Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 20, 2014

Josh Earnest’s Flashback Friday

climbers 031302  221x335 Josh Earnests Flashback Friday

Earnest appeared in Roll Call in March 2002. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Josh Earnest is about to have a big new job as the next White House press secretary. Since it’s Flashback Friday, we dug up another story about one of Earnest’s career moves — 12 years ago.

Roll Call’s Hill Climbers (still in existence today) profiles upwardly mobile young staffers working in the Capitol. That’s Earnest above in March 2002, with Rebecca Constantine. The two of them had just won jobs in a House Democrat’s office.

The original article is below.

Screen Shot 2014 05 30 at 5.09.35 PM 331x335 Josh Earnests Flashback Friday

President Barack Obama announced Friday he would be bidding farewell to Jay Carney, who will leave in June.

“One of Jay’s favorite lines is I have no personnel announcements at this time,” Obama said. “But I do, and it’s bittersweet. It involves one of my closest friends here in Washington.”

Carney told Obama in April he wanted out.

“I was not thrilled to say the least,” Obama said. “But Jay has had to wrestle with this decision for quite some time. He has been on my team since day one, for two years with the vice president, and for the past three and half years as my press secretary.”

Carney cited his family, tearing up when talking about missing time with his kids, and said that every day has been a privilege.

He said he wanted to leave before the summer and said he had no announcements about his future plans.

“The flak jacket is officially passed to a new generation, Mr. Josh Earnest,” Obama said.

“Josh is an earnest guy and you can’t find just a nicer individual even outside of Washington. The country, of course, knows him for his golden voice and dulcet tones on ‘West Wing Week,’ the biggest viral Internet hit since ‘Between Two Ferns.’ But Josh and I have an incredible history, going all the way back to the Iowa caucuses. Josh was my Iowa communications director.”

Indeed, Earnest was considered one of the early Obama loyalists in his critical first victory state, and has remained at the White House longer than most of the others from the original team. Carney replaced Robert Gibbs in 2011.

Earnest briefly took the podium talking about the challenge of taking on the role.

“Each of you has a critically important job to describe to the American public what it is the president is doing and why he’s doing it. And that job in this aggregated media world has never been more difficult, but I would argue that it has never been more important. And I am grateful and excited and relish the opportunity to spend the next couple of years working with you as you work to do that very important work,” he said.

His wife, Natalie Wyeth Earnest, is an appointee at the Department of Treasury.

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