White House Press Secretary Gets a New ‘Flak Jacket’: A Women’s Blazer

By longstanding, bipartisan tradition, many years of White House push secretaries have handed down a cheeky symbol of their job fielding rat-a-tat inquiries from feisty reporters: a flak jacket.

The ritual dates to the 1970s, when Gerald Ford’s push secretary, Ron Nessen, gained a blue men’s brocade vest from reporters that showcased a bulletproof lining. He left it for his successor with a take note: “You’ll require this at some of your briefings.”

In real Washington vogue, a gag reward turned into a honored ritual. But the garment, which in afterwards many years was a dim-hued men’s blazer, would often go missing, normally concerning administrations.

So it was that Jen Psaki, on 1 of her final times as President Biden’s press secretary, uncovered herself trawling a Macy’s seeking for a replacement jacket. She discovered just one, with a modern day twist.

The new “flak jacket,” which now hangs in a West Wing business, is a women’s Tommy Hilfiger blazer, sizing 16, in Hi-Liter yellow, with contrasting jetted pockets and elbow patches.

“It’s a women’s jacket,” Ms. Psaki stated in an interview. “But it’s large adequate for any dimensions guy.”

The improve seemed fitting.

Karine Jean-Pierre, who started out on Monday as Ms. Psaki’s successor, is the fifth woman in a row to provide as White Residence press secretary, a streak that began with Sarah Huckabee Sanders in 2017.

Until Invoice Clinton appointed Dee Dee Myers in 1993, the role had exclusively been occupied by guys. Dana Perino served underneath George W. Bush, but Barack Obama named only adult men to the occupation.

No jacket was awaiting Ms. Psaki when she started in January 2021 it was apparently dropped in the tumult of a presidential transition.

“Jen is performing the office environment of the push secretary a actual provider by replacing a fantastic tradition,” Ms. Perino wrote in an electronic mail.

The future phase is restoring the handwritten notes from push secretaries past, a compendium of information, humor and sympathy that was evidently missing when the very last jacket went missing.

Ari Fleischer, who served as George W. Bush’s press secretary, said in an job interview that he saved copies of the notes, which had been supposedly wrapped in a pink ribbon and saved in the jacket’s pockets. He is in touch with Ms. Psaki about reuniting the notes with their new, brightly colored household.

“It does not issue what it appears to be like or what it’s made of,” Mr. Fleischer mentioned of the jacket. “It will never operate, because there is not adequate defense for a press secretary from the White Household push corps.”

Kenneth Proto

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