Robert Gibbs, who ably served Barack Obama as a campaign spokesman during the election year, has become the subject of intense speculation today as a potential White House Press Secretary. If that comes to pass, the President-elect will have set a distinct tone for his future press room. Gibbs has proven to be an affable flack on the stump, approachable and folksy, and his overall temperament could go a long way toward healing the fissures between the Obama campaign and the press that arose from the campaign's overall aloofness toward reporters. At the same time, Gibbs has often been a tireless and successful defender of Obama.
Over the course of the election year, Gibbs revealed a skill set that will serve him well with the White House press corps. For example, he was a great face for the Obama campaign to show on Morning Joe all year long, because of the deft way he was able to repeatedly tap into Joe Scarborough's sense of enthusiasm. When he wants to deploy it, his charm can be disarming. Gibbs is no pushover, and clearly has the ability to defend his candidate and his positions without coming across as off-putting or shrill, as he did during a post-debate sit-down with Sean Hannity. But don't mistake him for some sort of white knight! When it came to attacking McCain with below-the-belt hits on his age, Gibbs wasn't shy and he wasn't merciful.
June 24 - After Karl Rove depicted Barack Obama as the arrogant guy "at the country club with the beautiful date, holding a martini and a cigarette that stands against the wall and makes snide comments about everyone who passes by," Gibbs responded by saying that Rove had "cornered the market on arrogance," adding, "His president right now, his approval ratings hover somewhere around the national drinking age."
June 25 - Gibbs wasn't just unsparing on McCain. After Ralph Nader ventured into dodgy racial territory, accusing Obama, weirdly, of "just wanting to talk white," Gibbs was there was a return volley of beatdown.
Well, I don't know what we'd be calling it. It's downright delusional, whether it's being said by Karl Rove, Charlie Black, Ralph Nader, or by me. I think those comments -- as I said a minute ago -- are reprehensible. I can't begin to think what the thought process is that goes through some person's mind before they open their mouth and suddenly that comes out... I think this war of words -- whether it's Karl Rove or Ralph Nader -- that's exactly the type of stuff that needs to stop. Because you know what, words and rhetoric, none of that's making college cheaper. None of that's helping people to get the gas this need to go to their job or look for another job, which is what Barack Obama is focused on in this campaign. Obviously, I think those remarks are reprehensible and delusional. But I don't know that I'd dignify them a whole lot more by talking about who said them and why.
June 30 - Gibbs was merciless on McCain whenever the issue of his lack computer literacy surfaced.
July 7 - Back when the media was pre-gaming Obama's trip to the Middle East by accusing the candidate of making a flip-flop on Iraq policy, Gibbs was there to make some much needed sense.
September 30 - Gibbs was one of the Obama flacks that made it a point to subtly allude to McCain's age and temperament. Gibbs frequently depicted McCain as "erratic" and, famously, "confused." On one notable occasion, this led to a malapropism, causing all manner of unholy images.
Gibbs also hit McCain with a none-too-subtle allusion to the over-sixty set: "If McCain is driving the car, you might want to get off the sidewalk."
October 6 - Gibbs attempted to explain to Steve Doocy that watching his own network's reporting might be an essential part of his research.
October 7 - Of course, who could forget that time when Robert Gibbs was one of the Five Most Important People In America Spanking Mark Halperin?
October 8 - Gibbs laced into Fox's Sean Hannity for railing at Obama's supposed associations after he allowed a noted anti-Semite nutlog to smear Obama repeatedly in a Fox Documentary.
November 2 - Gibbs: "I'm glad we check out our calls before we hand the phone to Barack Obama." Here's why!