John Kirby Promoted to Assistant to the President

By Jerry McConway, updated on February 12, 2024

One of the most visible members of the Biden administration has just been promoted.

John Kirby, who started Biden's term as the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, is now the White House National Security Adviser, making him a direct assistant to the president.

Talking Points…
- Kirby as the face of the administration
- Getting promoted
- Analysis

Kirby the Face of the Administration

Both Jen Psaki and Karine Jean-Pierre have had their challenges as Press Secretary for this administration. On many occasions, John Kirby has been called to the dais in the White House briefing room to take some pressure off them during their respective times as Press Secretary. He has been rewarded with numerous promotions.

Kirby is another holdover from the Obama administration, having served as a spokesperson for the Department of State as well as finishing up the Obama administration as the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs. Biden brought him aboard in that same role, but he also served as the Pentagon Press Secretary, then the National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications.

Throughout the Afghanistan withdrawal and now the problems in the Middle East, Kirby has been brought in to take pressure off Karine Jean-Pierre, who has struggled to control the briefing room at times, as well as being called out for spinning narratives and not directly answering questions.

Kirby Promoted Again

In Kirby's new role as the White House National Security Adviser, he will now report directly to Biden as an assistant to the president, overseeing a small team that will operate separately from the National Security press office. Additionally, he will be coordinating all communications from various national security agencies.

Anita Dunn, senior adviser to President Biden, announced the promotion for Kirby, stating:

"Admiral Kirby's decades of high level national security experience and his clear, strategic insights make him a deeply valued communicator and adviser on this team.

"President Biden is proud to have John leading National security message coordination across the administration as we continue to make a forceful case for our national security interests at home and in the world."

Kirby served in the U.S. Navy for nearly 30 years before retiring as a Rear Admiral to serve in the Obama administration in the communications department.

Analysis

Kirby has become a villain to the right for how he spins stories, so this is not likely to go over very well with conservatives. Like Karine Jean-Pierre, he has a horrible habit of overspinning everything in Joe Biden's favor, and with national security, people expect a lot more honesty.

In terms of how this will impact the administration, it seems pretty clear that Biden is now trying to shake things up to help his re-election campaign after that disastrous special counsel report.

I think we can expect to see even more of Kirby on the dais, including in the main briefing room, where Karine Jean-Pierre has been getting torched as of late. The White House is quickly approaching a deadline in terms of getting aid to Ukraine, and tensions in the Middle East have been on the rise for months. Rather than have KJP flub the response, Kirby will likely be the one delivering the narrative for Biden.

About Jerry McConway

Jerry McConway is an independent political author and investigator who lives in Dallas, Texas. He has spent years building a strong following of readers who know that he will write what he believes is true, even if it means criticizing politicians his followers support. His readers have come to expect his integrity.

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