White House Press Secretary Gets a New ‘Flak Jacket’: A

By longstanding, bipartisan custom, decades of White Household push secretaries have handed down a cheeky symbol of their task fielding rat-a-tat inquiries from feisty reporters: a flak jacket.

The ritual dates to the 1970s, when Gerald Ford’s press secretary, Ron Nessen, acquired a blue men’s brocade vest from reporters that highlighted a bulletproof lining. He still left it for his successor with a be aware: “You’ll will need this at some of your briefings.”

In genuine Washington style, a gag gift turned into a commemorated ritual. But the garment, which in later a long time was a dim-hued men’s blazer, would sometimes go lacking, frequently involving administrations.

So it was that Jen Psaki, on a single of her closing times as President Biden’s press secretary, observed herself trawling a Macy’s hunting for a substitution jacket. She observed a single, with a modern-day twist.

The new “flak jacket,” which now hangs in a West Wing business, is a women’s Tommy Hilfiger blazer, measurement 16, in Hello-Liter yellow, with contrasting jetted pockets and elbow patches.

“It’s a women’s jacket,” Ms. Psaki explained in an interview. “But it’s huge plenty of for any size man.”

The transform appeared fitting.

Karine Jean-Pierre, who began on Monday as Ms. Psaki’s successor, is the fifth lady in a row to serve as White Home press secretary, a streak that began with Sarah Huckabee Sanders in 2017.

Until eventually Invoice Clinton appointed Dee Dee Myers in 1993, the part experienced solely been occupied by adult males. Dana Perino served underneath George W. Bush, but Barack Obama named only adult men to the occupation.

No jacket was awaiting Ms. Psaki when she started in January 2021 it was seemingly lost in the tumult of a presidential changeover.

“Jen is executing the office of the push secretary a genuine provider by changing a amazing custom,” Ms. Perino wrote in an e-mail.

The upcoming stage is restoring the handwritten notes from push secretaries past, a compendium of tips, humor and sympathy that was seemingly misplaced when the last jacket went missing.

Ari Fleischer, who served as George W. Bush’s push secretary, stated in an job interview that he kept copies of the notes, which were supposedly wrapped in a pink ribbon and saved in the jacket’s pockets. He is in contact with Ms. Psaki about reuniting the notes with their new, brightly coloured home.

“It doesn’t issue what it seems like or what it’s made of,” Mr. Fleischer explained of the jacket. “It will under no circumstances function, for the reason that there is not sufficient defense for a push secretary from the White Dwelling push corps.”

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