Is Gibbs gone yet?
I noticed that today in seeking yet again to “clarify” the President’s remarks on the mosque in lower Manhattan, the White House had deputy White House press secretary Bill Burton explain how politics had nothing to do with the various positions the President has taken. Is this because the latest position is too nuanced for Gibbs or is the White House wary given how he handled the interview by The Hill?
Or could it be that his job is in jeopardy? After all, noted pundit Maureen Dowd has said that it’s time for him to leave. This is not because he was wrong about the “professional left.” She agrees. After all, for all her calling the former President “W” in the New York Times, liberals still don’t think she is funny no matter how many quotes she makes up. No, she says it time for him to leave because Obama “needs to communicate more clearly. And, in that department, Gibbs isn’t helpful.” She suggests he be kicked upstairs into an advisory role because he’s incompetent as a spokesman (pretty much the only job he has ever had). Being a “centrist” (actually being someone who has no particular interest in policy) she doesn’t think he can harm the policy content of this Administration.
It’s probably true that someone needs to sit on him before he starts threatening the “Professional Independents” with random drug testing. After all, the independent voter is the key to the White House’s success. And it is for them that this Administration has designed policy that is summarized in that old wedding doggerel “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” And given that the latest CBS News poll of independences shows that the President’s approval rating is 38% approve, 44% disapprove, this is not time to let anyone except the very best talk to those barracuda which are the White House press corps. They after all represent the Independents. They are white, wealthy, mostly conservative, have little interest in policy, don’t work very hard, and don’t think for themselves. So to the White House they are exactly like Independents.
So it will be interesting to see if the President’s survival instinct will out. Or whether his known distaste for confronting conservatives prevents him from disagreeing with the man who organized the committee to attack Howard Dean. Gibbs said he is not resigning, and that may be the end of it.
In the meantime if you are still not sick of reading about Robert Gibbs, you should read the article by Paul Rosenberg about why the fight, Gibbs vs the “Professional Left,” is symptomatic of bigger problems.