Saturday, September 19, 2015

I SO Miss Marie Harf

Not Marie Harf's official photo (but, damn)

Here's an example of why I miss her in the Spokesperson job, the September 17 daily press briefing in which the new Spokesman/person got this snarky question about our Syria program:
QUESTION: So, much has been covered. So let me ask you about the substance of the train and equip program [for Syrian rebels]. When it was launched, it aimed to train 15,000 people. Here we are months later, many months later, and you only have a handful of trained personnel. Would you say that this program has proven to be an abysmal failure and perhaps it is time to move on to something else?

QUESTION: Please use the words “abysmal failure” in your answer.

Marie would have hit that one out of the park. Oh, sure, the ex-Admiral who took her place competently defused the question by boring everybody with a long answer about the three original goals of the program, blah, blah, blah. But that's merely answering the question. Marie would have made news herself with that question, which is what I want to see in a Spokesperson.

By the way, the following day's New York Times article with a Washington dateline did indeed use the words "abysmal failure":
WASHINGTON — By any measure, President Obama’s effort to train a Syrian opposition army to fight the Islamic State on the ground has been an abysmal failure. The military acknowledged this week that just four or five American-trained fighters are actually fighting.

But the White House says it is not to blame. The finger, it says, should be pointed not at Mr. Obama but at those who pressed him to attempt training Syrian rebels in the first place — a group that, in addition to congressional Republicans, happened to include former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

You will perhaps not be surprised that the White House spokesman said President Obama is not to blame for President Obama's failed effort in Syria.

Here's a thought: if State isn't going to use Marie for press briefings anymore, can't it please lend her to the White House to raise the level of Spokespersonery over there?


James said...

Heh Heh Heh. I do love the glasses, gives me the urge to go to the library.

Anonymous said...

TSB! I haven't watched a State briefing since Marie left. She would be better off 'Spokesing' for Bernie or Donald. If the election were Tuesday I would be voting for Bernie. He was against the endless war from the beginning and I think it's starting to dawn on Dems at least that he was right. Hillary is toast and AM deserves better. gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: This is a pretty good explanation of Putin's Strategy in Syria...and our 'what could we do?' strategy.gwb (Trump might be the best one to deal with it?)

Anonymous said...

TSB:Speaking of Press Briefings, Hillary got big cheers today from the NH Dems when she recalled JFK's big moon pronouncement and said: "I want to be a President like JFK!" I watched every JFK presser and If Hillary wants to be like that there is scant evidence of it. Getting outfoxed by the Russians and the whole muslim world will take years to get off the resume. At least she finally found a group that was glad to see her. gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: I'm going to watch Face The Nation this morning and see if Hillary is getting more like JFK. She really dodged those Sunday shows as SecState but now that's all behind us so maybe we will see more of her. gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: You were right! Looks like Jill has decided to be "Riden with Biden". That probably explains why Hillary skipped the grade schoolers so she could have time to change into JFK for the weekend. Good Call!! gwb ps: If Jill says she's willing to run for VP they might have a chance.

TSB said...

I just can't quite believe Biden will go for it. Butt, I guess stranger things have happened.

Anonymous said...

TSB: You were the one who picked up the rumors Jill had cancelled her teaching plans. That + cratering polls + Biden on TV with big emotion = solid basis for a campaign. gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB&James: Watching this Fox promo for Carly brings tears to my eyes. Did you know I once lost 2 of my daughter's cats? Puddenhead ran away after weeks of diarrhea from daily milk feedings and the other one (Sambo) died of starvation after I locked him in the lazy susan in the kitchen accidentally. But I recovered from my grief and had the courage to take on my own kitten (from an old girl friend I had left because of indifference). That cat left me for the neighbors when I left a note and took off for Texas for 5 years but I still have her son 'Little George W' 16 years later. Just a heartwarming tale I wanted to share! He's a spoiled little bastard but everyone loves him. gwb

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