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Jen Psaki Won't Be Missed

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki will be giving up her job as Joe Biden’s chief propagandist in the White House for a new job as Joe Biden’s propagandist at MSNBC, and I have to say she won’t be missed. Soon, we’ll get to see Black Lesbian Woman™ Karine Jean-Pierre behind the podium daily and prove whether she has the chops that her predecessor clearly did not.

Karine Jean-Pierre has filled in for Psaki on several occasions, but it remains to be seen whether she can handle the task of being the Biden administration’s mouthpiece every day. Honestly, I can’t imagine she could be any worse than Jen Psaki.

Psaki has never struck me as even marginally good at her job. A few weeks after she first graced us with her presence behind the White House podium, we learned about the White House effort to screen questions in advance of the daily press briefings. It was a shocking revelation in one respect, but then again, it kind of made sense because she never seemed to be well prepared at press briefings.

Her first week on the job, in particular, was embarrassing—and not just because the White House press corps gave her an endless stream of softball questions and swooned when she “vowed” to “bring truth and transparency” back to the White House briefing room.

What was embarrassing was how quickly Psaki gave up the pretense of honesty and transparency by dodging questions in the briefing room, telling reporters that she’d “circle back” to various questions about Biden’s activities. That tendency to avoid answering questions earned her the nickname “Circle Back Girl.”

Honestly, I can’t imagine how even Psaki thought she was any good at the job. Trying to defend Biden’s presidency or explain away his senility isn’t an easy job, and it must have taken a toll on her as she was planning her exit strategy a year ago. Last May, she appeared on “The Axe Files,” a CNN podcast hosted by former Obama advisor David Axelrod, and revealed that she was expecting to move on in about a year—and that’s precisely what she did.

Perhaps the only thing that I’ll miss when Psaki leaves the White House for bluer pastures is not getting to see Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy humiliate her daily. As one of the only reporters in the room willing to ask her tough questions in an otherwise unbearable hearing, watching him destroy her was always good for a laugh.

One of my favorites was an exchange from March when Doocy called her out for the administration’s efforts to deflect blame on inflation.

“We just heard you say again that you think inflation is going to be temporary,” Doocy pointed out. “We’ve heard you say that it was going to be temporary since last spring. So how long do you guys think temporary is?”

Game!

And after her embarrassing deflection of blame on the assessments of the Federal Reserve, Doocy then called out the administration again for blaming Putin.

“And so to that point, inflation goes up today. The president’s statement blames the ‘Putin price hike.’ Are you guys just going to start blaming Putin for everything until the midterms?”

Set!

After another word salad from Psaki in which she tried to justify blaming Putin, Doocy pointed out that a month earlier, Biden blamed the pandemic for inflation.

Match!

Perhaps one of the lowest moments was when Psaki falsely insisted that the Biden administration hadn’t left Americans stranded in Afghanistan.

“Does the President have a sense that most of the criticism is not of leaving Afghanistan, it’s the way that he has ordered it to happen — by pulling the troops before getting these Americans who are now stranded?  Does he have a sense of that?” Doocy asked.

“First of all, I think it’s irresponsible to say Americans are stranded,” Psaki snapped back. “They are not. We are committed to bringing Americans, who want to come home, home. We are in touch with them via phone, via text, via e-mail, via any way that we can possibly reach Americans to get them home if they want to return home.”

“‘There are no Americans stranded’ is the White House’s official position on what’s happening in Afghanistan right now?” he replied.

“I’m just calling you out for saying that we are stranding Americans in Afghanistan, when I — when we have been very clear that we are not leaving Americans who want to return home,” she said. “We are going to bring them home. And I think that’s important for the American public to hear and understand.”

It was amusing how Doocy managed to get Psaki to deny that Americans had been stranded in Afghanistan but then admit that the administration was trying to bring stranded Americans home.

I sure hope Doocy’s exchanges with Jean-Pierre are equally memorable. And for the sake of the administration, I hope Jean-Pierre proves to be a more competent press secretary.