Robert Gibbs, not long for the podium

“It's hard to message 9.5 percent unemployment,” Gibbs said. (ap photo)

Buried at the end of a mostly accurate GQ mag portrayal of White House press secretary Robert Gibbs and his relationship with the White House press corps, is a bland confirmation of what we all know and expect: Pretty soon, Gibbs is outta there.

But before we get to that, just exactly who are you calling “little known,” Mr. Robert Draper? The Washington Examiner? Ouch.

Draper, who once wrote about book about former President George W. Bush that was read by 12 people, recently spent some quality time with Gibbs and others — and learned that the White House briefing room is home to mutual disdain, and that Obama likes columnists like David Brooks and hates “cable chatter.” Sigh. Really?

One interesting thing we did learn is that it's Gibbs who is extra-squeamish about race-related conversations. We always assumed that was just Obama. (Stroking chin) Interesting.

A standard question the blog and other WH reporters get all the time about Gibbs is generally about how he will probably be fired soon, right? No. Gibbs is really close to Obama, and when he leaves he will likely go upstairs, as they say. To a bigger job. Obama already lost Rahm and will soon lose Axelrod (to the campaign). Who is he supposed to talk sports with? Valerie Jarrett?

Notes Draper:

One day, perhaps as soon as the end of this year, Robert Gibbs will step back from the podium, away from the food fight that is his daily bread, and assume the more ethereal climes of big-picture strategist.

Draper's physical description of Gibbs, sitting in his messy and depressing office surrounded by clutter, was a good one:

Gibbs is probably tired, but it's hard to say for sure. His 39-year-old face is more like a shield, with an immense forehead and tiny eyes that scarcely radiate. The smile, affable and empty, could be that of a small-town gas-station attendant or a hired assassin.

“Assassin” might be overstating. Disappointed suburban dad, ferryboat captain, girls field hockey coach, Senate staffer — sure. Assassin? Hmm.

Beltway ConfidentialUS

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

City officials closed San Francisco County Jail No. 4 on the top floor of the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant St. in September, reducing the number of beds in the jail system by about 400. 
Kevin N. Hume/
S.F. Examiner
SF jail closure prompts doctor to call for release of more inmates

Reduced space increases risk of COVID-19 spreading among those in custody

Cyclists have flocked to Market Street since private vehicles were largely banned from a long stretch of it in January. (Amanda Peterson/Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Plans for sidewalk-level bikeway on Market Street dropped due to costs, increased cyclist volume

Advocates say revisions to Better Market Street fail to meet safety goals of project

Prop. 21 would allow San Francisco city officials to expand rent control to cover thousands more units. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Tenant advocates take another try at expanding rent control with Prop. 21

Measure would allow city to impose new protections on properties 15 years or older

Tenderloin residents are finding benefits to having roads closed in the neighborhood. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Should there be fewer cars in the Tenderloin’s future?

The pandemic has opened San Franciscans’ eyes to new uses of urban streets

Singer-songwriter Cam is finding musicmaking to be healing during 2020’s world health crisis. 
Courtesy 
Dennis Leupold
Cam challenges country music tropes

Bay Area-bred songwriter releases ‘The Otherside’

Most Read