Words I never thought I’d write, my friends: Second look at Gibbs?
Taking the podium after a day off to tend to a sore throat, Gibbs said he has not reached out to any Democrats to discuss his remarks, in which he chastised liberals for wanting to “eliminate the Pentagon” and pursue Canadian-style health care reform. Nor, he added, has he talked to the president about the matter.
Does he stand by the comments? “Yes,” he replied…
A day after the controversy over Gibbs’ remarks was seemingly been put to rest by a quick walk-back from the press secretary, Wednesday’s briefing seems likely to reignite the debate over the White House’s relationship with liberals. But if there was nervousness over base voters not heading to the polls, Gibbs didn’t show it.
“I don’t think [liberal voters won’t show up],” he said, “because I think what’s at stake in November is too important to do that.”
I love that boldface line, as it’s HuffPo’s way of signaling to its lefty readers to GET ANGRY AGAIN while maintaining the thinnest possible veneer of faux objectivity. No worries about that, though: Here’s the response Ben Smith got when he asked a liberal friend whether maybe O doesn’t feel indebted to the left because he won Iowa without their help.
F*** them. We were with them pretty damn early on, and they still treated us like sh**, after they used us, and then came back and begged for more help when the going got tough in September. [Economist Joe] Stiglitz was with them from the beginning, and they treated him like sh**. So, with all due respect, f*** them. This isn’t about them not liking people who came late to the ball game. It’s about the smartest people in the world and the smartest candidate in the world thinking they don’t need anyone’s help, because they’re just so much damn better than everyone else, and thinking they did it all without anyone’s help. They need some serious come-uppance or we’re all f***ed.
I’m frankly amazed that Gibbsy wouldn’t bite his lip today and do a little groveling purely in the interest of not alienating midterm voters. He says he’s not leaving anytime soon, but … c’mon. If he’s willing to slap them two days in a row, he’s clearly leaving sometime soon.
For months, speculation has abounded that Gibbs will eventually move from his current post to become a less-visible senior adviser to President Obama.
He already essentially plays that role, sitting in on virtually every major meeting regardless of subject matter and receiving rare bureaucratic carte blanche within a disciplined West Wing to jump from policy lane to lane. After seven years with Obama, Gibbs is also one of the president’s longest-serving advisers.
So is it time to make the move official? The trouble he keeps getting into for his increasing candor may suggest that it is.
Here’s Karl Rove on Fox News this morning speculating that Change is coming to the press secretary’s office. Exit question via KP: Contra Gibbsy, aren’t the liberals who say that Obama is a lot like Bush entirely correct, at least on the war/counterterror front? Aside from putting an end to the enhanced interrogation program — the most draconian part of which actually ended during Bush’s first term — what’s starkly different?