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Karine Jean-Pierre at a press briefing as White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary in July 2021
by Mary Foran
The Biden Administration has named a new White House Press Secretary to replace Jen Psaki who will anchor a program on MSNBC.
Karine Jean-Pierre will be the first Black and openly gay woman to step into the pivotal role, a symbol of radical change after the Donald Trump era.
She will be facing rows of reporters and cameras and in so doing making White House history.
“Karine is the right person to carry the weight of being a history-maker but that aspect of it will last all of five warm minutes at the podium,” predicted Patrick Gaspard, a long-time colleague who is now chief executive of the Center for American Progress thinktank in Washington. “Karine knows she’s got to be better prepared than anyone.”
In her baptism of fire, Jean-Pierre will be Biden’s top messenger, tackling the issues of inflation, the Ukraine, and the national shortage of baby formula that has been rampant as of late. This, as the Democratic party is bracing for November election losses that could end its control of Congress.
The 47 year old Karine was born in Martinique to Haitian parents and was raised in the Queens Village neighborhood in New York.
She worked for James Sanders, then city council member in New York, now a state senator, and at the Center for Community and Corporate Ethics, pushing large companies such as Walmart to change their business practices.
She has not always picked winners to work for, such as Congressman Anthony Weiner and John Edwards, both of whom fell from grace in sex scandals.
Karine worked on Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and then in the Obama White House as a regional director in the office of political affairs.
Patrick Gaspard explained,” There is a deep sense of public service and integrity of governance that’s really important to most immigrant communities and certainly for Haitian-Americans who appreciate there are opportunities in democratic service available to them here that are tragically denied at home.”
Karine Jean-Pierre is said to have the ideal temperament for the pressure cooker of the White House briefing room with its sometimes hostile questioning.
Joe Biden’s popularity in the polls has plummeted since he took office. Jean-Pierre will have her work cut out for her making sense of Biden’s tax and spend policies.
Featured image/Official White House Photo, Cameron Smith, PD via Wikipedia
Walmart/Mike Mozart, CC BY2.0 via Flickr, cropped
Baby formula feeding-bottle/narissa’s ring, CC BY2.0 via Flickr, rotated
Jean Pierre at “pressure cooker” White House briefing room/Official White House Photo, Erin Scott, PD via Wikimedia Commons
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