Carney: ‘I have loved every minute’

White House press secretary Jay Carney bid adieu to the media at his final briefing Wednesday, saying he had “loved every minute” as the president’s top spokesman.

"This has been an extraordinary experience, and I have loved every minute of every day, even the many minutes of many days I spent in this room," Carney said.

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"As I think most of you now understand and believe, it's always a pleasure, no matter how hard it can get in here, how hot it can sometimes be and contentious it sometimes is," he added.

His deputy, Josh Earnest, will officially take over as the top White House spokesman after Carney departs on Friday. But Wednesday marked the last day Carney would brief the press corps.

"No one has been more ready to do this," Carney said of Earnest, a longtime press aide.

A former reporter for Time Magazine, Carney joined the Obama administration as Vice President Joe Biden's press secretary in 2009. He took over duties for the president's first spokesman, Robert Gibbs, two years later.

"The vice president took a chance on me. Two years later, the president took a chance on me. And I hope I didn't give either of them any regrets," Carney said.

Carney said that while he loved his years as a reporter, he appreciated the "team effort" involved in working at the White House.

"You know, the president to many of us said that of the jobs that we have here in the White House, that most of us will never be in a position to do more good for more people as we are in right now, and we should take advantage of it," Carney said. "And that is something that I think we all here take to heart.

“I don't ever expect to be in a position again to be a part of something that has at least the potential to more good for more people, and that has been a very special thing indeed," he added.

Carney hasn't said what his next job will be, but has previously joked that he might spend time managing his son's band. Members of the rock group include Carney's 12-year-old, as well as the children of U.S. Trade Rep. Mike Froman, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, and former Hillary Clinton presidential campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle.

The group recently posted a video to YouTube directed by the group Guided by Voices — of which Carney is an avowed super fan — and the group's music played as the spokesman made his last trip to the briefing room podium.

"This is some good rock n' roll," Carney said.

White House chief of staff Denis McDonough made a surprise appearance at the end of the briefing, thanking Carney for his "unrelenting good work and unrelenting good service to us."

"We are going to miss you dearly," McDonough said before embracing Carney with a handshake and a hug.