A Honeymoon?

Mary Katharine Ham
|
Posted: Apr 26, 2006 12:44 PM

Today on Fox, anchor Brit Hume predicted a "honeymoon period" for Tony Snow when he steps behind the mic over at the White House.

I wonder if it's too much to hope for.

But this is certainly an interesting change. Some say that the administration is going to take more grief from the press because the Snow pick is high-profile and Fox News-related and talk radio-entwined, thereby lending itself to conspiracy theories.

I'm of the mind that having a guy like Tony Snow as the face of the Bush administration and its policies will do far more good than the press' predictable sniping about his connections.

Snow is polished and calm and undeniably likeable. His voice is so good, he may have a shot at soothing Helen back into her creaking front-row seat. I can imagine him politely requesting a "question this time, though I'd love to hear one of your charming, err, theories after the conference, Helen."

Depsite the Dem talking points that the administration needs a "change in direction, not personnel" (wait, weren't they the ones that were demanding a shake-up?), this will signal a change to the American people. Scott McClellan did a hard, hard job on that podium. Frankly, I kinda dug it when he would cut off Elisabeth Bumiller and scold David Gregory, but he was combative and snarky seeming, which made it easier to paint the administration with that brush. (Does anyone have another metaphor for that? I'm coming up empty.)

I think Snow has the ability to put the press in its place just as effectively without looking mean-spirited. And, when you put a nice, classy guy like Tony Snow up against the likes of the Washington press corps-- perhaps the most bitter, mean-spirited gaggle in the nation-- on TV every day, Snow is bound to come out on top. Tony Snow vs. David Gregory? That's like John Roberts vs. Joe Biden, Round 2. And, that round goes to the administration.

I'm wondering what a press secretary with this much pull will look like. Snow has a lot of respect from the press corps desite his unabashedly conservative credentials. And, he carries a lot of weight with the administration despite his unabashedly media credentials.

The tug-of-war (another metaphor, please. I'm dyin' over here. hee.) oughtta get good.

Joe Gandelman has a great round-up of reaction, here, and some similar thoughts on Snow.

This would be something of an innovation: a press secretary who (in theory at least) would be not just sent out to do combat with journalists so distrusted by The Powers That Be but someone who actually would work to smooth things over by using what he knows about both sides.