Jen Psaki is the White House Press Secretary, a job with tremendous responsibility. But Psaki’s tone and refusal to take herself too seriously serves her well in dodging loaded questions and keeping her focus narrow. Yesterday, Psaki took the sizzle out of a “gotcha” question premised upon a Right-Wing memo working its way around Congress, but not the White House. Rather than engaging in a debate over a memo they’d not seen, Psaki called it the “mysterious secret memo.”
She defanged the question, immediately.
Today, Steven Nelson of the Trumpy New York Post, took a shot at criticizing the Biden administration via Kamala Harris by implying that she was off having fun rather than actually working on issues assigned to her. Watch this self-serving set-up:
Nelson on Harris: “She hasn’t visited the border or Central America or spoken with leaders of El Salvador or Honduras. She traveled this week, took time to visit a bakery in Chicago. I’m wondering is she still working on this [border issue] and can you address the perception that she’s kind of quietly backing off?”
Psaki saw exactly what Nelson was trying to do, mix it all up a bit and throw in an accusation that Harris is so lazy about immigration that she has time to tour bakeries.
So Jen let Nelson have it: “There’s a whole lot packed in there. The vice president was visiting Chicago actually to talk COVID and the importance of communities getting the vaccine when it’s available and accessible to them.”
COVID vaccination is the issue out there, and its critical to ensure that all communities have access. That’s official and important work. And then the Psaki-boom:
“And so while she was there, like many Americans, she got a snack. I think she’s allowed to do that.”
While out of town, Harris got a snack, just like many Americans. Well done. Once again, we see Psaki refuse to engage a gotcha question and bring the sizzle factor back down by making it sound so mundane. She didn’t “visit a bakery” (which some might see as an official 2-hour visit,) nope, VP Harris “got a snack,” and is someone going to complain if a person gets a snack?
We have to believe that Steven Nelson was an inch shorter after leaving the place.
[email protected] and on Twitter @JasonMiciak