Jake Tapper’s headline: “Huh?”
“You didn’t sit this one out even when all the pundits said it was hopeless and because of that we are stronger,” the president said.
Considering that President Obama himself called the election “a shellacking,” with Democrats losing control of the House of Representatives, six Senate seats, 20 state legislatures, one might wonder exactly he thinks his volunteers did – other than valiantly trying but failing to get enough voters to the polls…
As ABC News Polling Director Gary Langer has pointed out, according to exit polls, 29 million Obama voters from 2008 didn’t show up to vote in the midterms.
Alternate headline: “Maybe Obama really does have a ‘messaging’ problem.” Speaking of which, a public service announcement for Hot Air readers: Has anyone in the D.C. area seen a pudgy guy with glasses and a light southern accent, who bears a slight resemblance to Peter Griffin from “Family Guy” and is known for saying things like “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan”? A lot of people are looking for him, but … they can’t find him anywhere.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has scaled back his on-camera daily briefing schedule compared to last year and also has only given 10 of them in October and November combined…
“I think they may just want to lay low with him,” says Pulitzer Prize winner and media critic Dorothy Rabinowitz, who is also is a member of the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal.
“Gibbs has been a huge problem for the administration,” referring to a series of comments that Gibbs’ made recently in various media venues and had to back track. His statements included slamming the what he called the “professional left” and angering Speaker Pelosi with a summer prediction that Democrats were likely to lose the House…
Gibbs has been giving only a handful of briefings in recent months. He gave seven in October, five in August, and 11 in July. Based on an analysis of materials from the Office of the Federal Register’s checklist of White House Press Releases, in 2009 Gibbs gave roughly 149 on-camera briefings along with 45 gaggles. So far this year, he’s given around 95 on-camera briefings and 20 gaggles, and with 2010 coming to a close soon and the holidays eating away available briefing days, it seems his tally this year will be significantly less than last year. Gibbs also has recently moved to doing more off-camera “gaggles,” in place of a formal on-camera briefing. Gaggles are media-speak for a gathering of reporters with on-the-record, off-camera answers to questions peppered by members of the White House press corps.
I’m torn. On the one hand, the poor guy has finally been put out of his misery, freed from the burden of having to stand up before skeptical reporters with a queasy look and say, “Uh, yeah, I think we’ll hold onto the House.” On the other hand, he’s a valuable source of blog content, a man who could always be counted on during a slow news day to make a noteworthy observation about, say, how no one ever compared a U.S. president to Hitler before this past year. Plus, the fact that he’s doing fewer briefings could mean he’s transitioning to a more significant presidential advisory role — which, as I think about it, is suddenly giving me a queasy look. Bring back Gibbsy! Click the image to watch.