By Beatriz Pascual Macías |
Washington (EFE) .- Karine Jean-Pierre became this Thursday the first black person and the first openly homosexual woman to be appointed spokeswoman for the White House, a position that will make her the face and voice that defends the policies of US President Joe Biden.
Her appointment is a reflection of the diversity of US Government, where the Vice Presidency bears the name of Kamala Harris, who broke her own glass ceiling by becoming the first African American and the first Indian or Asian American to take office. that charge.
Jean Pierre44, will replace the current spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, who is scheduled to leave the White House on May 13.
Born on the French Caribbean island of Martinique and the daughter of Haitian immigrants, Jean-Pierre has served as Psaki’s “number two” since Biden took office as president in January 2021 and, on several occasions, has been in charge of answering the questions from reporters at daily press conferences.
“IT IS AN HONOR TO BE HERE”
The first time she stood on the podium was in May of last year, and then she already made history as the first black woman in three decades to preside over hectic White House press conferences.
“It is truly an honor to be here today. I give importance to this historical moment, I really do, ”began Jean-Pierre, who argued that, despite appreciating the historical significance of his intervention in the press room of the presidential mansion, it had to be downplayed.
“I think being on this podium, being in this room, being in this building, is not about one person. It is something we do on behalf of the American people, ”he added then.
Before her, only another African-American woman had been able to stand behind the White House press lectern- Judy Smith, deputy press secretary for then-Republican President George HW Bush (1989-1993) and who inspired the character of Olivia Pope in the series of political television “Scandal”.
AN “EXTRAORDINARY” WOMAN WITH A GREAT SENSE OF HUMOR
Jean-Pierre had long sounded like a possible replacement for Psaki, who had already made clear his intention to step down about a year after taking office.
In a message on Twitter, Psaki described his partner as an “extraordinary woman”, “passionate” and “intelligent” with strong moral principles and a great sense of humor, which makes her not only a great professional but also a great person. mother (has a daughter) and great person.
“I can’t wait to see her shine as she brings her own style, radiance and grace to the podium,” stated Psaki.
In a statement, Biden also praised Jean-Pierre, who was his adviser when he served as vice president in the Barack Obama administration (2009-2017).
The president called Jean-Pierre by her first name, Karine, and considered that he has the “experience”, “talent” and “integrity” that is needed for such a difficult job.
Jean-Pierre has experience in the public and private sectors and has participated in numerous presidential campaigns, including Obama’s in 2008 and 2012, as well as Biden’s in 2020.
HE DEFENDED KAMALA HARRIS FROM A PROTESTER
However, before coming to the Biden campaign, he worked in 2019 for the progressive platform MoveOn, which then sought to remove then-President Donald Trump (2017-2021) from the White House.
A well-known anecdote from that time is that Jean-Pierre, as Director of Public Affairs for MoveOn, organized a debate to which he invited Harris and in which he ended up confronting a protester.
Specifically, unexpectedly, an animal rights activist got on stage and pounced on Harris to take the microphone from him, to which Jean-Pierre intervened by putting his body between the then senator and the protester, much more taller than her.
“It was a moment when I was scared, but all I could think about was that I had to act,” Jean-Pierre later reflected in an interview on MSNBC.
Jean-Pierre, at the time, thought that perhaps the man who had taken the stage was a white supremacist who wanted to harm Harris, then the only African-American woman competing in the Democratic primary for the Presidency, a race that Biden won. .
“And I said to myself, no, this is not going to happen today,” said Jean-Pierre, remembering what happened.
The new spokeswoman has also worked as a political analyst for NBC and MSNBC, and as an advocate for women’s reproductive rights for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
Jean-Pierre will take office at a time when abortion rights are in jeopardy in the US and just as Biden is facing an invasion not seen in decades, while at the same time trying to deal with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.