Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Bye-bye, Gibbsy, and don't worry, if anyone can find a worse WH mouthpiece, it'll be your boss


by Ken
Gibbs tells staffers he is leaving White House

By Anne E. Kornblut and Scott Wilson
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, January 5, 2011; 11:46 AM

Robert Gibbs told White House staffers Wednesday that he is leaving his post as President Obama's press secretary, ending a two-year tenure that made him the face of the White House as he sparred with reporters and defended administration policies.

Gibbs plans to leave in early February and to become an outside political adviser for Obama's 2012 reelection campaign, administration officials said. A successor is expected to be announced in the next couple of weeks. . . .

I kind of checked out a few words into the next sentence, where our boy Gibbsy is described as "an affable Democrat from Alabama." Affable? That smug, supercilious, frequently lying son of a bitch? Affable?

Okay, in fairness, his lack of affability is a minor issue alongside his general wishy-woshiness and incoherence, and persistent uninformedness. After all, like all White House press secretaries, he was given only as much information as his bosses were willing to share with the public, and in this case it turns out to be very little, and when you've got basically nothing to say, wishy-woshiness and incoherence aren't so much vices as simply part of the job descrption.

Add to that how wishy-woshy and incoherent those bosses tend to be, and also the extent to which they really prefer that their real thinking not be a matter of public discussion. (After all, this way they can have the pleasure of hearing sympathetic outsiders attribute the administration's media difficulties to "poor communications" or "messaging difficulties.") In throwing stones at Gibbsy, we may truly just be blaming the messenger.

Surely nobody's thinking: His replacement can hardly be worse, can he? Come on, people! These are the smart folks who came up with the idea of replacing Master Rahm Emanuel with the Daley brother. Don't assume we won't someday be looking back on the Gibbsy Years as the Golden Age of Obama Media Communications.

So maybe I shouldn't be so touchy about the "affability" thing with Gibbsy. Maybe some people are just naturally easy to hate. However, my eyes did make it farther into that graf from the Post story, and there's a thought there that I'd like to salvage:

"According to three Democrats with White House knowledge, Gibbs in recent weeks had been exploring the possibility of leaving the White House, perhaps to set up his own consulting shop and play a leading role in the 2012 campaign."

Speaking as someone who would never wish to denigrate the insight of "three Democrats with White House knowledge," at least when the subject is inside-the-White House machinations, let me say that I find this totally credible. I've heard people, understandably surprised by the vagueness of Gibbsy's announced future plans, suggest that he has simply been cut loose by the administration -- you know, because he apparently isn't being slotted into a job like the briefly rumored DNC chairmanship. (Digging up my post of October 2, I find that I described the Gibbs-to-the-DNC trial balloon this way in a photo caption: "For a couple of hours this morning, White House spokesninny Robert 'Ooh, I Hate That Professional Left So-o-o Much' Gibbs was destined to become, er, the new Tim Kaine.")

It was already assumed that whenever Gibbs made his departure from the White House, he would be marking time for a role in the Obama reelection campaign. Am I the only one for whom this suggestion that he "set up his own consulting shop and play a leading role in the 2012 campaign" rings incredibly true? Think of the scandal Howie has been reporting about the incestuous relationship between the House Democratic leadership and the consultants to whom the DCCC funnels business. Conflict-of-interest-type corruption is no longer incidental or accidental -- it's structural!

So why should Gibbsy have to squeeze Tim Kaine where either Tim doesn't want to vacate or nobody else can be found to take the job? Why should Gibbsy have to wait till his "political player" days are over before he can start cashing in? Nowadays, you can stay in the game and still rake in those consultant suckerbucks!


About the political players who'll be raking in all those 2012 election-consultant suckerbucks: It has occurred to you that those consultants rake in their suckerbucks whether they help you win or lose, hasn't it?

Think about it.

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At 8:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So true. This man did NOTHING to help the President, nothing to get the "word" out there. And by not helping, thus hindered the President's progress and public image.

At 10:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

second that ano...

Bush2's Airey Flesher was a LOT slimier...but when you weigh out the expectations and outcomes...bleah.


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