Tag Archives: Sean Spicer

Politics can be so very poetic

I know I am not the only American who believes this, but the possible partial government shutdown seems to sum up quite nicely the first year of Donald Trump’s chaotic presidency.

Politics can be, oh, so poetic at times.

Such as right now.

It is quite possible that we’re going to wake up Saturday with the government shuttering some of its doors and windows. And think of it: This event might occur on the exact date one year after Donald Trump took the presidential oath of office.

No Drama Obama handed the White House keys over to All Chaos All the Time Trump.

Ain’t it cool? Well, no. It’s not.

The government shutdown, if it comes, will signify to me that Donald Trump’s time as president has come to a form of full circle.

He stood on the Capitol podium one year ago and delivered that dark, forbidding inaugural speech. Then right out of the chute, brand new press secretary Sean Spicer scolded the White House press corps with a scathing rebuke of its reporting of the size of the president’s inaugural crowd.

That, dear reader, set the tone for how this administration was going to conduct business.

So, here we are. One year later, we’re about the close many government offices, denying services to Americans who are entitled to partake of services they pay for with their tax money.

Trump, meanwhile, is chiding Democrats because they insist on a funding bill that takes care of so-called “Dreamers,” those U.S. residents brought here illegally when they were children. Democrats are chiding Republicans over their insistence that a funding bill include money to build a “big, beautiful wall” along our southern border.

The president’s “leadership” on this government funding madness has been missing in action.

I’ll just remind you all that of all the principals involved in this fight, only one of them represents the entire country: the president of the United States.

To borrow a phrase, Donald Trump “is leading from behind.”

Ah, yes. The political poetry of this chaos is so very telling.

As is its irony.

Spicer makes fun of himself … what’s the big deal?

Count me as one American who has no problem with former White House press flack Sean Spicer making a surprise guest appearance at the 2017 Emmy Awards show.

I didn’t watch it live. I have no interest in entertainment awards shows.

But I heard about Spicer’s surprise cameo this morning. I saw the clip of him coming onstage behind the kind of mobile podium that the comedian Melissa McCarthy made famous in her “Saturday Night Live” skits mocking the embattled press secretary.

I heard about the “mixed reaction” to Spicer’s appearance. I also saw a column in this morning’s New York Times by one of my favorite columnists, Frank Bruni, who is just outraged that Spicer would do such a thing.

Good grief, dude. Get a grip.

I thought Spicer’s act at the Emmys was damn funny. I laughed out loud when I saw it this morning.

What does it tell me about this guy? It tells me he has a sense of humor. It tells me he doesn’t take himself super-seriously. He was able to poke fun at himself. I also could argue that in showing a self-deprecating side, he also poked a bit of fun at his former boss, Donald J. Trump, the president of the United States of America.

To the critics of Spicer’s guest gig at the Emmys, I want to say only to chill out. The guy was damn funny.

This is the guy who’ll keep the WH stories straight?

Anthony Scaramucci has a law degree and a pretty hefty financial pedigree.

Somehow, though, he got himself appointed White House communications director over the vehement objections of former press secretary Sean Spicer.

As I scanned Scaramucci’s record, I got a glimpse into what might have prompted Spicer to quit after Donald Trump installed Scaramucci as communications director.

“Mooch,” as he is known, seems to have had trouble keeping his own stories straight.

He is known to support gay marriage and strong gun-control laws, two issues that are anathema to Donald Trump’s political “base.” He once raised money for Democratic presidential candidate Barack H. Obama. Mooch backed Scott Walker and then Jeb Bush in the 2016 Republican primary and then threw in with Trump’s transition after the president was elected.

He’s also said some highly critical things about Trump.

I must ask: This is the individual who is going to put the White House “on message” and seek to avoid the missteps, mistakes and misstatements that have poured out of Trump administration?

Chaos, meet confusion.

Aw, c’mon Sean, those ‘SNL’ skits are funny, man

OK, I’ll stipulate that I’ve never been parodied by a major TV network comedy show, which means I don’t truly understand how former White House press secretary Sean Spicer feels these days.

There. Having made that stipulation, I guess I can say that Spicer needs to lighten up. Melissa McCarthy’s parody of him on “Saturday Night Live” became an instant comedy classic. She had the nation rolling with laughter.

Oh, but Spicer didn’t see it that way. He calls the skits “stupid” and “malicious.”

Well, he’s entitled to his opinion, just as Donald J. Trump is entitled to say that Alec Baldwin’s impersonation of the president is, um, “sad,” “not funny” and “pathetic.”

I’ll just beg to differ with the president, too.

Look, this kind of thing goes with the territory. Did these guys ever see Phil Hartman’s spoof of Bill Clinton wolfing down the Big Mac while jogging? Did they ever catch Dana Carvey’s hilarious mimicking of George H.W. Bush or Jon Lovitz’s equally funny spoof of Michael Dukakis? How about Will Ferrell’s uproarious skits about George W. Bush?

And how can you forget the time the actual Sarah Palin appeared on “SNL” alongside the Tina Fey faux Palin, or the time Hillary Clinton joked with Amy Poehler’s “Hillary”?

This is political humor, Sean. I’m just sad now — in the wake of your resignation as White House press flack — that you’ve taken Melissa McCarthy out of the game.

Spicer quits, chaos continues

The longest-running open secret came to fruition today with the resignation of Sean Spicer as White House press secretary.

Spicer was thought to be on his way out long ago. He sealed the deal today when Donald J. Trump announced that Anthony Scaramucci would become the new White House communications director.

That meant curtains for Spicer, who reportedly disagreed vehemently with the choice.

To be candid, I am left with decidedly mixed feelings about Spicer’s departure. At one level, I had some sympathy for a press flack who was charged with defending presidential policies in front of the White House press corps. The president, though, made that job even more difficult — indeed, damn near impossible — by contradicting his own messages hourly. Spicer then was left to fend for himself as he sought to explain what the president meant to say or do.

At another level, I was dismayed that Spicer — the former press spokesman for the Republican National Committee — continued in the role for as long as he did.

Consider, too, the strange — to my ears, at least — statement by Scaramucci about Spicer’s departure. “I hope he goes on to make a tremendous amount of money,” he said. Huh? What about saluting his service to the country? Or to the president?

Then, of course, this came from the president himself, who said in a statement that Spicer will succeed, adding, “Just look at this ratings.” What the … ?

I suppose we’ll all just wait for Spicer to tell us what really went on behind the scenes in a White House known above and beyond anything else for its confusion and chaos.

Do you expect the new press flack, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and the new communications boss, to assuage media concerns about the White House’s ability to administer anything?

Neither do I.

(Crowd) size really must matter

You mean we’re still talking about the size of that inaugural crowd this past January? We’re still arguing over whether it measured up to what the brand new president of the United States called it — the largest gathering of human beings in world history … or something like that?

I guess in Donald J. Trump’s world, size matters.

The National Park Service’s inspector general now says the agency didn’t mess with the crowd size estimates of Trump’s inaugural nor did it leak any information to the media.

The Hill reports on the IG’s findings. Read the story here.

This malarkey about crowd size seemed to get under the president’s skin early this year. Various media published pictures showing the crowd gathered in front of Capitol Building at President Barack Obama’s first inaugural in 2009 and compared it to the crowd that heard Trump’s speech this past January. Obama’s crowd was, um, quite a bit larger.

Trump didn’t like hearing that. White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s initial press briefing included a serious scolding of the media for failing to report that the president’s inaugural crowd was the largest in history. The pictures, though, tell a different story.

Will this spell the end of this mini-tempest? Probably not, as long as Donald John Trump is president of the United States.

The WH shakeup has begun

Mike Dubke is out as White House communications director.

Sean Spicer won’t be meeting face to face as often with the White House media as press secretary.

A fiery former Donald J. Trump campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, might be returning to the inner circle, which reportedly might trigger more departures from the White House.

And all the while, the president of the United States insists that the White House is running like a “fine-tuned machine.” All cylinders are firing as they should. The president hit a “home run,” he said, on his first foreign trip.

I’ll stick with what former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — and one-time GOP presidential rival — said about Trump.

He ran as a “chaos candidate” and is governing as a “chaos president.”

Sean Spicer: dead man walking

I guess Sean Spicer won’t be the White House press secretary much longer.

Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle is talking out loud about negotiations she has entered to become the next press flack at the White House.

I find it fascinating to the max that Spicer would be hung out to dry in public by the White House and, presumably, by the president of the United States.

To borrow a phrase from a long time ago — I refer to the Watergate scandal of the 1970s — it suggests that Donald John Trump is making Spicer “twist slowly in the wind.”

In an odd sort of way, Guilfoyle’s public acknowledgement that she’s in the running to replace the press secretary makes me feel a bit of sympathy for Sean Spicer.

He deserves better treatment than what he appears to be getting.

Trump seeks to plug leaks … how?

Someone might have to explain this to me.

Donald John Trump reportedly is mad as hell. The White House leaks like a sieve. Someone or some people inside the place might be blabbing to the media about the inner workings of the Trump administration.

So what might the president do to curb the leaks? Why, shoot, he might just fire the press secretary, the White House chief of staff, the president’s legal counsel and his chief political strategist.

That’s the report being discussed by the chattering class in Washington, D.C. Press flack Sean Spicer, chief of staff Reince Priebus, legal eagle Don McGahn and strategist Stephen Bannon could be out.

What, then, might happen to the leak issue? It could turn into a deluge if the president decides to cut these four guys loose. They would be untethered from the White House and could tattle to their hearts’ content about all they know, what they have seen and heard and who has done what to whom inside the Trump White House.

Look, we’re only 100-and-some days into an administration that hopes to last another three-plus years. The president already is talking about running for re-election and, in fact, has released what looks and sounds like a 2020 campaign commercial.

Each day brings new surprises. Each dawn produces news of a not-so-flattering kind. The president cannot contain his Twitter fetish.

He’s worried about leaks. So his remedy might be to unleash four of his top guns into the public to, um, possibly spill their guts?

This is not how you govern, Mr. President. Really and truly.

Spicer a goner at the White House?

The Washington, D.C., rumor mill is clattering like crazy as the next work week gets set to commence.

It involves White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who might be on his way out after only 100-some days on the job. Reports have surfaced that Donald John Trump might axe Spicer; that he’s angry with him; that the White House’s chief spokesman has been inarticulate and clumsy during his daily press briefings.

I am going to concede that Spicer might have the toughest job in the federal government. I mean, think of it. He has to interpret the musings of the president of the United States who one might say is, well, a bit inarticulate and clumsy himself.

How does the press spokesman expect to be on top of his game when the president is nowhere close to being on top of his game?

Spicer once served as press flack for the Republican National Committee, which was led by Reince Priebus, who’s now the White House chief of staff. Many other reports are circulating, too, that Priebus might be another victim of a Donald Trump purge of senior White House staffers.

This has been a rough intro to government and public policy for a presidential administration led by someone who spent his entire professional life enriching himself. He has zero public service experience, let alone any knowledge of how government works.

Now he might be getting ready to jettison his press spokesman and also — perhaps — his chief of staff.

You know what I sense? I sense a feeling of relief if the axe falls on both men.