Linking to this Washington Times item on the deputy White House press secretary who’s taking Tony Snow’s place while he’s recovering from cancer, Kathryn Jean Lopez describes her as “Dana Perino, American Hero“:
One veteran reporter describes 5-foot-1-inch as “a little tiny thing,” but the deputy White House press secretary brings to her job a big reputation for brains and the Wild West toughness of her native Wyoming.
Witness her recent exchange with Helen Thomas, who has covered every presidency since she followed the Kennedy campaign to Washington. When Mrs. Thomas, 86, kept firing questions at Mrs. Perino, 34, the presidential spokeswoman cut her off.
“Do you want me to answer the question, Helen, or do you want to ask questions? It’s really hard to concentrate here. What’s your question?” Mrs. Perino demanded.
Mrs. Thomas replied, “You repeat yourself so much that. ”
“So do you,” Mrs. Perino interrupted, then immediately called on another reporter.
Mrs. Perino is “the first press secretary to cut Helen Thomas no slack,” said Ann Compton of ABC News, who has spent more than three decades as a White House correspondent.