Report: Harf Won’t Get Top State Job; She ‘Failed Spectacularly’ In Test Run, Official Says
Jen Psaki might be getting the call to the big leagues, but that doesn’t mean Marie Harf is taking her old spot.
After a multitude of ineffective television appearances, headlined by her remark that helping ISIS fighters find jobs instead of killing our way out of war against the terror group should be the U.S.’s priority in the Middle East, Harf is not in line to become Psaki’s replacement as the top spokesperson at the State Department, according to a Daily Mail report. (RELATED: State Dept Spokeswoman: ‘We Cannot Kill Our Way’ Out Of War Against ISIS)
A source told The Mail that Harf “failed spectacularly” during her “test run” for the top spokesperson job, as Psaki’s move to the White House had been in the works for some time.
“Jen’s move to the White House isn’t something that happened overnight,” a State Department official said, “and Marie’s TV appearances were an audition of sorts, a test run, and she failed spectacularly.”
Psaki is leaving at the end of March to take over as the White House communications director for Jennifer Palmieri, who is leaving for Hillary Clinton’s presumptive 2016 campaign.
During her fateful week, Harf made three newsworthy television appearances this week on MSNBC’s Hardball (Monday) and “Morning Joe” (Wednesday), as well as CNN’s “The Situation Room.”
The deputy spokesperson at the State Department initially earned ridicule for her comments to Chris Matthews Monday, where she said “we cannot kill our way” out of the war against ISIS, adding that we should be more focused on the “root causes” of terror in the region.
“We’re killing a lot of them and we’re going to keep killing more of them, so are the Egyptians, so are the Jordanians they’re in this fight with us,” Harf told Matthews. “But we cannot win this war by killing them, we cannot kill our way out of this war. We need, in the longer term, medium and longer term, to go after the root causes that leads people to join these groups, whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs.”
Harf followed her “Hardball” comments up with interviews with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Wednesday morning, where she was asked if she wanted to “take a mulligan” for her comments. (RELATED: ‘Morning Joe’ To Marie Harf: Do You Want To ‘Take A Mulligan’ For ISIS Comments?)
Fox News’ Dana Perino, a former White House press secretary under George W. Bush, offered up advice for Harf on Wednesday, telling her co-hosts on “The Five” that the State Department spokesperson should simply “stop talking.” (RELATED: Perino: ‘You Have A Serious Problem’ When Marie Harf Is The Lead Story For 3 Days In A Row)
“This is a little bit of advice. If the deputy spokesperson at the Department of State is the lead story for three days in a row, you have a serious problem,” Perino said. “There are several people in the State Department, career foreign service officers, political appointees of some stature and Senate confirmed, who should be out trying to explain the president’s policy.”