Report: Jay Carney Stressed, Burnt Out

Thursday, 14 Mar 2013 03:03 PM

By Lisa Barron

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It may be time for White House Press Secretary Jay Carney to make a career change — again. At least that’s what many in Washington are saying, according to Mediaite columnist Joe Concha.

The former journalist seems to have lost his patience with the White House press corps, Concha wrote Wednesday, pointing to three incidents in the past few weeks where Carney has become combative with seasoned reporters during the daily briefings.

When NPR’s Mara Liasson asked whether entitlement reforms are part of the president’s budget plan, for example, Carney snapped, “Mara, the way you phrase that question makes me think that you’re still working on a typewriter or something.”

And when veteran CBS newsman Bill Plante asked Carney when Obama would release a budget, which was supposed to be done by February 4, Carney shot back, “I challenge virtually every premise of your question. I don’t know what your question is here.”

Carney began his career as a correspondent in Time magazine’s Moscow bureau in 1989, soon after graduating from Yale with a bachelor’s degree in Russian and Eastern European Studies. In 1993, he was promoted to Time White House correspondent and eventually became director of communications for Vice President Joe Biden.

Concha also cited a recent spat between Carney and George Will after the latter said he didn’t take Carney seriously, given his job to spin any news to be favorable to the President.

Carney reportedly responded by mocking Will, noting that “a few days before the election, I think he predicted a Romney landslide very confidently on television.”

“I will continue to take George Will seriously,” he added.

Concha suggested that Carney may be more “testy” because the White House has recently seen a sharp drop in opinion polls. He said there would be "no shame" if Carney decided to leave "given the precedence" that the last two presidents had three different press secretaries during their second terms.

"You’ve performed one of the most difficult water-collar jobs in the world for two years with passion and fortitude, but your patience looks to be at an end," Concha wrote. "The rest of the ride simply isn’t worth the stress of dealing with the press . . . Especially when you can become one of them again."

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