Dana Perino on Tony Snow

Plenty of pundits and politicos have weighed in about Tony Snow since news surfaced about the death of the former White House press secretary and Fox News personality. However, Dana Perino, the Colorado-bred Bushie currently filling the spokesperson slot at the White House, didn't wait for Snow to succumb to colon cancer in order to make her feelings known. She shared some of her observations about the man she succeeded in an interview with Westword late last summer.

When Perino initially filled in for Snow back in 2005, she told the Denver Post, "Tony is one of the best on-camera briefers I have ever seen. Anyone who comes next is going to pale in comparison. I don't want to be that person." She was eventually convinced otherwise, but in her early days on the job, she did her best to lower expectations.

"I don't bring the star quality that Tony brings," she admitted. "I don't bring the self-assurance that he has in front of the television cameras. But I do strive to be accurate and informative and have a little bit of fun." On the subject of the press corps, she added, "There's a little bit of grandstanding, maybe, but I felt like there was a little bit less when I was doing the briefings. Maybe I just don't have the capacity, or I don't spar with them like Tony did. He likes a good debate. I like to get on and off the podium quicker -- give the answer and represent the president and his views as best I can."

That's pretty much how things have gone in the months since these comments. Press conferences have been a lot less lively with Perino at the helm than they were during Snow's reign -- which explains in part why people of varying ideological backgrounds have paid so much attention his passing. -- Michael Roberts

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts