“I believe that being behind this podium … is not about one person,” Karine Jean-Pierre said when asked about her historic turn.
Karine Jean-Pierre on Wednesday sought to downplay the historic nature of her leading the White House’s daily press briefing, saying the Biden administration has embarked on a broad effort to ensure representation.
“I appreciate the historic nature,” she said when prompted by a reporter. “I really do, but I believe that being behind this podium, being in this room, being in this building is not about one person. It’s about what we do on behalf of the American people.”
With Wednesday’s appearance, Jean-Pierre — the principal deputy press secretary —became just the second Black woman to ever take the podium and the first since Judy Smith did so in 1991 under former president George H.W. Bush. She's also the first openly gay spokeswoman to field questions in the briefing room.
“The president believes representation matters,” Jean-Pierre said. “This is not about me, this is not about any of us.”
It’s far from the first time that Jean-Pierre has fielded volleys from the White House press corps, as she has done off-camera briefings aboard Air Force One on several occasions and frequently sits in the briefing room while Psaki stands at the podium.
But Wednesday’s briefing was also widely viewed as an audition to take over for White House press secretary Jen Psaki when she eventually steps down. Psaki said on a recent podcast with Democratic operative David Axelrod that someone else will likely succeed her at some point next year, and the intrigue over the not-yet-open position has already commenced.
In addition to Jean-Pierre, some observers have pegged White House communications director Kate Bedingfield, Vice President Kamala Harris spokesperson Symone Sanders, and State Department spokesperson Ned Price as potential successors.
Source: Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories https://www.politico.com/news/2021/05/26/karine-jean-pierre-white-house-briefing-490969