Who speaks for Joe Biden? According to a recent report, this is the question that’s being fought over in the White House.
Karine Jean-Pierre, the current White House Press Secretary, is not happy with John Kirby who runs communications for the National Security Council and encroaches on her territory. Kirby’s role has increased since the beginning of the Hamas/Israel war on October 7th. He often shares the podium with other officials and makes statements that are directly against the extreme left.
🚨🚨SCOOP-> White House podium battle: Tensions grow between Jean-Pierre and Kirby over who speaks for Biden. https://t.co/GWuwNvEM08
— Jim VandeHei (@JimVandeHei) January 5, 2024
They share the same podium, and they both feel frustrated. White House sources told Axios that John Kirby, the National Security Council press secretary, and Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House’s press secretary, often share the podium during media briefings. But behind the scenes, their relationship is fraught, they say.
Zoom in: The tension is partly due to the amount of time that each person gets on the podium.
Kirby, a Biden fan who is now the face of the White House’s response to Israel’s war with Hamas, has said he would like to become White House Press Secretary one day.
Jean-Pierre told people that she would stay on in her job until the end of the campaign and beyond if Biden wanted her. He also said he had asked her to not leave.
First, I wonder why anyone would even want to be Biden’s Press Secretary. Let alone fight for it. It’s still surprising that these leaks happen, and they are not accidental.
Jean-Pierre’s performance as press secretary has been a disaster. She has a bad reputation for her inability to answer questions, her tendency to make blatant errors, and her habit of reading verbatim out of a binder. Kirby is much more effective than Kirby for all his flaws. Jean-Pierre is probably not happy about this. He will be out of work if Biden is re-elected (and should have fired him a long time ago).
Jean-Pierre had not dealt with as many difficult stories in the media and was less experienced in combative briefings than Kirby or Psaki.
Jean-Pierre’s defenders claim that the arrangement made her job more difficult and undermined her right from the start. Some Black Democrats on Capitol Hill and in the Administration say that the situation is insulting because it implies that the first Black Press Secretary to represent the President needs supervision.
Why did she get the job if she didn’t have experience? Doesn’t this just show that she was promoted because she checked all the intersectional boxes? As for the complaint that Jean-Pierre’s arrangement with Kirby implies “supervision,” yeah, sure. She needs supervision because of how bad she has been at her job.
This infighting will not get any better. We will see more stories like this as Biden’s popularity continues to decline. The current administration, which is led by a senile, rudderless man, has no way to order his own home.
Kirby represents a moderate, older Washington. When that clashes against the extreme left, which largely staffs Biden’s White House, it will get messy. Wait until the election gets closer.