T.J. Ducklo isn't the only middling political flack working in the Biden administration these days. He's not even the only one to be called out for berating a female reporter.
Ian Sams, whose résumé includes the failed presidential campaigns of Hillary Clinton (2016) and Kamala Harris (2020), is no longer self-employed after landing a plum gig as the COVID-19 spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services.
Sams, who is best known for modeling Clinton campaign merchandise such as the "Grillary Clinton" apron, embarrassed himself on several occasions while serving as national press secretary for the Harris campaign, which flamed out months before the Iowa caucuses.
Sams lashed out at BuzzFeed editor Katherine Miller in October 2019 after Miller tweeted critical remarks about Harris's performance during a Democratic primary debate. He didn't confront Miller directly, but rather reached out to her boss, Ben Smith, to complain.
Sams was offended that Miller had praised another failed candidate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), for suggesting Harris's crusade to get Donald Trump banned from Twitter was a dumb idea. Was this a racist thing to suggest? Sams thought so.
"This kind of stuff is just a really horrible look for you guys," Sams told Smith via text. "Frankly, it's whiteness manifest. If Kamala shrugged off a Warren critique of how she wasn't with her on [breaking up] Facebook, we'd get raked over the coals and [Warren] would be lauded as taking on corporate power."
Smith's response to the aggrieved flack was rather savage. "Do you seriously not have real problems?" he asked. "This text makes me think you are totally, totally unready for an actual presidential campaign."
Smith was right. Days later, Sams humiliated himself again by tweeting out a bizarre photoshopped image of Harris being yelled at by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.). The original image was taken during a contentious meeting between Pelosi and President Donald Trump, whose image had been sloppily replaced with one of Harris with her arms crossed.
"It's time for an upgrade," Sams wrote on Twitter, to the confusion of everyone. Why was Pelosi yelling at Harris? Why was Harris surrounded by Republican aides and lawmakers? Why? No one had a good answer to any of these questions, least of all Sams, who ultimately deleted the tweet. "Rightwing twitter is a really sad place," he lamented.
Anyway, congrats on the new gig!