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Posts Tagged ‘Roger Runningen’

Awkward Exchange Closes Out White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest’s First Briefing

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 23.18.23On Josh Earnest‘s first day as White House Press Secretary, members of the White House Press Corps accused the newly minted press secretary of offering “a buried nugget of news” and encouraging him to answer a question posed earlier in the briefing.

Before a short back and forth with Real Clear Politics’ Alexis Simendinger, Earnest said, “Alexis, you don’t have to get all exercised about this,” later ending the exchange with “OK. Thanks everybody.”

In case you missed it, check it out, after the jump. Fast forward to 1:01:20 and stay through the end, when the room offers a bit of laughter. Read more

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Bloomberg’s Karen Leigh Packs DC Bags for Cambodia

Bloomberg’s Karen Leigh is “trading in golf pool and helo landings for the splendors of Phnom Penh.” She’ll still be working for Bloomberg, and additionally the Cambodia Daily, just now in the home country of Maddox Pitt.

FBDC caught up with Leigh as she packs her bags for a big move from Washington…

Why Cambodia? Credit my overwhelming desire to see monks riding tandem bikes.

What differences do you anticipate going from covering the White House to working in the “splendors of Phnom Penh,” as you put it? How are you preparing? It’s going to be hot, loud and crowded — a lot like White House briefings. To prepare, I’ve been getting massages, spending as much time as possible with the friends and getting on a seriously first-name basis with Jack and Stella.

What and who will you miss most in DC? Late night walks around the monuments. Biking along the canal. Fighting with White House security when I forget my Hill pass. Forcing Georgetown tourists onto the street. Running home to shower after Marine One departures. Our Colonel, Al Hunt. My favorite boss, Robin Meszoly. Descriptions of Phil Elliott‘s home cooking. Making Jeff Mason sing (ask him for selections from “South Pacific.”) Soliciting life advice from the goddess-like Julie Mason. Tennis with Perry Bacon. Never having to pay for drinks (Mike Memoli). The questionable tie fashion of Keith Koffler and Hans Nichols. Julianna Goldman, Athena Jones, Christina Bellantoni and Sunlen Miller, all lovely, who have brightened many a pool. And Roger Runningen, who was there on my first day at the White House last January and coined my nickname — Annette — based on the “American President” character who, like me, was excited on day one she could barely get through the Northwest Gate.

You campaigned hard for Julie Mason‘s White House Correspondents Association (successful) election and now you’re skipping town. What does this mean for campaign promises of White House South Lawn ice luges and briefing room massages? I’ll be working from afar to ensure that each promise is fulfilled. The luge tournament will be timed for the Vancouver Olympics and I’m working on getting Gibbs to cut a hole in the podium so we can use it as a massage table.

After the jump, Leigh’s goodbye messages for her media friends…

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FishPoolDC: Our Insider’s Notes from Today’s Press Briefing

What’s So Funny About Warranties?: Press Secretary Robert Gibbs seemed all too tempted to comment on a suave cell ring tone interruption in today’s briefing, but kept it to a giggle as he tried to continue his explanation on the administration’s pledge to ensure warranties on autos that could go under. So for those in the drinking game, put down those glasses.

Not That Anyone’s Counting: Numbers Guru Mark Knoller of CBS Radio was quick to correct Gibbs today on the age of the Obama administration, but apparently not quick enough. “You were supposed to cue a little earlier!” Gibbs retorted as Knoller clarified the count is at 70 days.

Sh!t Happens: Gibbs fielded another question on the administration’s campaign trail promise to post non-emergency bills to their web site for comment at least five days in advance of a bill-signing, as today’s Omnibus Public Lands Management Act didn’t pass that test. Obama has brought “greater transparency,” Gibbs argued, noting that “situations will come up, especially if the president is going to go overseas.” (POTUS heads to Europe tomorrow for a whirlwind of G20 and NATO summits as well as side-trips to Czech Republic and Turkey.) Gibbs repeated the familiar Obama team mantra that while not perfect, they’ve made great strides in White House openness.

Like POTUS, Like PSOTUS: Bloomberg’s Roger Runningen pressed Gibbs on the timeline of the president’s pitch to GM’s Rick Wagoner that he step down from heading the company. In a bit of an eerie flashback to last week’s presidential slapdown of CNN’s Ed Henry on a related question, the press secretary refused to “get into the tick-tock.” Asked why, he replied staunchly: “Because I’m not.”

Buy American: In the wake of the president’s grand auto industry announcement this morning, Gibbs confirmed that the president would encourage Americans to support cars produced at home. “I don’t want to turn this into an advertisement,” he joked, before pointing out that the award-winning Chevy Malibus and Buicks were hot picks.

This Week In Pool Reports

Don’t call Bush a lame duck. Call him “first among equals”. More of the week’s adventures in the West Wing after the jump…

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