Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during a press briefing at the White House in February. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
GUEST BLOG / By Tom Jones, Senior Media Writer, The Poynter Report--Karine Jean-Pierre will become the new White House press secretary when Jen Psaki steps down at the end of next week. Jean-Pierre is currently a deputy press secretary and will take over after Psaki’s last day, announced to be May 13.
The big announcement — and history — was made Thursday. In a statement, President Joe Biden said, “Karine not only brings the experience, talent and integrity needed for this difficult job, but she will continue to lead the way in communicating about the work of the Biden-Harris Administration on behalf of the American people.” He added, “Jen Psaki has set the standard for returning decency, respect and decorum to the White House Briefing Room.”
That’s for sure. Psaki has earned rave reviews for the job she has done. Chris Wallace, back when he was with Fox News, called Psaki “one of the best press secretaries ever.” Psaki will join MSNBC after leaving the White House.
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins wrote, “Last May, Jean-Pierre became the second Black woman in history to hold the daily press briefing. She has served on the White House’s senior communications team since Biden took office and before that was an adviser to his campaign and chief of staff to now-Vice President Kamala Harris. Jean-Pierre is familiar with her new role.
She is often in the room when Psaki briefs reporters, has filled in for her for at the lectern and has also gaggled with reporters traveling with Biden on Air Force One. Recently, she replaced Psaki at the last minute for Biden's four-day trip to Europe amid the Russian invasion after Psaki tested positive for COVID-19 the day before Biden was scheduled to leave.”
So now for the history part of this.
In a Twitter thread Thursday, Psaki called Jean-Pierre a “remarkable woman.” Psaki added, “She will be the first Black woman and the first openly LGBTQ+ person to serve as the White House Press Secretary. Representation matters and she will give a voice to many, but also make many dream big about what is truly possible.” Psaki also wrote, “She is passionate. She is smart and she has a moral core that makes her not just a great colleague, but an amazing Mom and human. Plus, she has a great sense of humor. … I can’t wait to see her shine as she brings her own style, brilliance and grace to the podium.”
CBS News’ Kathryn Watson writes, “Jean-Pierre, 44, was born in France and is the partner of CNN's Suzanne Malveaux. They have a young daughter. She worked for the Biden and Obama campaigns, and has served as an NBC and MSNBC political analyst.”