Former Press Secretary Tony Snow made his second stop on the late-night talk show circuit last night when he appeared on CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman.
When asked how he got the job as press secretary, Snow explained that White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten asked him to do it but Snow initially declined. After more prodding, and Bolton’s claim that a guy like Snow “couldn’t handle the pressure,” Snow took the challenge seemingly out of spite.
Snow also claimed that the job “wasn’t that hard once he made up his mind.” He said he came into it with the understanding that the press is going to be combative and that sometimes they’re going to be bored and try to jerk you around.
On the subject of the press corps’ intelligence, Snow said “Reporters are pretty smart people, but sometimes there are things that are just paint-peeling stupid and you just have to laugh at them.”
Letterman went on to ask about the President’s rather low approval rating, and Snow admitted that the President wasn’t happy, adding that everyone hates Washington right now. Snow pointed out the 11 percent approval rating of Congress, saying “bin Laden is polling higher than Congress right now.”
When asked if there were days when he thought to himself “How am I going to explain this?” After a long pause, Snow simply answered “Yeah.”
Letterman was curious to know what kind of impact, if any, he and his late night counterparts had on the administration with their nightly jabs at the President. Snow explained that the President was capable of taking a joke, and that the jokes were actually circulated around the White House.
On the more serious subject of his health, Tony said he was doing fine and living in an age of medical miracles. He explained that he was still taking chemotherapy, but that his cancer was in remission and that that made him a “happy camper.”
As far as his current and future plans, Snow says that he is giving a lot of speeches, working on a couple of book contracts, and trying to find a way to get back on TV and radio — because he “wants to do both.”