Fitzwater: Press Secretary isn’t for the faint of heart
by Ronald J. Cooper III
While answering students questions during a recent visit to Franklin Pierce University, Marlin Fitzwater revealed the unknown troubles, seriousness, and responsibilities that
(Photo: Jen Connors)
come along with being the Press Secretary to two presidents.
Fitzwater was Press Secretary to former President Ronald Reagan and former President George H. W. Bush for ten years. “I was the one who had to tell the American people, as well as the rest of the world that we were ‘invading Panama to stop Noriega’ as well as ‘we are liberating Kuwait from the control of Saddam Hussein’, the final step in a declaration of war,” Fitzwater said.
“Having to tell the world that America was going to invade a country was dangerous and frightening,” he said. “You don’t have a second chance to make a mistake, there’s a large risk factor and you have to work hard because the rest of the nation is going to take cue from what you say.
Even when the country wasn’t going to war, the job of Press Secretary was a hard one.
“The job of a Press Secretary is one with tight constraints, and it was a tough one. You don’t have any room for mistakes because if you mess up, you’re fired. I liked being Press Secretary, I was very fortunate to be one, and for ten years, and two Presidents,” said Fitzwater.
When asked why he wanted to be a Press Secretary he answered, “It helped a lot to that I was very interested in journalism, and that before working for the government as a Press Secretary, and even before working for the EPA, I was a journalist. When I was a kid, I lived on a farm, and growing up I knew one thing, I didn’t wanna be a farmer like my father. So I got into journalism in high school.”