POLITICS

Gibbs Gives Insider Look At Obama's First Days: "He Loves It"

03/06/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs generally arrives at his spacious but unadorned office in the West Wing (he hasn't had time to decorate yet) at 6 a.m. and spends the next 90 minutes reading newspapers, news summaries, and staff memos. At 7:30, he joins a meeting with Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and other top presidential advisers; at 8:15 he attends a larger senior-staff meeting, including national security officials, and at 8:45, he meets with his press staff. From then on, it's a whirlwind of activity all day, with Gibbs often sitting in on meetings with President Obama, tracking down information for reporters, devising ways of promoting the administration's agenda, preparing for his televised daily briefing, and conducting that briefing on camera in front of four dozen news-hungry journalists. Somewhat to the surprise of the correspondents who didn't know him, Gibbs can be self-deprecating and funny and is almost always genial--at least so far during this honeymoon period for his boss (in contrast to his image during the campaign as an occasionally testy and sharp-edged Obama partisan). In the afternoons, he sometimes nibbles cheese chunks for energy and sips hot tea as a balm for his voice. In an interview, Gibbs, 37, talked at length about his job, the challenges ahead, and President Obama. Excerpts:

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