Press Secretary Wishes He Could Give Press a Time-Out

In today’s Washington Post, Observer alum Jason Horowitz describes the tricky position of Robert Gibbs, who is both as the President’s press secretary and “the consummate presidential confidant.” Horowitz writes that Gibbs is “eager” for a strategy role sometime in the nearish future, in no small part because the press really annoys him:

There are a few things about Gibbs that irritate even the least excitable reporters in the briefing room, though none of them would speak for the record out of fear of retaliation. One reporter expressed frustration with the way Gibbs has compared reporters — and even Sen. John McCain — to his 6-year-old son because he didn’t approve of the way they were behaving. “He uses him as a prop,” the reporter said. Unlike press secretaries past, who would make rounds of calls to reporters as they neared deadlines, Gibbs is notoriously tough to get on the phone. His soliloquies are full of “first and foremost” and “I will say this,” and he relies on escape-hatch promises to “check and get back to you.”

“Check and get back to you” being, of course, the press secretary equivalent of “we’ll see what your mother says.”