Incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki hit the ground running Wednesday evening with the brand of completely normal, truthful, run of the mill press briefings we have been longing for four years. Psaki began by saying she intends to restore daily White House briefings with an emphasis on “bringing truth and transparency” back to the Biden administration.
Psaki was most animated around questions related to the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief and rescue package President Biden has proposed. She said Biden wakes up “every morning” thinking about getting the pandemic under control and goes to bed every night thinking about getting the pandemic under control.
Asked if there was any “wiggle room” on the price tag of bill, which some Republican lawmakers are already balking at, Psaki responded, “What are you going to cut? Funding for vaccinations? Funding for unemployment insurance? Funding for opening schools?” The legislation, she said, wasn’t assembled to simply cost a certain amount but rather “it was designed with the components that are necessary” to address the country’s needs.
Frankly, it was the perfect posture for the incoming administration—we’re focused on delivering for the American people. If you object to that, then tell us what and who you think is expendable.
Internationally, Psaki said Biden’s emphasis was on rebuilding relationships with American allies first and foremost while also reclaiming a seat at the world table that had been forfeited for four years.
On a more personal note, Psaki said Biden had returned to the White House with an “incredible sense of clam.” After working there eight years alongside Barack Obama, he said “he felt like he was coming home,” she added.
All in all, Psaki wasn’t combative, wasn’t evasive, she didn’t lie, and she didn’t center her entire first briefing around an effort to pump up the ego of her boss. The sane part of the nation can once again exhale.