Dana Perino can throw and block blows just as well as anyone else. She could, however, do a better job of dodging.
During a brawl that ensued when a journalist threw his shoes at President George W. Bush in 2008, Ms. Perino was smacked in the face with a boom microphone.
She will be moderating the Republican presidential debate this Wednesday in Simi Valley, California, so that type of commotion, along with the almost two years she spent fielding questions from reporters in the White House briefing room, may be ideal preparation for her next act.
Since Ms. Perino has been co-hosting “The Five” on Fox News since 2011, this will be her biggest moment to date. As a Bush Republican at a network where loyalty to former President Donald J. Trump is often the ticket to high ratings and the career advancement that comes with them, Ms. Perino, 51, has spent a good portion of the last decade trying to thrive.
Ms. Perino is one of the rare White House staffers to transition into a career in television anchoring; she co-hosts the morning news show “America’s Newsroom” for two hours. She claims that George Stephanopoulos, an ABC News anchor who worked as Bill Clinton’s communications director, and Diane Sawyer, an ABC News anchor who worked as an assistant to Richard M. Nixon, served as inspirations for her transformation.
According to her current and past coworkers, she has been successful at Fox News by not taking either extreme position on Trump. During the heated debates on “The Five,” she usually stays out of harm’s way while flashing her co-hosts a knowing smirk as they poke fun at Mr. Trump’s leftist critics.
Some of Ms. Perino’s texts with her colleagues became public when Dominion Voting Systems sued Fox News for promoting conspiracy theories related to Mr. Trump’s 2020 loss, revealing how little she thought of the former president and his claims that extensive voter fraud cost him the election. She confirmed it on live and in a text discussion with Mr. Fratto, who represented Dominion at the time, described the threats she had received. She then revealed that she had received death threats because of the backlash she had received from the maga community.
Ms. Perino wasn’t exactly giddy with excitement when asked last week if she would prefer it if Mr. Trump attended in this week’s debate – he will miss it, as he did the debate last month in Milwaukee.
She added she and her Fox News coworkers Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum thought the candidates wasted their time by constantly interrupting each other during the last debate.
Many debate moderators before her had found that preparing for the event was a thankless job. Candidates frequently ignore the moderators’ carefully crafted questions.
Fox personality and co-host on “The Five,” Greg Gutfeld, has admitted that he makes fun of her for bringing a notepad to each programme filled with ideas based on the day’s news stories. Not like me, she really reads the newspaper. Mr. Gutfeld remarked, “She’s like the honour roll student in your class.” She’s not the type to shove it in your cranium. However, she is well-equipped.
Ms Perino is returning to the field she entered just out of college; this time as a news anchor. She started off as an overnight disc jockey at a country music station in Pueblo, Colorado, then went on to earn a journalism degree from the University of Southern Colorado and relocate to the Midwest, where she now works as a television reporter for a station in Champaign, Illinois. She realised that covering holiday parades and town council meetings for a living wasn’t her cup of tea.
After working in several communications positions in the nation’s capital, she was appointed in 2006 as the deputy press secretary in the Bush White House, reporting to Tony Snow, a former anchor of “Fox News Sunday.” After being diagnosed with colon cancer, he resigned in 2007. Ms. Perino is the new press secretary that Mr. Bush appointed.