Speak for Yourself, Mr. President

What’s up with the need for having a presidential “spokesman?” (No, I’m not worried about being politically correct—we haven’t yet had a spokeswoman, probably because we haven’t yet had a female president.)

Editor’s note: Much to my chagrin, I’ve been gently reminded that we have had some spokeswomen. Thus my coy attempt at tongue-in-cheek humor fell flat on its face. Thanks to a reader for the correction…

Jay Carney

Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary

In the old days you did your own talking. From all I’ve been able to gather, there was never a need for someone else to explain on behalf of a president what they thought on a particular issue—they could do it all by themselves. This was the case with Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and others. I’d like to think they’d find it pretty odd to have someone trying to tell others what their positions were on the problems of the day.

But somewhere along the way (post Abraham Lincoln), President’s began this modern practice of having a Press Secretary. It went along with the new practice of hiring White House staff, the numbers of which have of course grown dramatically over the years. [Continue reading…]

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