by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
New York Post editors ponder Jen Psaki’s approach to her job as top Biden administration spokeswoman.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki admitted recently why she got back into politics after leaving the Obama White House in 2011.
The reason? She binge-watched the NBC political drama “The West Wing.”
This explains so much. After all, the show pioneered Psaki’s own style of communicating. I.e., speaking to anyone who questions the liberal orthodoxy of the moment as if they were fools or traitors.
A glance at her greatest hits shows this principle in action. Like her la-di-da answer about what responding to Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine might do to already sky-high gas prices: “standing up for values is not without cost.”
Or her bizarre attempt to blame the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes on “hate-filled rhetoric” about China’s COVID culpability. Or her hand-wave on inflation, saying in December it “will ease over time, whatever you want to call it.”
Or her statement implying journalists concerned about crime are living in an “alternate universe.” Or her infamous remark dismissing concerns over the supply-chain crisis, calling them “the tragedy of the treadmill that’s delayed.”
These are not the words of someone concerned with the problems facing ordinary Americans — and they are nothing new for her, either: Remember her theatrical 2014 selfie with the hashtag #UnitedforUkraine?
But considered as B-grade political theater, they make perfect sense. She’s playing to a core audience for applause, laughter and affirmation. Which she gets, by the way: Social media amplifies her words,talking heads trot out adapted versions of her talking pointsand she’s featured in glossies like Vogue.
In Psaki’s world, heroes are heroes (Dems and their allies) and villains are villains (the GOP and Dem critics). If the Democratic position undergoes a sudden 180 … then everyone better get with the program. And the fewer questions the better.