Buzz Grows That Gibbs Will Leave Press Post After Midterms

Thursday, 30 Sep 2010 01:32 PM

By Mike Tighe

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It’s hard to tell whether it’s just twitter patter or blogosphere baloney, but the rumor that Robert Gibbs will leave his post as White House press secretary after the midterms is getting legs as the job roulette wheel spins for President Barack Obama’s aides. Speculators include President Clinton’s former press secretary, Dee Dee Myers, who just started twittering and joined those suggesting Gibbs’ departure Wednesday in one of her first tweets.

Gibbs, White House, press secretary, ObamaIronically, or, perhaps, coincidentally, she suggested that Gibbs’ deputy, Bill Burton, will replace him, even as Burton himself hinted today about more opportunities for the president to get some "fresh legs" in the White House.

This morning, Burton implied additional shake-ups, according to TheHill.com’s Briefing Room political blog.

"At the end of a president's first two years in office, there are often changes that occur," Briefing Room quoted Burton as saying on the liberal Bill Press radio show. "There's going to be a lot of different things the president will have the opportunity to inject some fresh legs and ideas."

Burton doesn’t mention Gibbs (some say he’ll step away from the mic and take a senior adviser role) or himself, but Myers does, tweeting: “In post mid-term WH shuffle, look for capable Bill Burton to succeed Gibbs as press sec.”

The Los Angeles Times’ Top of the Ticket political blog observes that Myers, author of "Why Women Should Rule the World," may be adding her own historical perspective: “Key to note here is that Myers herself departed Clinton’s White House after the Democrats' disastrous 1994 midterms that saw a historic realignment when Republicans took back the House after 40 years.”

Whatever happens, suffice it to say that Gibbs wouldn’t be alone if he left the job. And even he noted, during an Associated Press interview about potential staff exits this month, "This is a time in which people who have given two years of service return to things that they were doing beforehand.”

Or declaring new turf, as Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is doing with his expected departure to run for hizzoner of Chicago as early as Friday.

A partial list of those no longer reporting to work at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., or soon to be leaving, includes Peter Orszag, who vacated the directorship of the Office of Management and Budget during the summer; senior adviser David Axelrod, who has said he’ll go back to Chicago next year to work on Obama’s re-election campaign; economics adviser Larry Summers, who’s got one foot out the door; Christina Romer, who quit as chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisers.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates also has his eye on retirement next year.

One White House occupant who is not expected to leave anytime soon: Bo, who has warmed to his task as first dog.

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