Apparently, Tony Snow is a great fundraiser for the Republicans. I don’t think any president’s press secretary has ever been so popular with his respective party’s base.
ST. CHARLES, Ill., Oct. 15 — Tony Snow draped his lanky frame across a wooden lectern, leaned forward and gazed out at 850 adoring Republicans who had paid $175 apiece to hear him speak. There was a conspiratorial gleam in his eye, as if he was about to reveal some deep inner secret from his new life as the White House press secretary.
“Yesterday,” Mr. Snow declared, “I was in the Oval Office with the president —-“
He cut himself off, took a perfectly calibrated three-second pause and switched into an aw-shucks voice for dramatic effect: “I just looove saying that! Yeaaah, I was in the Oval Office. Just meeee and the president. Nooooobody else.” The crowd lapped it up.
Live from the suburbs of Chicago — It’s the Tony Snow Outside-the-Beltway Hour! Memo to White House press corps: you can’t catch this show in the briefing room.
In the six months since Mr. Bush enlisted him to resuscitate a White House press operation that was barely breathing, Mr. Snow, a former Fox News television and radio host and a conservative commentator, has reinvented the job with his snappy sound bites and knack for deflecting tough questions with a smile. Now, he is reinventing it yet again, by breaking away from the briefing room to raise money for Republicans, as he did here on Saturday night for Speaker J. Dennis Hastert.
Mr. Snow, who will make 16 such appearances before Election Day, acknowledged he had entered “terra incognita”; to his knowledge, no other White House press secretary has raised money for political candidates while in the job. But with his star power from television and his conservative credentials, Mr. Snow, unlike his predecessors, is in hot demand.
I would love to see Tony Snow in person. As a press secretary, he’s by far the quickest on his feet at deflecting the White House Press Corps’ attempts at “gotcha” questions.