Juli Weiner at Vanity Fair:
This morning, The New York Timesrevealed the impending departure of White House press secretary Robert Gibbs. “Robert, on the podium, has been extraordinary,” the president told the Times. “Off the podium, he has been one of my closet advisers. He is going to continue to have my ear for as long as I’m in this job.” Gibbs, whose saucy, churlish manner has been resented on both sides of the aisle, will likely leave in February, possibly for purposes of opening a consulting firm.
Michael Scherer at Swampland at Time:
Obama called the New York Times Wednesday morning to share his appreciation for Gibbs service. Said Obama, “He’s had a six-year stretch now where basically he’s been going 24/7 with relatively modest pay. I think it’s natural for someone like Robert to want to step back for a second to reflect, retool and that, as a consequence, brings about both challenges and opportunities for the White House.”
Moe Lane at Redstate:
…in order to pursue an exciting career as left center on Hollywood Squares – actually, is that program even still on? No, just kidding: outgoing White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is going to have some nebulous job defending whatever dumb idea the President comes up with that day, just like before – only now Gibbs will be doing it in places where people can actually interrupt him when he says something particularly egregious. In other words, he’s still going to be a dolt, but one who won’t get the same deference that Gibbs is used to getting, thanks to his (soon-to-be-former) position of trust and authority. Something to look forward to*: in the meantime, here’s all the send-off the fellow needs.
A replacement has yet to be announced: but the front runner is probably Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton, who likes to mock crippled war veterans and former POWs. So, really, an appeal to the Democratic activist base there.
Ross Kaminsky at American Spectator:
Personally, I can’t recall a press secretary with a fraction of Gibbs’s smugness or superciliousness, or his tendency to talk down to reporters and the American people.
Don’t let the door hit you in the *** on the way out, Robert…
Robert Gibbs is leaving the White House to become an outside political operative. As he prepares to do that, a free tip: Don’t be so dismissive of the opposition. The Gibbs moment I remember the most was his response to Rick Santelli’s CNBC rant about mortgage bailouts.
In the rearview mirror, the Democratic/White House/liberal activist decision to ridicule the conservative backlash to Obama, and to elevate its “craziest” members, looks like an historic blunder. Granted, the ridicule might have worked if the economy picked up faster and Republicans were left with a bunch pf bad faith and bad predictions. But this early response to the Tea Party, which started with facts and ended in a fairly silly diss (“Coffee. Decaf.”), demonstrates how Obama and his allies got it wrong at the start.
Emptywheel at Firedoglake:
Back when Gibbs was attacking the Professional Left, he made a distinction between the Progressives outside of DC and those inside DC squawking on the cable programs.
But if Gibbs is going to stay in DC, hanging out on Twitter, and appearing on the speaking circuit, doesn’t that make him a card-carrying member of the Professional Left?
Except the bit about him being so conservative, of course.