Usually, when a President names a new Press Secretary, he does it in person, flanked by both the incoming and outgoing spokesperson.
But it was new White House Chief of Staff William Daley who put out the word today that Jay Carney, Director of Communications to Vice President Biden, will succeed Robert Gibbs as the Pres. Obama's chief spokesman.
In the same memo to White House staff announcing Carney's new job, Daley also disclosed 13 other high-level White House appointments including two new Deputy Chiefs of Staff and the president's new Congressional liaison.
The memo serves to spotlight Daley's take-charge approach in his new job, especially as he announces the latest installment of the staff shakeup in the West Wing.
"I am pleased" to announce the appointments, said Daley. Before today, it was always the president who took pleasure in the naming of new key aides.
In taking over the job of Press Secretary, Jay Carney assumes the post with the second-highest profile in the West Wing. He'll be on TV and quoted in the papers more than other West Wing official but the president. It can be a difficult transition to make for an aide on the staff of the Vice President.
Carney comes to the job after 2 years as Biden's communications strategist. Biden has gotten good press, except for the times when he made a comment not intended for public airing.
Carney will also be one of the few people to serve as White House press secretary who has actually covered the White House as a reporter during the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. It means he'll know be taking questions from some of the same people with whom he worked on the White House beat. That too, can be a difficult transition for him.
Further, he is married to ABC News correspondent Claire Shipman, another former White House reporter. From now on, anytime ABC gets a White House scoop, questions and eyebrows will be raised, even if unjustified.
In his memo, Daley said the appointment of Carney and the 13 others (see list below) will bring "greater clarity to our structure and roles" in the White House. He said they will "enhance coordination and collaboration among us."
"I am excited about these changes and I look forward to working with all of you."
Daley was named Chief of Staff three weeks ago, by Pres. Obama, at an elaborate East Room ceremony with the man Daley was succeeding, interim Chief Pete Rouse.
Today, it was Daley who declared that his mission as Chief of Staff is to get "the most out of the great talent that Pres. Obama has brought to the White House." Daley said it's the job of the new and current staffers to help the president "effectively serve and lead the American people."
Of all the 14 appointments announced by Daley, the aide who'll have the most interesting business card is Emmett Beliveau. He was named Assistant to the President and chief of Staff to the Chief of Staff.
Here's the complete list made public by Daley:
- Ron Bloom, Assistant to the President for Manufacturing Policy (National Economic Council)
- Jay Carney, Assistant to the President and Press Secretary
- Stephanie Cutter, Assistant to the President and Deputy Senior Advisor
- Nancy-Ann DeParle, Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy
- David Lane, Assistant to the President and Counselor to the Chief of Staff
- Alyssa Mastromonaco, Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations
- Rob Nabors, Assistant to the President and Director of Legislative Affairs
- Emmett Beliveau, Deputy Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the Chief of Staff
- Jon Carson, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Public Engagement
- Danielle Crutchfield, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Scheduling and Advance
- David Cusack, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Advance
- Mike Strautmanis, Deputy Assistant to the President and Counselor for Strategic Engagement to the Senior Advisor
- Jessica Wright, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Scheduling
- Brian Deese, Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council