Aspiring Toward Mediocrity: Karine Jean-Pierre – Karine Jean-Pierre spent most of her career as a middling campaign adviser for a series of failed Democratic Party candidates and bland causes. She worked for the John Edwards Presidential Campaign in 2004 (remember his dreamy hair?) and, in 2016, she worked for former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley (his tenure as mayor of crime-ridden Baltimore was so legendary that a character on HBO’s The Wire was based on him).
In between political campaign stints, Pierre worked for MoveOn.org, that old Progressive grassroots organization that originated out of Democratic Party opposition to the Republican-led impeachment of President Bill Clinton.
Karine Jean-Pierre also had a sinecure at Columbia University as an adjunct professor teaching international and public affairs (she is also a graduate of Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs).
I guess because Pierre hails originally from Martinique, France (by way of Haiti), that made her qualified to teach on international affairs? I thought the Democrats loved expertise.
Sure, Pierre operated in 2008 and 2012 as both a campaign surrogate for Barack Obama as well as the National Deputy Battleground States Director for Obama’s reelection campaign (sort of sounds like Dwight Schrute’s Assistant to the Regional Manager self-important title).
And Karine Jean-Pierre worked for a spell in the Obama White House’s press office in the first term. Afterward, Pierre was among the humiliated former Obama people who went to lick their wounds—and vent their perennial rage—at having unexpectedly lost the White House to Donald J. Trump in 2016 at MSNBC.
But those positions aren’t as impressive as one would think they are. Especially when there were infinitely more qualified people with much more impressive resumes who could have risen to become White House press secretary.
Perhaps those more qualified people simply did not seek to be a spokesperson for such an embattled president, like Joe Biden?
Karine Jean-Pierre – Incessant Box Checker
Although belonging to Generation-X, Pierre reminds me more of a Millennial (my generation) in that her career choices seem safe and uninspired. At times, they’re downright mediocre (for national politics).
It just screams incessant box-checker. Like Pete Buttigieg’s resume. And we all know how he’s turned out as the secretary of transportation.
What’s more, her choices in candidates—with the exception of Barack Obama, who was truly a once-in-a-lifetime candidate—scream boring neoliberal but wrapped in a very thin veneer of new millennium edginess to attract a modicum of attention.
I mean, Martin O’Malley?! That’s the equivalent of having proudly worked on John Kasich’s 2016 Presidential Campaign. Yawn.
What I’m getting at is that Karine Jean-Pierre is mediocre. I know, I know, Columbia University is a tough school to get into. Being mediocre doesn’t mean lacking intelligence. It just means in this context that she’s unimaginative. She lacks any spunk, which is a requirement in the White House press secretary role.
Now that the 48-year-old finds herself as the spokeswoman for the Biden White House, both the president (and the country, for that matter) need more than unimaginative, mediocrity from its press person.
More gallingly, like so many mediocre types do, Karine Jean-Pierre comes across much of the time as condescending. Even downright rude. For an administration whose leader, Joe Biden, has one of the lowest approval ratings of any president in recent history, these are abysmal qualities to have in a press secretary.
When a Lie is More Damaging to the Truth
We all know that press secretaries often have a malleable relationship with the truth. This is well understood by the press as well as implicitly comprehended by the public. Still, someone who is caught outright lying is considered by most to have lost the thread and shattered their credibility—the only currency that really matters in that job.
It’s one thing to obfuscate or simply refuse to comment. But when a press secretary knowingly lies—and then screeches like a stuck pig when friendly reporters politely call her out on those obvious lies—there’s a problem.
Take the case of the cocaine discovered near the White House Situation Room. It’s a salacious story that no reporter can avoid. In fact, no reporter has avoided the story. Rather than refuse to respond or even just tell the truth—whatever the truth may be—Pierre opted instead to lie about the Biden Family’s whereabouts when the cocaine was discovered over the July 4 holiday weekend.
Pierre insisted the Bidens had not been in the White House when the cocaine was discovered. But publicly available presidential schedules prove that the president was, in fact, in the White House along with his family.
When Pierre was caught in the lie, she simply deflected and lobbed an accusation at the inquiring reporter that they were being “irresponsible.” I’d think what was irresponsible would have been finding an illicit substance in the supposedly secure White House and then lying about the president’s whereabouts to cover up the story from the press.
We were promised transparency from both the president and his press secretary. We’re not getting it because transparency is the death knell of a corrupt and incompetent administration, such as the one that Pierre represents daily in the press.
KJP’s Stunning Lack of Respect for You and I
Karine Jean-Pierre’s behavior is condescending and arrogant. She has such little respect for a press corps that has unapologetically been supplicant to her boss. Pierre’s continual actions as White House press secretary demonstrate a stunning disrespect for the American people, who put her boss in power.
Therefore, a nimbler, more creative press secretary would not need to rely on such behavior as a crutch to be effective.
As “Dirty” Harry Callahan once said, “A man’s got to know his limitations.” Well, in this case, a person needs to know their limitations. Karine Jean-Pierre is very limited and she’s damaging the institution of the presidency in a bad way with her mediocrity and lies.
A 19FortyFive Senior Editor, Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (Encounter Books), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (July 23). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.