They Tried and Failed to Oust KJP

AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

Karine Jean-Pierre is indisputably one of the worst communications professionals in politics. 

That isn't a controversial statement. She sucks. She is as quick on her feet as Biden, which is to say not at all, and as convincing a communicator as Joe Isuzu. Remember Joe Isuzu? He at least was an obvious joke. 


KJP represents the President of the United States.

The New York Post published a scoop this morning about a failed plan to gracefully oust Jean-Pierre and about why it failed. As you might imagine, it all comes down to why she was hired: the White House wants to virtue signal so they can't fire her and KJP knows that. She has the upper hand and she is using it to stay put

WASHINGTON — Top aides to President Biden secretly hatched a plan this past fall to replace White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre by recruiting outside allies to nudge her out the door, The Post has learned.

Jean-Pierre, who made history in May 2022 by becoming the first black and first openly gay person to hold the position, had developed the exasperating habit of reading canned answers directly from a binder to reporters at her regular briefings — offering what her superiors viewed as a less-than-compelling pitch for the 81-year-old Biden as he readied his re-election campaign.

De facto White House communications chief Anita Dunn, 66, the wife of Biden personal attorney Bob Bauer, told colleagues she had decided to call in prominent Democrats to explain to Jean-Pierre, 49, that the time was ripe to move on, sources told The Post.

I wrote in February about the White House promoting John Kirby as sort of a co-spokesman for the president. Theoretically, his job is to speak to national security issues as the comms director of the NSA, but as often as not he is put out there to answer the tough questions. Kirby is vastly more intelligent and smoother at the podium than Jean-Pierre, and he is hampered more by having to defend pure idiocy than by any faults in his skills. 


Jean-Pierre has no skills. She has the right DNA and sexual preference, and that's it. Not to mention that voters that fit her demographic--black Haitian lesbians of modest intelligence--are a lock for the president. He has their votes, I would assume. 

“There were a number of people she asked to engage Karine,” said one source who heard of the strategy directly from Dunn, whose role as senior adviser has been filled during the past three presidencies by Jared Kushner (Donald Trump), Valerie Jarrett (Barack Obama) and Karl Rove (George W. Bush).

The source also told The Post that Dunn had claimed White House chief of staff Jeff Zients knew about and supported the cloak-and-dagger scheme to push Jean-Pierre out of the West Wing.

The author, Steven Nelson, is taking liberties here. What he is describing is normal Washington politics, not Cloak and Dagger plots. It is the old "help them fail upward" strategy you use when you want people gone. Give them a nominally better job with better pay and then wish them good riddance. 

Cloak and Dagger sounds good, though. Not criticizing Steven, but you have to admit that was a stretch. 

“There was an effort to have some outside folks who Karine knows and trusts talk to her about why leaving last fall would have made a lot of sense for her and her career,” the source said, calling it an “effort to encourage her to move along.”

Jean-Pierre, the person added, “had been in the job for a year and a half at that point, which is a pretty standard tenure for a press secretary in what is admittedly a very demanding job [and] Jeff and Anita [tried] to have folks that she would listen to and trust talk to her about why it might be wise to do that.”


I would have loved it if I could have failed upward like that. KJP's job isn't exactly low-paid, but her next one will likely be in the 7 figures. If somebody tried to move me along like that, I would happily march out the door, confident that my future was secure. 

Playing ball is the smart way to go. I have seen even competent people get blackballed for not toeing the line, and KJP is as competent as your typical blue-haired alphabet activist first-grade teacher.

“There’s a huge diversity issue and they’re afraid of what folks are going to say,” added this source, who said they learned of the effort from multiple people briefed by Dunn and confirmed at least one person from outside the administration did speak with Jean-Pierre.

The revelation of Dunn’s plan is likely to make for awkward workplace dynamics, the first source said, but is unlikely to result in Jean-Pierre’s departure.

“She has been pretty consistent in telling people from the minute she got the job that she was going to stay through the election,” they said. 

“I think Karine has decided to stay come hell or high water and that’s that.”

While Jean-Pierre isn’t going anywhere, the issues that brought about Dunn’s failed machinations remain — with both sources saying the press secretary is too reliant on notes to provide the pushback and quick-thinking repartee needed to effectively champion Biden’s cause.

“Karine doesn’t have an understanding of the issues and she reads the book [binder] word-for-word,” said the second source, adding that the situation is made worse by the fact that “she thinks she’s doing an amazing job.”

“She doesn’t have a grasp of the issues and doesn’t spend the time to learn,” this person said.


Well, yeah. As I said, she sucks at her job, and if they cared about competence instead of virtue-signaling, they would just fire the woman (or whatever she thinks she is today). 

This sort of failure to do the smart thing is one reason I think Biden will not be replaced. As long as he wants to be at the top of the ticket he will be. 

Call it "sitzkrieg." Biden doesn't want to go, and nobody wants to look bad kicking him out the door, no matter how big a liability he is. 

Call it the "Milton" syndrome, named after the famous Office Space character who was fired but kept coming to work and getting a paycheck. 

In December, not long after word of Dunn’s plan circulated in the White House, Jean-Pierre received and rejected an unsolicited offer to become president of EMILYs List, a major Democratic group that raises money for female candidates who support expanded abortion rights.

When NBC News reported on the offer in February, the outlet said Jean-Pierre had emphatically told the group that she was “committed to the president” and “I’m not going anywhere.”

Both the initial offer to Jean-Pierre from EMILYs List and its disclosure to NBC are topics of intrigue within the White House — with unsubstantiated theories suggesting the hand of Dunn behind the approach and Jean-Pierre behind its leak.

Of course Anita Dunn was behind the offer and Jean-Pierre was behind the leak. This is Washington office politics at its finest, and at least in the short run Jean-Pierre is running circles around everyone. 


She has all the trump cards: black, Haitian, and lesbian. 

Take that, Anita!

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