Posted Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011, at 4:29 PM
The former Time magazine reporter and current communications director for Vice President Biden
Robert Gibbs at the White House, according to the AP. Carney's the first journalist to make the leap since Tony Snow, who, you'll remember, was incredibly good at the job and held it during the Democratic takeover of Congress and the start of the surge. And I think Carney deserves the credit for the many Biden profiles, humanizing but never-newsmaking (in the sense that they generated no gaffes), in magazines -- The Atlantic's Mark Bowden piece, big take-outs in GQ and Esquire, the Newsweek cover "Joe's No Joke."
A Slate-relevant fact: Carney used to collaborate with our John Dickerson, and the two co-wrote around 100 articles during the Bush years. You could spend 15 minutes or a few hours going over their corpus for clues about how Carney handles this stuff. To wit, from the first weeks of the Iraq War:
Even though he thinks the questions are silly, or worse, Bush is reacting to them. As the president flew to CentCom headquarters in Tampa, Fla., last week, Fleischer told reporters aboard Air Force One that when he arrived Bush would declare that the war was progressing "ahead of schedule." But the President, it turned out, decided to scratch that sentence out of his speech, for fear that it might fuel expectations of a quick end to the war. "He was being conservative," says one aide. But, as another official said, the fact that Bush himself was shown to be lowering expectations was bad for the White House. "It made it sound like we were less optimistic than we had been," the official said. "It looks like we're succumbing to the doom and gloom, which we're not."
Something to remember as the questions about Afghanistan and that broken-backed recession come rolling in.