Jay Carney leaving the White House?

Put yourself in his shoes. He’s spent the last eight months defending a phantom “red line” in Syria, touting an online health-care exchange that didn’t work, and massaging a Crimean standoff with Russia in which the U.S. holds virtually no cards. With the possible exception of immigration reform, there’s nothing on the horizon legislatively that would make the White House happy this year and the very real possibility of another 2010-style beating from Republicans this fall — followed by two more years of bitter partisan warfare. You’d be burned out too.

Who’ll tell us “I have no information” or “I’d refer you to” someone else 85 percent of the time now?

Insiders very close to House White House Press Secretary Jay Carney indicate that he’s on his way out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, The Mirror has learned. Carney has told people he’s leaving the White House soon…

Before that, Carney was a journalist for The Miami Herald and later TIME and CNN. In the last 48 hours, Carney has been getting press attention from outlets like The Weekly Standard and the New York Daily News for plugging his wife, ABC’s Claire Shipman‘s, book —”Womenomics: Write Your Own Rules for Success” — during a press briefing. She has a new book on women and confidence co-written with BBC’s Katty Kay rolling out in mid-April.

In March of last year, Mediaite reported that Carney was “stressed and burnt out.” They wondered in a headline, “Time for Carney to go?”

His presumptive replacement is his deputy, Josh Earnest, who fills in occasionally for him now. Or maybe they’ll look to State and poach Jen Psaki, who recently reassured a Palestinian newspaper that the White House won’t require Palestine to recognize Israel as a Jewish state as part of any final peace agreement. O doesn’t want to leave office, I assume, having appointed fewer women to a plum spot like White House spokesman than Dubya did. And if Psaki doesn’t want it, there’s got to be some fair ‘n balanced reporter out there at a studiously impartial news agency who’d leap at the chance to be a mouthpiece for a Democratic president. That’s how they got Jay, after all.

Everyone thinks Carney will land as a contributor at CNN or MSNBC, but what kind of contributor? The kind who ardently defends the White House at every turn, like 95 percent of MSNBCers? Or the kind who, like his predecessor, takes care to criticize the White House from time to time to reestablish himself as an independent commentator? He’ll follow Gibbs on the latter path, I think; as a former reporter, it’s in his interest to rebuild some semblance of objectivity. There is, of course, a third route — he could write a tell-all book sandbagging the White House and endearing himself to the other party, like Scott McClellan did. (Jay Carney, Fox News contributor?) But then the media would hate him, and media’s his stock in trade. He’ll be a loyal soldier. It’ll be fun watching him on the funereal MSNBC election night roundtable, at least.

Update: C’mon.