He won’t be missed…
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is seriously considering leaving his job as President Barack Obama’s chief spokesman — a move that would allow him to work on Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign and act as a media surrogate for the president, according to sources.
Gibbs has not finalized his decision and senior administration officials have yet to decide on a successor to the fiery 39-year-old Alabama native, a pit bull in the briefing room who has been one of Obama’s most trusted advisers for the past five years.
The two top candidates to replace Gibbs are his deputy, Bill Burton, and Vice President Joe Biden’s spokesman, Jay Carney — although White House officials haven’t ruled out the possibility of other candidates, sources say, which could delay the handover for a few weeks.
Gibbs had discussed staying at the White House, possibly as a senior adviser, with interim chief of staff Pete Rouse and Obama himself, but they concluded he could best serve the president from the outside — as an occasional cable TV commentator and as a political adviser unconstrained by the demands of briefing the press or the responsibilities of serving as a central member of Obama’s kitchen cabinet present at most major policy decisions.
Update 1/5/11 11:25AM: May I suggest Tingles as a replacement?
(The Hill) — White House press secretary Robert Gibbs will leave his position early next month, according to a senior administration official.
Gibbs, the top public voice for the Obama administration, will pursue opportunities outside of the White House to help bolster President Obama’s reelection effort, while continuing to serve as a member of the president’s inner circle.
The departure is the latest in a series of high-profile shifts within the Obama White House to begin 2011. Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel left last year to pursue his candidacy for mayor of Chicago, and senior adviser David Axelrod is expected to depart this year.