New White House press secretary Carney sounds a few familiar notes

February 16, 2011

President Barack Obama’s new press secretary, Jay Carney, took a few phrases out of his predecessor’s playbook during his first stint at the White House podium.

It turns out that he, like Robert Gibbs, is not an economist. And he doesn’t want to speculate. And he refers you to the (insert relevant department here) for further details on questions that were not entirely on his radar. USA/

Despite those familiar dodges — “I’m not an economist” was a favorite line of Gibbs — Carney did show up prepared on Wednesday.

He called nearly all of the reporters in the first three rows of the press room by name.

He handled questions ranging from Obama’s fiscal 2012 budget to his philosophies on presidential news conferences.

And he called on journalists throughout the room, not just the regulars, in a briefing that lasted a little under an hour.

Asked at the end whether he liked being at the podium better than shouting questions as a journalist, the former Time magazine reporter said: “I like it up here.”

Photo credit: Reuters/Jim Young (Carney at his first news briefing as White House press secretary)

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