White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham is the “Where’s Waldo” of the DC political scene. Where is she? A month into the job, Grisham is the cipher of Team Trump.
Her absence from the arena makes one pine for the return of the irrepressible Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Nah, just kidding.
Sanders was arrogant, antagonistic, rude, dismissive, condescending and downright mean-spirited toward the media.
And that was on one of her rare good days.
Serving America’s most truth-challenged president (e.g., Washington Post has Donald Trump approaching the vaunted 11,000 lies and misleading statements mark), Sanders failed miserably at the press secretary job.
She didn’t even come close to fulfilling the basic requirements of the post: telling the truth and being somewhat of a champion of the media.
Even Ron Ziegler, the second-worst White House press secretary, finally fessed up when he told the media that all his statements defending Richard Nixon’s Watergate activities have become “inoperative.”
That confession opened the floodgates, which eventually led to Tricky Dick boarding the presidential chopper and waving goodbye to all of the suckers in DC.
Sanders didn't have the principles to do a Ziegler. Former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators then went on to destroy any shred of credibility that Sanders may have had.
They cited Sanders for making false statements while defending Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey. She told Mueller’s probers that her claim that “countless” FBI agents had told her that they lost confidence in Comey’s leadership was a “slip of the tongue.”
Loose lips sink both ships and press secretaries. Mueller's revelation was the beginning of the end for Sanders.
Grisham, whom Politico dubbed “the president’s silent spokesperson,” may ultimately turn out to be the best thing to happen to the media during the Trump era.
The traditional press secretary job is dead, as long as president Trump sits in the White House, Mar-a-Lago or at one of his golf courses.
Trump is his own spokesperson and Twitter is his megaphone.
Sanders wound down her tour of combat at the White House by dodging reporters, auditioning for a job at Fox News and plotting her run for governor of The Natural State, a job once held by her father.
To her credit, Grisham hasn't demeaned her position by pitching her tent at Fox. She hasn't yet appeared on Rupert Murdoch's pride and joy, letting Trump mouthpieces like Kellyanne Conway bathe in that media spotlight.
Grisham did earn high marks during Trump’s pilgrimage last month to visit Little Rocket Man in North Korea, where she was roughed up by security goons.
The press secretary received some scrapes and bruises after she pushed back at the guards in a bid to pave the way for reporters to cover the photo-op of Trump and Kim Jong Un.
The Associated Press reported that Grisham was caught on video telling the journalists to “go, go” and get the story.
During that single incident, she proved to be more of an advocate for journalists than Sanders ever was during her two-year run as White House press secretary.
Grisham’s low-profile may be just what the DC press corps needs after the tumultuous and contentious reign of Sanders.
She does have one big thing going for her. In taking over the job of the worst White House press secretary in US history, the bar of success is set pretty low for Grisham.