Just a few weeks after stepping down as White House press secretary, Jay Carney reflects on his three years in the role in a Q+A with The New York Times Magazine. Carney — who says he doesn’t know what’s next but won’t be going back to journalism full-time — talks about what it was like to stand at the podium after many years on the other side:
Were you surprised at times how tense things could get with your former colleagues? Sure. It can be surreal at the podium when you go down that front row and you have an exchange with one of the reporters in which there’s very emotional — maybe even theatrical — presentation and back and forth, and then you go to the next reporter and you have the same thing, as if the first one didn’t happen at all. You begin to wonder how valuable a service to the nation that is in the end.
Do people in the first row like to showboat? If you look at the difference in tenor between the on-camera briefings and the on-the-record-but-off-camera gaggles, it’s night and day.
Would you have fought with yourself? Probably a little bit.