Jay Carney, Vice President Joe Biden's top spokesman, is taking over the post of White House Press Secretary, multiple Democratic sources confirmed to The Huffington Post.
Carney will be taking over the position being vacated by Robert Gibbs at a time when much of the original inner Obama circle is either leaving the White House or heading to Chicago to help with the re-election campaign.
Carney was chosen from a candidate pool of roughly five, including several current members of the White House's communications team. One of those individuals, former DNC Communications Director Karen Finney (a paid contributor to MSNBC) praised the decision. "Jay will be great, he's well respected, in addition to his background as a journalist, his work with the Vice President on domestic and foreign policy issues will be a huge asset," she said.
In private, it was widely expected that Carney would end up at the post.
The choice caused a bit of rancor. Carney, who is known as being a bit more brass-knuckled than Gibbs and the other contenders, is, nevertheless, a creature of D.C., having previously served as TIME magazine's Washington bureau chief. In that regard, he is no different than many of the other administration hires. But that was still enough to cause some eye rolls.
"Most of us thought that hiring someone from the outside was likely 'too much' change," said one top Democratic strategist.
From the C-SPAN archives comes this 2006 quote from Carney -- then the Washington bureau chief of Time Magazine -- discussing the difficulties of the position he is set to assume.
"The best press secretaries were very deft at serving both their boss, the president, the White House, the administration, and the press. It's a tricky job. I'm sure I wouldn't be any good at it."
UPDATE: White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley sent the following email to staffers announcing Carney's new position, as well as thirteen other people taking on new roles:
Today, I am pleased to announce a number of important White House personnel decisions. I believe these decisions will bring greater clarity to our structure and roles and will enhance coordination and collaboration among us. I am excited about these changes and I look forward to working with all of you - those in existing roles as well as those filling new roles - in the weeks and months ahead. We have a great team.
I want to thank Pete Rouse for his counsel and leadership in this effort. My mission is to get the most out of the great talent that President Obama has brought to the White House so that we can all help him effectively serve and lead the American people.
Below are the names and titles of those assuming new roles:
- Ron Bloom, Assistant to the President for Manufacturing Policy (National Economic Council)
- Jay Carney, Assistant to the President and Press Secretary
- Stephanie Cutter, Assistant to the President and Deputy Senior Advisor
- Nancy-Ann DeParle, Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy
- David Lane, Assistant to the President and Counselor to the Chief of Staff
- Alyssa Mastromonaco, Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations
- Rob Nabors, Assistant to the President and Director of Legislative Affairs
- Emmett Beliveau, Deputy Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the Chief of Staff
- Jon Carson, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Public Engagement
- Danielle Crutchfield, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Scheduling and Advance
- David Cusack, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Advance
- Mike Strautmanis, Deputy Assistant to the President and Counselor for Strategic Engagement to the Senior Advisor
- Jessica Wright, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Scheduling
- Brian Deese, Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council
Some of you may have heard that Phil Schiliro's intention was to leave the White House at the end of the last Congress. Phil has made extraordinary contributions to the President's success, and I've asked him to slow his departure in order to lend his wise counsel and guidance in the transition period ahead.
I am looking forward to collaborating with all of you. Effective collaboration requires a clear understanding of roles and responsibilities, so that we can hold each other accountable for the duties we've each undertaken. In coming days, I hope to clarify further the roles each of our offices needs to play, so we can continue to work together in the highly productive way the that we must.
I want to thank each of you for your hard work and for your commitment to serving the President and American people. We've got a lot of important work ahead of us.