no attempt to explain the evasive nature of the response.

    Carney is stuck between a rock and a hard place. His boss never gives a definitive response to a question, so how can he? I don’t have a whole lot of sympathy for him. He is the one tap dancing around the question just so he can keep his job. Doubt whether a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to that question is going to cause the stock market to crash or add to the unrest in Greece.

    Now if the Republican leaders cave in to Obama and agree to raise taxes or close tax loopholes or whatever they call it when they’re shaking us down, a whole lot of us yokels will be showing up with our pitchforks and some tar and feathers to boot. The Republicans will win the praise of the Tea Party if they simply say CUT, CAP, AND BALANCE. Very simple words and the only way to pull us back from the edge of the cliff.

    • The Republicans can get the better of him if they only would show some guts.

      He’s not as calm as he would like people to think he is. He is easily riled up and could completely go to pieces if someone pushes his buttons.

      Today, he was riled up when he got the question from Boehner about jobs on the fake Twitter event. His body language reveled that.

  2. I get it: if the negotiations go well, then MrO gets the credit.
    If it’s a stalemate or someone storms out of the meeting, then it was the Repub’s fault.
    The WhiteHouse must be a fearsome work environment.