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MoDo: Time for a New Press Secretary, Mr President

The New York Times' clotheshorse Maureen Dowd in the 9th Circuit courtroom, June 2010. (photo via emptywheel)

Splitting the baby here, Maureen thinks Bobby Gibbs needs to be promoted, not fired, since he’s always wanted to be a counselor to the president, bonding as they did during the campaign over sports and missing their families.

Robert Gibbs should be yanked as White House press secretary.

Not because of his outburst against the “professional left.” He was right about that. In an interview with The Hill last week, Gibbs once more proved Michael Kinsley’s maxim that a gaffe is just truth slipping out.

Of course, that’s what we’ve said since Bobby’s “gaffe:” that it’s emblematic of the White House’s view of The Professional Left, not an exception. Gibbs gave us a picture into the West Wing, and it wasn’t pretty, for us. It’s how these guys think about their base, and about the liberal voices who speak for them.

But should Gibbs be fired? Nah, Maureen wants him promoted, if you can imagine. I guess there’s just not enough voices around the president telling him to break every promise he made to the American people when he sought the office he now holds:

Obama got elected because of the clarity of his campaign and his speeches. But, surprisingly, he’s in some ways an incoherent president. He’s with the banks, he’s against the banks. He’s leaving Afghanistan, he’s staying in Afghanistan. He strains at being a populist, but his head is in the clouds.

He needs to communicate more clearly. And, in that department, Gibbs isn’t helpful. He’s often unresponsive and sometimes hostile to the press. His adversarial barking has only heightened tensions with a press that was once lampooned for fawning over his boss.

Gibbs does not see his job as a bridge between the press and the presidency. He sees himself more as a moat. He has always wanted to be an inside counselor to the president. So Obama — who bonded with Gibbs during the campaign, over sports, missing their families and how irritating the blog-around-the-clock press corps is — would be wise to promote him to a counselor. Let someone who shows less disdain for the press work with the press, and be the more engaging face of the White House.

See? For the people who work at The New York Times, like Maureen Dowd, it’s not the mindset within the White House that’s the problem. It’s the treatment of the press corps. Once that’s fixed, with a new fresh face, all will be well.

Can we please have new Elites?

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MoDo: Time for a New Press Secretary, Mr President

Splitting the baby here, Maureen thinks Bobby Gibbs needs to be promoted, not fired, since he’s always wanted to be a counselor to the president, bonding as they did during the campaign over sports and missing their families.

Robert Gibbs should be yanked as White House press secretary.

Not because of his outburst against the “professional left.” He was right about that. In an interview with The Hill last week, Gibbs once more proved Michael Kinsley’s maxim that a gaffe is just truth slipping out.

Of course, that’s what we’ve said since Bobby’s "gaffe:" that it’s emblematic of the White House’s view of The Professional Left, not an exception. Gibbs gave us a picture into the West Wing, and it wasn’t pretty, for us. It’s how these guys think about their base, and about the liberal voices who speak for them.

But should Gibbs be fired? Nah, Maureen wants him promoted, if you can imagine. I guess there’s just not enough voices around the president telling him to break every promise he made to the American people when he sought the office he now holds:

Obama got elected because of the clarity of his campaign and his speeches. But, surprisingly, he’s in some ways an incoherent president. He’s with the banks, he’s against the banks. He’s leaving Afghanistan, he’s staying in Afghanistan. He strains at being a populist, but his head is in the clouds.

He needs to communicate more clearly. And, in that department, Gibbs isn’t helpful. He’s often unresponsive and sometimes hostile to the press. His adversarial barking has only heightened tensions with a press that was once lampooned for fawning over his boss.

Gibbs does not see his job as a bridge between the press and the presidency. He sees himself more as a moat. He has always wanted to be an inside counselor to the president. So Obama — who bonded with Gibbs during the campaign, over sports, missing their families and how irritating the blog-around-the-clock press corps is — would be wise to promote him to a counselor. Let someone who shows less disdain for the press work with the press, and be the more engaging face of the White House.

See? For the people who work at The New York Times, like Maureen Dowd, it’s not the mindset within the White House that’s the problem. It’s the treatment of the press corps. Once that’s fixed, with a new fresh face, all will be well.

Can we please have new Elites?

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