Last week White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced the resignations of three staff members in the communications office. She added another name to the list on Tuesday. KJP announced last week that White House Rapid Response Director Mike Gwin would be leaving for a job at the Treasury Department where he will be a deputy assistant secretary for public affairs. Joining him at the Treasury Department will be White House press assistant Michael Kikukawa. He will serve in public affairs.
KJP denies that so many departures are unusual. Last week she also announced the departures of assistant press secretary Vedant Patel who is moving to the State Department as a principal deputy spokesperson and Amanda Finney, the press office’s chief of staff. Finney is moving to a senior communications post at the Energy Department.
Of Michael Kikukawa, KJP called him the “strong engine” and the “reliable engine” of the press department.
“And joining Gwin at the Treasury Department will be our very own Michael Kikukawa, where he will serve as a spokesperson,” she continued. “Michael, better known here to all of you, to all of us, as Kiku, has served not just as a press assistant, but as the strong engine and reliable engine at the press shop. His relentless work ethic and dedication to the mission of this team have been second to none.”
It’s been a privilege to be part of @PressSec’s remarkable team. After an incredible 500+ days, I have a lot of people to thank and not nearly enough days left to do it!
— Michael Kikukawa (@mkikukawa46) June 7, 2022
The White House press shop can use all the help it can get. KJP is woefully inept in her new job as Jen Psaki’s replacement. Say what you will about Psaki (and I have) but she at least came off as reasonably prepared and able to respond to a wide variety of questions from the White House press corps. I rarely agreed with her answers but at least she didn’t come off as inept. KJP has to rely on reading directly from her briefing book and even then, her delivery is poor. The White House has resorted to using celebrities when possible to get their message du jour out. Recently K-pop boy band BTS addressed Asian hate. On Tuesday, actor Matthew McConaughey spoke to lawmakers on Capitol Hill and KJP brought him to the White House press briefing to make an appeal for “gun responsibility.”
KJP may want to put a brave face forward and act as though all is well in her department but there appears to be a coordinated effort by some news outlets to publish stories of discord running rampant at the White House. Biden wants more compelling messaging coming from his White House.
“Biden is rattled by his sinking approval ratings and is looking to regain voters’ confidence that he can provide the sure-handed leadership he promised during the campaign, people close to the president say.”
Messaging isn’t really Biden’s biggest problem. His problem is that his policies have proven to be one disaster after another. Inflation is at a forty year high and even Jimmy Carter is sitting in Plains, Georgia breathing a sigh of relief that he is no longer thought of as the worst U.S. president. Biden shut down as much domestic energy production as possible and now he’s going hat in hand to the Saudis and kowtowing to the Iranians, perhaps even to the government in Venezuela which is not even officially recognized by the American government. The baby formula crisis turned feeding American babies into a disaster only seen in Third World countries. Biden continues to break records and none of it is a good thing. His polling is lower than any modern president, including Trump. Biden is a dangerous embarrassment. Who can blame the White House communications team for heading for the door?