Everyone who loves politics fancies that he or she could do a better job than whatever White House press secretary happens to be serving. It would be fun to fence with the snide press corps. And how hard can it be? You defer to State on foreign policy, don’t speculate on unannounced personnel appointmenst and throw in some lighthearted personal anecdotes. Right?
Well, Robert Gibbs is having a rocky start.
First, he gets caught fibbing that good government groups don’t oppose the administration’s spate of ethics waivers for ex-lobbyists:
“He can’t be talking about us,”said CREW’s executive director Melanie Sloan. “We don’t believe in a never-ending list of waivers. The waivers indicate the administration cannot live with its own policy. Ergo, they should revise the policy and stop pretending they are not hiring lobbyists.”
As Sloan sees it, the Obama administration is trying to have its cake and eat it too, claiming the ethics high road except on occasions when it doesn’t suit their interests.
Then he brought untold grief upon the President by explaining the sloppy dress code in the White House. You see they take off their jackets in the Oval Office because the President keeps it so darn hot in there. Uh oh. Doesn’t mesh with the global warming hectoring and his campaign rhetoric about keeping the thermostat at 72 degrees. All this the day after he lectured his fellow Washingtonians about lacking “flinty Chicago toughness.”
Well, it isn’t easy getting up there every day, especially when you have come to expect softball questions and fawning press coverage. Gibbs isn’t on the campaign trail against a hapless opponent. Now, with hundreds of cooped up reporters looking for news, he really can’t play fast and loose with the facts. Even in the cushiest of media environments it is pretty easy to trip up.