Raise your hand if you’re surprised about this….

Jay Carney with Joe Biden and Robert Gibbs

Lloyd Grove has a veeeerrrry interesting post up at The Daily Beast on Obama’s new press secretary Jay Carney. Unlike Robert Gibbs, who had easy access to the president, Carney doesn’t even report directly to Obama. According to Grove Carney

is expected to be far more responsive to the needs of his erstwhile colleagues than the sometimes flippant Gibbs. The 39-year-old Gibbs, a trusted Obama confidant since the latter’s 2004 Senate race, has experienced occasionally tense relations with press room regulars and is notorious for not returning phone calls.

Carney is a champ at returning phone calls.

But he’s not an Obama insider—hardly an advantage when toiling for an insular politician who is naturally wary of newcomers and relies on a tight circle of advisers and intimates. Some White House veterans, including at least one former presidential press secretary, worry that Carney won’t receive the necessary access to Obama, and other policymakers at key meetings, to speak from the podium with the authority that Gibbs unquestionably enjoyed.

Carney will report “to White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer, who in turn reports to senior presidential adviser David Plouffe,” according to this story in the Washington Post

With Carney’s appointment comes a major structural shift: All of the operations of the press and communications shops will move under the control of communications director Dan Pfeiffer. Previously, the press shop had reported to the press secretary. Carney will technically report to Pfeiffer, something of a downgrading of that role, although they are expected to function as equals.

Grove talked to Ron Nessen, Gerald Ford’s press secretary about the Carney appointment.

“If the press secretary is not reporting directly to the president, his boss, I think it’s going to be a disaster,” Nessen told me, adding that he made sure to meet with Ford every day at 11 a.m. for half an hour before briefing the press. “How can you accurately reflect the president’s thinking if you have to go through two layers? That was one of the conditions I made with Ford when I took the job—that I would have direct access to him, and that I could attend any meeting I wanted.”

Anne Compton, WH correspondant for ABC news also expressed doubts about the access Carney will have to Obama.

“I became suspicious when the president didn’t announce [Carney’s elevation]; Bill Daley did,” Compton told me, referring to the new chief of staff. “When Tony Snow came on, Bush announced it. When Scott McClellan left, Bush announced it. I think this time, it was stunning, and it was stunningly clear when the president did not make this announcement that the new press secretary will not be duplicating what Robert Gibbs has done for the past two years.”

Just exactly whom does President Obama deal with directly? I assume Axelrod was also a confidante, along with Gibbs, but they are leaving the WH. I know Valerie Jarrett is very close to Obama.

Anne Compton told the Daily Beast’s Grove that David Plouffe is the one who will be in meetings with Obama. So he’ll be briefing Dan Pfeiffer and then Carney will get everything from him?

It looks like Obama has decided to find a new way to give the press as little real information as possible. With Gibbs, it was dismissive, snarky treatment of press questions and refusal to return phone calls; with Carney, it will be friendly, responsive behavior, but little firsthand knowledge to share with the media.

12 Comments on “Raise your hand if you’re surprised about this….”

  1. Minkoff Minx says:

    BB, this is so ridiculous…do you think that it can get anymore “high school like” as far as this Administration is concerned. I am disgusted, once again.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Unfortunately, Obama can probably get more “high school like.” He continually surprises me by being worse than I ever expected.

  2. dakinikat says:

    OT: MSNBC: “Mubarak getting ready to give up office”

    • bostonboomer says:

      The people in the streets reject Suleiman.

      • bostonboomer says:

        On the other hand:

        “The Israelis are happy with Omar Suleiman, he has been pivotal in the peace process, he’s someone they know and someone they can deal with,” said Maha Azzam, a fellow at Chatham House, a London-based international affairs research institute. “I would say the Saudis would be happy with Omar Suleiman. I think they’d want a strong man in Egypt like Suleiman.”

        Cables released by Wikileaks suggest he is also well regarded in Washington and at the Central Intelligence Agency.

        Doesn’t everyone love a torturer?

  3. Minkoff Minx says:

    Just heard that Obama asked Murabak not to run in Sept. elections.

    Obama Urges Mubarak Not to Run Again – NYTimes.com

    • Dario says:

      Obama is not very original. I think that Mubarak came up with the idea that he’d not run in the next election, and Obama seconded the motion.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Yeah, but not that he should step down now. What a coward Obama is.

  4. Dario says:

    Mubarak wants to postpone his departure, probably with the support of Obama and Israel. That will help the U.S. to influence what the next government is going to be. The Egyptians are not going to go along with that idea.

    Obama is a loser.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Dak has an Egypt live blog up, so please move all Egypt talk up there so it will all be in the same place.

  6. Sima says:

    I have to admit, I’m totally not surprised that the ‘transparent’ President would do this. Wonder if the press will start to question and protest now?