Analysis: White House’s Sean Spicer Resigns

(12:30 p.m., 7/21/17) – News out this afternoon that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has resigned. It’s being reported that he was unhappy with the appointment of a new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci.

The Press Secretary role is particularly challenging, even more so with this administration’s history of leaks from within the WH.

It’s rare for a Press Secretary to last through a president’s four years, but they usually last a bit longer than just six months.

Spicer has maintained a much more adversarial relationship with the media than predecessors. Whether his demeanor was his own choice or dictated by the President is not entirely clear, but there’s certainly pressure to mirror your bosses opinions.

Being a spokesperson is sometimes like being a speechwriter. If a speechwriter doesn’t have the “voice” of their subject they can’t convey the right tone or message. If a spokesperson isn’t in on the meetings and the details, they can’t effectively answer the multitude of questions that are coming from the media.

There’s a difference between the person who’s the spokesperson and the person who’s crafting the messages. Sometimes that’s the same person, but in the WH it’s usually at least two people (if not more). The spokesperson is chosen based on their public speaking ability, poise under pressure, the ability to answer or not answer questions.

The rest of the team supports the spokesperson, crafting the messages, anticipating questions and preparing answers.

By all accounts, Spicer has put 200% of himself into this job. He’s clearly been passionate about his boss and believes in the mission. Everyone knows positions like this are incredibly demanding on your life, health and family.

So, who takes over the occasional press briefing? Probably Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Unfortunately, her performance hasn’t been very impressive to date. To be fair, that’s not entirely her fault. It’s clear in listening to briefings that she’s not in the loop on details of the President’s policies or thinking.

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