Only in Washington could a pair of spokeswomen become “controversial.”
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Jen Psaki and Marie Harf—has there ever been a higher-profile female duo in PR land?—are frequently in the news for what they say from the State Department podium and in TV interviews. Psaki’s influence will be even greater now that she’s been named White House communications director.
Public people, of course, have to be held accountable for what they say, and at times spokesmen slip up. Much of the messaging in the war against terror has fallen to Psaki and Harf, and that’s a rough assignment given how the Obama administration has struggled to define its approach to ISIS.
But the critics should keep this in mind: Professional flacks are paid to deliver the boss’s message—and sometimes to deflect the slings and arrows aimed at him. That’s been true of Josh Earnest, Jay Carney, Robert Gibbs, Dana Perino, Tony Snow, Scott McClellan, Ari Fleischer, Joe Lockhart, Mike McCurry, Dee Dee Myers, Marlin Fitzwater, and on and on.