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Caryn Jean-Pierre makes history, but inherits a world of trouble The Biden Administration

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I.It was grimly acute that the first black man to hold a briefing as a White House spokesman should start by naming victims of violence by supporters of white supremacy. Caryn Jean-Pierrestanding near the famous blue rostrum, for a moment “remembered the lost and forever changed lives in Buffalo” with short and fascinating biographies of 10 victims of Saturday’s mass shooting in New York State.

Clearly, while Joe Biden’s first spokesman, Jen Psaki, may raise a wave of optimism at the start of the new administration – and benefit from Donald Trump’s lying envoys – Jean-Pierre has inherited a world of trouble.

Her 64-minute debut on Monday ranged from “Buffalo” to a children’s mix, from Somalia to Ukraine, but first she used her introductory speech to reflect on a new section of White House history she was writing.

“I’m black, gay, immigrant” Said Jean-Pierre, was born in Martinique to Haitian parents and grew up in New York City. “The first of all three to hold the post. I wouldn’t be here today if there weren’t generations of people in front of me breaking down barriers. I stand on their shoulders. “

Expressing gratitude for the sacrifices of those who came to her, the 47-year-old added: “Representation matters. You hear how we often say that in this administration, and no one understands that better than President Biden. ”

She repeatedly recalled at the briefing that Biden was motivated to run for president through clashes between white nationalists and civil rights activists in Charlottesville, Virginia, nearly five years ago.

And that definitely meant that when Trump told the media that there were very good people on both sides and he was defended by white spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, here’s a black spokesman insisting that hatred won’t have a safe haven .

Restrained and polite Jean-Pierre successfully followed the first rule of briefings for the media – do no harm – but at one point looked too cautious. She has been repeatedly asked if she will “challenge” people such as Fox News presenter Tucker Carlson or Republican members of Congress which kindle the fire of extremism and the theory of the “great substitute”. Time and time again she refused.

“It doesn’t matter who it is,” she insisted. “If a person expresses hatred, we should announce it. I’m not going to think about the names and who said what. “

One reporter asked if Biden saw a connection to Trump’s “ultra-magician” movement. She dodged again.

When the spokesman said: “We will not get involved in politics here,” another journalist loudly objected that this apparently removed the culprits. Jean-Pierre objected that Biden had always condemned hatred: “Once you start naming people, you move away from the problem.”

Critics will say The Biden Administration pulls his blows. How can one fight the scourge of white supremacy that the president describes as a stain on America’s soul if he does not identify its rostrum? Is Biden living again in an era of bipartisanship that has disappeared?

Jean-Pierre’s restraint was sharply expressed on Pennsylvania Avenue, where Chuck Schumer, the leader of the Democratic majority in the Senate, called names. “In an indifferent search for viewers and ratings, organizations like Fox News have spent years perfecting the art of inciting cultural resentment and political resentment, which terribly reflects messages found in substitution theory.

“According to one of the New York Times, Fox’s top political expert – the most popular – Tucker Carlson – has expressed rhetoric that repeats the theory of substitution at least 400 times in his show since 2016.”

The contrast was telling: the job of a White House spokesman is often to avoid controversy and not get in the headlines. Psaki skillfully promised to “surround” and “not get ahead of the president.” Now, like a TV time traveler Dr. Whothe spokesman was reborn in a different and varied form, but essentially with the same character.

Devoted Psaki fans may complain that Jean-Pierre, who was 38 minutes late with a smile and a briefing under his arm, has not yet acquired the ability to spontaneously riff. For example, Clash of the Dogs with Peter Dusi Fox News sometimes went viral when she uttered the non-standard “#Psakibomb”.

When Ducey challenged Jean-Pierre on Monday, she didn’t seem so nimble. He noted that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos criticized Biden for a tweet the president wrote in which he suggested taxing richer corporations could help lower inflation.

Jean-Pierre read from her notes: “Look, it’s no big secret why one of the richest people on Earth, however, opposes an economic program designed for the middle class that cuts some of the biggest costs they face families, struggling with inflation for a long time, though … ”This continued cunningly.

But Monday will be remembered as the day when Jean-Pierre smashed several glass ceilings. Asked to reflect on her role in making the story, she said she hadn’t read many things written about her. “But there was something that touched me,” she said, referring media history about her elementary school in Hampstead, New York.

“They talked to the students about me, this moment and this administration… and these kids wrote me a letter and in the letter they talked about how they can dream more as I stand behind this podium. And that’s important. “

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/may/16/karine-jean-pierre-biden-administration

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