Mixed Emotions on Tony Snow's New White House Role

Snow Job!

Tony Snow has been given the job of White House press secretary, which causes me to have mixed emotions. Because I count Tony as a friend, I am happy for his personal success. I also worry about the man's sanity. You have to be half crazy to want that job.

Being the White House press secretary is an important, yet completely thankless job. Each day you must walk into the hellhole known as the White House briefing room and take queries from a number of very smart (and smart-alecky) people. One former press secretary compared the White House briefing room to Mensa kindergarten. The reporters there are frustrated and borderline angry most of the time because they actually have very little access to those they are trying to cover. They are perpetually in a bad mood because they spend their days in miserable little closets devoid of sunshine, eating out of vending machines, routinely having to stand in line to use the bathroom. I know all this because I was once one of them. I thank the good Lord each and every day that I no longer live in that dungeon.

When briefing time comes around, this surly mob is ready to transfer its collective ire and general displeasure on any target that happens to wander by. The White House press secretary is most often the person wearing the bull’s eye.

Tony is a decent, likable guy with a generally upbeat disposition that should serve him well in his new role. I can tell you that prior to making the final decision he wandered through my office. The only concern that he expressed was about his family. We in Washington often forget that public servants also have families who must also endure the rigors, slings and arrows inflicted in the political arena.

So to my now-former colleague, a hearty wish of good luck. I hope you will still count me as a friend the next time I get the chance to pepper you with hard questions. I like you and all — but this is business.


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Brian Wilson is a congressional correspondent for FOX News and anchor of the Sunday edition of "Weekend Live."