While delivering Tuesday's keynote speech at the Benefits Selling Expo, former White House Press Secretary Lawrence Ari Fleischer couldn't resist opening with a jab against journalists.

"After spending my mornings, afternoons and far too many of my nights in the company of the White House Press Corps, I can say that it's a pleasure to be here with you," said Fleischer, to amused reaction from those in attendance.

Raised as a liberal Democrat, Fleischer recalled how President Ronald Reagan's "peace through strength and unyielding sense of patriotism" moved him to embrace a conservative point of view, and how proud he was to accept the position as press secretary for President George W. Bush following the hotly contested 2000 election. He recounted how his office was located 30 feet from the podium in the White House briefing room, where he would address the press corps. Fleischer described each briefing as a "live quiz show with no net under the podium," and thrived on the pressure. "That was the excitement of the job, and eventually, that leads to the burnout of the job," he admitted.  "It was the honor of a lifetime."

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Shawn Moynihan

Shawn Moynihan is Editor-in-Chief of National Underwriter Property & Casualty. A St. John’s University alum, Moynihan has earned 11 Jesse H. Neal Awards, the Pulitzers of the business press; seven Azbee Awards, from the American Society of Business Press Editors; two Folio Awards; and a SABEW award, from the Society of American Business Editors & Writers. Prior to joining ALM, he served as Managing Editor/Online Editor of journalism institution Editor & Publisher, the trade bible of the newspaper industry. Moynihan also has held editorial positions with AOL, Metro New York, and Newhouse Newspapers. He can be reached at [email protected].