'A Brilliant Intellect'

J$P Instant Transcripts! Reactions to the Tony Snow announcement from Barnes, Kondracke, Frost, Napolitano, Davis, Kilmeade, and Williams.

From Fox News, April 26 2006:

JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO [FOX NEWS SENIOR JUDICIAL ANALYST]: He not only understands the mechanics of government, he not only understands the theory of government, he understands the people there. He is one of them: he is a true journalist. He knows what motivates David Gregory. He knows what David Gregory is going to ask...and he knows what, when, and how to answer. You're going to find a vigorous defense of this President and this Presidency from this wonderful guy, and I've got to say he's a wonderful guy. He's a brilliant intellect; he understands government. And he's strong. He can't be pushed around. He's not afraid. And I know what he's been doing the past three days. He's been saying: You got me, Mr President. I got this job, but I want to be there when policy's made. I'm not just going to be a guy that's going to walk out there. I want to know what policy's being made, and why it's being made, and I want my two cents to count. And apparently, George W Bush said "yes".

LANNY DAVIS [FORMER WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL]: We have differing philosophies, but he is a man of integrity, he's a man of fairness, and he's a man of substance. And I emphasize substance, because it's my perception that Tony will have a policy role in discussing facts with the President, rather than simply being a conduit.... I happened to have a hospitalization for stomach surgery, and hadn't talked to Tony for a while. This is before his cancer. And out of the blue he called me in the hospital and said how're you doing, and gave me some good advice. This is a very nice man, and also a very credible man, and what President Bush needs more now than anything is transparency in the White House.

MARTIN FROST [FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR]: I think Tony's a straight shooter.... Tony obviously has credibility. The key for him will be to keep his good humor about him, and that's pretty tough in this environment. But he's somebody that the press respects. He'll obviously have to tone things down a little bit if he criticizes the President on some past issues, because he's the President's spokesman now and he can't differ with the President.... I think he was a good choice, and I think it's good for the President to put somebody out like Tony who has credibility, and let's hope that now that people can work together in Washington a little bit more.

MORT KONDRACKE [FOX NEWS]: Tony is nothing but affirmative. He's got a smiling face, he's cheerful, and I think all that is something that the Bush administration needs.... He's not an insider, he is somebody from the outside. But I would say the near outside.

JUAN WILLIAMS [FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR]: He's not only had experience here at Fox. He's worked at the Detroit News, The Washington Times. He has experience in print journalism and on the radio, Fox radio. So what you're going to see is I think he has a sense of what the needs are of reporters in these various media. And he's going to be able to say, here's what I can give you. He's going to open up the White House.... I've known Tony for a long time, and I think he's the guy to build that bridge to the media.

FRED BARNES [FOX NEWS]: He's not some guy who's just met with an aide who met with the President. He has access to the President and really does speak directly for the President. It makes a big difference for a Press Secretary to have that kind of authority.... He's got to be willing to have the press dislike him. 100% of his job is serving the President, not serving the press. And if that makes the reporters mad, so be it.

BRIAN KILMEADE [FOX NEWS]: You need a voice of reason, a clear voice to answer the press's questions, but also let them know they are not the boss of you. Tony Snow, for those who know him, know he is tough, he is nice, he is absolutely fair, and he knows the issues.... You have to be somewhat of a punching bag. You have to allow the questions to come out that clearly have an agenda in them, and not say: well wait a second, you have an agenda. You've got to let that happen. And you've got to let people verbally score with you sometimes and take that. And I have not seen Tony ever lose his temper, most people haven't, but you've got to keep the smile going. Scott McClellan did fine, but no one in my lifetime has been better than Ari Fleischer, and I think Tony's got a shot at that.

posted: Wed - April 26, 2006 at 10:53 AM       j$p  send