Jen Psaki Already Talking About Stepping Down as Press Secretary — Next Year

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki pauses during a daily press briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House March 10, 2021 in Washington, DC. Psaki held a briefing to answer questions from members of the press. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images

White House press secretary Jen Psaki is already talking about leaving her job at the White House a year from now.

“I think it’s going to be time for somebody else to have this job, in a year from now or about a year from now,” she said in a podcast interview with her former boss, Barack Obama Campaign Manager David Axelrod.

Psaki previously worked for the Obama campaign as a press aide and also served as a spokesperson at the State Department during the Obama administration before ultimately taking the White House communications director job at the White House.

She said when she first spoke with Biden’s team about taking the press secretary job, she agreed to do it for roughly a year.

Axelrod said during the podcast that Psaki was a “dark horse” candidate for the White House press secretary position when former TIME journalist Jay Carney replaced Obama’s first press secretary, Robert Gibbs.

“I remember thinking, thank God I didn’t get that job because I would not have been ready at that moment,” Psaki recalled.

Psaki said she was also a runner-up candidate to replace Carney when Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest took the position in 2014.

“Between now and then, I’m sort of like always a bridesmaid and finally a bride,” she said, adding she was “devastated” that Earnest got named to replace Carney at the White House.

She said that at age 30 she “never would have predicted” that she would have the job of White House press secretary under President Joe Biden.

Psaki said that “almost every day” she had what Axelrod described as an “Oh shit” moment where she realized should have landed her talking points better.

She also admitted regretting sarcastically dismissing a question about the “Space Force,” which she referred to as a “plane question.”

“My intention was never to begrudge the men and women serving in the Space Force,” she said, noting it was a “good lesson” about her job in the future.


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