State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, who is best known for her attempts at hashtag diplomacy, has been named the new White House communications director. We have had occasion to question Psaki’s competence more than once, including the time when she tried to explain what a great job the Iraqi army is doing against ISIS, but lost her notes. In any event, Psaki’s promotion means that her deputy, Marie Harf, will be taking over the top State Department job, right?
Not so fast! The Daily Mail reports that Harf’s “jobs for jihadis” campaign has made her such a laughingstock that she will be passed over:
Marie Harf, the embattled State Department deputy spokeswoman who insisted this week that helping ISIS jihadis find gainful employment was a better strategy than killing them, is not in line for a promotion when her boss moves to the White House on April 1, a State Department official said Thursday.
Harf said Monday night on MSNBC that “lack of opportunity for jobs” in the Middle East should be America’s focus in the war against the ISIS terror army. She refused to back down Tuesday night on CNN, insisting that the Obama administration should “get at the root causes” of terrorism. “It might be too nuanced an argument for some,” she sniped at her legions of critics.
Those mockworthy moments, a State Department official said Thursday, “are going to keep her from the top job.”
“Jen’s move to the White House isn’t something that happened overnight,” the official said, “and Marie’s TV appearances were an audition of sorts, a test run, and she failed spectacularly.”
We can’t argue with that. Still, Psaki set a low bar, and if the administration was looking for someone to follow in her footsteps, it is hard to see why Harf wasn’t the perfect choice.