White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Has Resigned, Hours After Eric Shinseki
Is Bo Obama next? Just hours after President Obama announced that Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki had handed in his resignation, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has also resigned. Deputy Josh Earnest will be filling Carney's vacated role. Obama appeared in front of press alongside Carney, and said of the transition, "Today the flak jacket is officially passed to a new generation."
The announcement came abruptly, when Obama interrupted Carney during Carney's response to a press question about Ukraine. "Jay has become one of my closest friends and is a great press secretary and a great adviser," the president announced. "He's got good judgement, he has good temperament and he's got a good heart. And I'm going to miss him a lot."
Carney had served as Press Secretary since 2011, replacing Robert Gibbs. Since he began his term, reporters had been frustrated with the amount of access to Obama they received, even going so far as to pen a letter outlining their disappointment. He also developed a reputation for regularly dodging reporters' questions, including those surrounding Shinseki that were asked on Thursday. Carney's expected to officially leave his job during mid to late June.
Mediate and The Daily Caller predicted in mid-March that Carney was set to leave the position. But Carney's resignation was a surprise to those sitting in the press briefing room — it aligned with a regularly scheduled press briefing. Plus, it was a one-two punch considering, just hours before, media had gathered to hear President Obama announce Shinseki's resignation following criticism of the White House's treatment of veterans.
The president praised Carney's "temperament" and "good heart," and added that he hoped Carney would be able to spend the summer with his kids. "I'm going to miss him a lot," he added.
"It's not all pretty," Carney said of being Press Secretary. "It could certainly be better. But to be part of it is certainly an honor and a joy for me.” The Press Secretary had previously served as a journalist for TIME, CNN, and other publications. Joe Concha wrote in Mediate earlier this month that "being a White House Press Secretary is arguably one of the toughest white collar jobs in the country."
Carney's replacement, Earnest, is a familiar face for many — the former deputy has worked with Obama since the Iowa caucuses in 2008. Earnest has long served as Carney's top deputy, and regularly fills in for the Press Secretary in Carney's absence.