To the surprise of no one, Sean Spicer resigned as White House Press Secretary on Friday. The rumors he was “out” had been swirling for months. The press — even traditionally conservative press — thought he was out of his depth at best, and a liar at worst. While the political eulogies haven’t been written yet, it’s likely he’ll be blamed, at least in part, for President Trump’s historically low approval rating.
He deserves none of the blame. He played a poor hand as well as he possibly could. Until the president becomes more disciplined in his actions and his statements, no Press Secretary or Communications Director will succeed in this administration.
Let’s start with the first attack on Spicer, that he was incompetent, prone to silly slips of the tongue or outright offensive lies. He did say some unsettling things — but, as I’ve argued, those slip ups were almost always timed when the president had said something worse immediately beforehand. Spicer repeatedly sacrificed his own reputation to save his president from embarrassing storylines. He served as a lightning rod.
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