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Politics

No Plans To Run For Governor Of Connecticut, Says White House Press Secretary

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AP Photo/Evan Vucci
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White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a media briefing at the White House, Feb. 2, 2021, in Washington.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki hails from Fairfield County, Connecticut, and her current turn in the spotlight is being closely followed by some of her old friends back home.

Suzanne Graceffa, her classmate at Greenwich High School, said that as a teenager Psaki never showed an interest in a career in politics. 

“We just sort of ran in the same circles, I would say,” said Graceffa. “I played soccer, she swam. We had the same groups of friends.” 

Both graduated in 1996. Graceffa says when it comes to careers, it looks like Psaki found the right fit.

“She just seems very honest and relatable, which doesn’t surprise me at all.” 

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Credit Courtesy: Suzanne Graceffa
Jen Psaki (center) and Suzanne Graceffa (far left) with friends at Greenwich High School's theater variety night.

Psaki, who went on to graduate from William and Mary College, previously served in the Obama administration as spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State. She was also the White House communications director from 2015 to 2017. Her husband, Greg Mecher, has been chief of staff for two congressmen. They have two children.   

Gary Rose, chairman of the Department of Government and Politics at Sacred Heart University, said Psaki’s experience and confidence stand out. 

“It’s more than apparent that she knows President Biden’s position on issues and she knows how to relay them,” said Rose. 

He said Psaki is off to a strong start and seems to know many reporters by name. This is in contrast to some press secretaries who have to grow into their roles.

“I would say that under the Trump administration there seemed to be more of an evolution of the various secretaries, whereas with Jen Psaki there’s no evolution. It’s as if she’s already done the job.”   

One thing Rose said Psaki could improve on is her body language when responding to reporters from conservative media outlets. 

And her early days haven’t passed without at least a spot of controversy. Politico reports that GOP Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama called on Psaki to apologize this week after a quip in the briefing room about former President Trump’s Space Force. Psaki shot back a response on Twitter:

Meanwhile, only a few weeks into her new role, Psaki already has had to answer questions about what’s next for her. 

“I can confirm for you I am not going to run for governor of Connecticut in the future,” Psaki said to a reporter in the briefing room. “I am here to confirm that for you as well.” 

In a tweet, Gov. Ned Lamont said that it was too bad because he would have voted for her. 

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