Congrats, Jay. Remember, answering any question about debt and sustainability is an easy three-step process. First, acknowledge in terms as vaguely as possible that we’re near a “tipping point” before quickly steering the conversation back towards, say, high-speed rail. If the press corps won’t let you get away with that, acknowledge that the White House is always willing to have a conversation about “bipartisan solutions” but take care not to suggest any actual solutions yourself. And third, needless to say, be sure to finish by touting the “savings” in ObamaCare.
And if all that fails, pretend to be offended by something a Republican said. E.g., according to Bloomberg News, Michele Bachmann responded to Obama’s absolutely shameless call for a balanced budget in the SOTU by calling it “absolutely shameless.” Highly uncivil. You never see Democrats behaving like that, do you?
Carney, now the communications director for Vice President Biden, is the marquee move as he will assume perhaps the most high profile staff job in the White House.
He came to the Administration in 2008 after a long career in journalism that included serving as Washington bureau chief of Time magazine. Carney is married to ABC News’ correspondent Claire Shipman.
The White House had made clear it was interested in tapping an outsider for the post — particularly after Bill Daley was named the new chief of staff. Yet finding a successor to Gibbs has been no easy task. He enjoyed a close relationship with Obama dating back to 2004 when he worked on the president’s Senate campaign.
Gibbs is expected to open his own consulting operation and appear on television as a prominent surrogate for the president. He will also be involved in the planning stages of Obama’s reelection bid, which will be led by current deputy White House chief of staff Jim Messina.
Another pro-tip for Carney as he prepares to take the podium: No more sinister accusations about the Chamber of Commerce being the pawn of a shadowy cabal of foreigners. Turns out they’re the good guys now. Exit question: What sort of crack messaging machine is Carney joining here? Have a look at this and judge for yourself.