While President-Elect Donald Trump may do some things differently with regards to the press corps when he takes office in January, Mr. Trump made a rather conventional choice for the job of White House Press Secretary, as he tapped well-known Republican National Committee aide Sean Spicer for that important public post.
“Thank you Donald Trump for this amazing honor,” Spicer tweeted moments after the choice was announced by Mr. Trump.
Spicer will serve on a White House communications team that also includes Trump aide Hope Hicks as Director of Strategic Communications, and Jason Miller as Communications Director.
Some Trump supporters had held out hope for a totally different presence in the White House Briefing Room, suggesting names like writer Ann Coulter or talk show host Laura Ingraham, dreaming of a briefing that mainly involved berating liberal reporters.
But in the end, the choice was a veteran GOP operative, someone who got on board with the Trump campaign when he became the presumptive nominee, and has not hesitated to tangle with the press during his various television stops.
Up here on Capitol Hill, the Spicer appointment won immediate praise among my journalistic colleagues, who see Spicer as having done a good job blending his role as someone grounded in Washington, D.C., but also having both feet squarely in the Trump camp.
“It’s a wise move,” one reporter friend said.
The choice also seemed to be a victory for Spicer’s boss, RNC chief Reince Priebus, who will be White House Chief of Staff for Mr. Trump.
“Sean is the absolute right person for the job,” said AshLee Strong, the spokesman for House Speaker Paul Ryan.
“We’re all bigly jealous,” Strong added on Twitter.
Spicer will be teamed with Jason Miller, who has been in political circles in D.C. for a number of years. He began 2016 with the Ted Cruz campaign, and then switched over to Trump.
While Spicer will be the public face of the Trump White House, Miller will be more behind the scenes as Communications Director.
Earlier today, Mr. Trump named another familiar Washington face, Kellyanne Conway, as his Counselor – her role will continue to be political strategy.
Some reports have indicated that the President-Elect wanted Conway to be the Press Secretary, but she was not interested in that post.
She is still expected to be a big part of any media efforts on behalf of the new administration.