2006.10.09: October 9, 2006: Headlines: COS - Kenya: Rumors: Journalism: White House: Post Chronicle: Latest Update: White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said he served in Kenya in an organization like the Peace Corps

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Kenya: The Peace Corps in Kenya: 2006.10.09: October 9, 2006: Headlines: COS - Kenya: Rumors: Journalism: White House: Post Chronicle: Columnist Salena Zito reports that White House Press Secretary Tony Snow served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya : 2006.10.09: October 9, 2006: Headlines: COS - Kenya: Rumors: Journalism: White House: Post Chronicle: Latest Update: White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said he served in Kenya in an organization like the Peace Corps

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-110-120.balt.east.verizon.net - on Monday, October 09, 2006 - 11:22 am: Edit Post

Latest Update: White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said he served in Kenya in an organization like the Peace Corps

Latest Update:  White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said he served in Kenya in an organization like the Peace Corps

"He came to conservative commentary on a roundabout path, teaching in Kenya as a Peace Corps volunteer, then working as a substitute school teacher in Cincinnati and as a developmental-disabilities advocate in North Carolina. "

PCOL Comment: We contacted the reporter who interviewed Tony Snow and she reported that she had issued a correction to her story. Tony Snow did not serve in the Peace Corps but taught in Kenya in an organization like the Peace Corps.

Latest Update: White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said he served in Kenya in an organization like the Peace Corps

The Public Face Of The White House
By Salena Zito

Oct 9, 2006

WASHINGTON - Since Tony Snow became White House press secretary in April, President Bush's approval ratings have crept up.

That might be no coincidence. Bush couldn't find a more likeable daily stand-in for a combative press corps or a curious public.

Snow, 51, is disarmingly charming. He's soft-voiced yet assertive, self-deprecating yet serious, intelligent but not condescending. The perfect pitchman for a president facing an unpopular war and his toughest midterm election.

In a two-hour White House interview with Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Editor Frank Craig, Managing Editor Robert Fryer and Reporter Salena Zito, Snow outlined the Bush administration's plans for its final two years, including a renewed push on Social Security. He discussed in detail the war on terror and its impact on America's image, Bush's operating style, the November election, and a variety of other issues.

Born in Kentucky and reared in Cincinnati, Snow is best known as a conservative newspaper columnist and a Fox News talk-radio host and TV anchor. In a craft known for shouting and name-calling, Snow spoke without such stridency.

He came to conservative commentary on a roundabout path, teaching in Kenya as a Peace Corps volunteer, then working as a substitute school teacher in Cincinnati and as a developmental-disabilities advocate in North Carolina.

Nor was he a lock-step Bush backer before stepping behind the White House podium. After Hurricane Katrina, he wrote in a column: "Begin with the wimp factor. No president has looked this impotent this long when it comes to defending presidential powers and prerogatives."

Even so, one White House insider described Snow in the spring as the "big name" needed "to turn heads" among the typically contentious White House press corps.

Now, as the president's public face, he speaks in near-reverential terms about Bush.

A recent article in the Washington Times (for which Snow once worked) asked if he is responsible for Bush's approval rating rising from a low of 29 percent last winter to more than 42 percent in recent weeks. Snow demurs, saying simply that "We are telling our story" to explain the turn-around.

In daily press conferences, Snow comes across as almost incapable of getting angry. Yet he can, as when he accused NBC's David Gregory of rudeness and of summarizing "the Democratic point of view" in a question at a Sept. 5 press gaggle.

Snow insists he does not "try to 'spin' people ... sell them a line" because it "can be counter-productive. ... You don't ignore bad news. What you do is deal with it head-on."

"Tony has a tough job," says CBS News' Mark Knoller, who has covered the Bush and Clinton White Houses, "but because he is affable and amicable, he pulls it off. Tony is very glib, very smart -- so, yes, he has a very difficult job that he handles skillfully."

Steve Scully, a C-Span correspondent and White House correspondents' association president, says Snow has created "a more open and accessible relationship" and is "a guy who 'gets it.' He 'gets' us. ... Don't get me wrong, there are times when he steps up to the podium and says nothing ... (but) you get honesty from Tony."

Comparing Snow to widely admired predecessors Mike McCurry (Clinton) and Marlin Fitzwater (Reagan), he says that when Snow "walks off the podium after talking to us, he does not scramble off -- he lingers, he talks to us. And he returns phone calls, all phone calls."

For a man who a year ago battled colon cancer (the disease killed his mother in 1973, when he was 17), it's a demanding job.

A typical Snow workday starts at 6:30 a.m. (the alarm goes off three hours earlier). First up is a meeting with the National Security adviser, followed by staff meetings, an off-camera press briefing at 9:30 a.m., an on-camera briefing at 12:30 p.m. and ends when it ends.

His interview with Craig, Fryer and Zito began well past 5 p.m, on a long day that included a state visit by Pakistan's president, and lasted past 7 p.m.

His West Wing office, a few steps around a corner from the Oval Office, looks as if he's just moving in or out; few personal objects fill the space. But photographs of his son and two daughters sit prominently on a shelf.

Asked what keeps him up at night, he points to those photos: "They do."

Salena Zito is a TRIBUNE-REVIEW editorial writer, and an independent columnist

When this story was posted in October 2006, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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Story Source: Post Chronicle

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