Faced with a struggling economy and a bleak economic forecast, all eyes will be on President-elect Obama as he assumes the presidency and addresses the pressing issues facing the nation. During the critical first 100 days, Obama and his Cabinet will have many questions to answer as they work through their agenda. White House press secretaries fill essential roles of announcing, explaining, and defending the administration’s actions to the public through the news media.
On December 18, the Brookings Institution hosted a discussion of the key role of the White House press secretary, especially at the beginning of a new administration. Darrell West, vice president and director of Governance Studies at Brookings, provided introductory remarks. Stephen Hess, Brookings senior fellow and author of a new presidential transition workbook What Do We Do Now? (Brookings Institution Press, 2008), moderated the discussion.
Panelists included current White House Press Secretary Dana Perino, Mike McCurry, who served as White House press secretary during the Clinton administration, and Ron Nessen, who served as White House press secretary during the Ford administration.