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Robert Gibbs

January 6, 2011 | By Peter Nicholas, Washington Bureau
Robert Gibbs, the public face of the Obama presidency, said he was stepping down as press secretary amid staff changes meant to carry the White House through the 2012 reelection campaign and parry the Republican takeover of the House. Gibbs' announcement Wednesday came as President Obama reconfigures his White House for the second half of the term with a blend of trusted campaign aides and possibly a few fresh faces. Obama will announce his new top economic advisor Friday and he may also anoint a new chief of staff in the coming days.
January 5, 2011 | Reuters
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs is leaving his position to work as an outside adviser for President Barack Obama's re-election campaign, an administration official said Wednesday. Gibbs is to depart in early February. A successor is to be announced within the next two weeks, the official said. Gibbs, a close confidant of Obama's going back to his time as a U.S. senator from Illinois, has for many Americans been one of the most public faces of the White House staff while holding near-daily news briefings.
December 15, 2010 | By Michael Muskal, Los Angeles Times
The Senate on Wednesday voted to take up the arms limitation pact with Russia, President Obama's top foreign policy objective in the lame-duck congressional session. In a 66-32 vote, the Senate agreed to begin debate on the treaty, which requires 67 votes for ratification. Eight Republicans voted with Democrats to open discussion. Some Republicans had previously indicated they would stall deliberations by insisting every word be read aloud. The move prompted a sharp retort from the White House.
November 5, 2010 | By Peter Nicholas, Tribune Washington Bureau
Despite the historic defeat dealt to Democrats on Tuesday, President Obama appears to be resisting wholesale staff changes that would pry apart the circle of advisors he has relied on since the 2008 campaign. Obama conceded he has made mistakes over the past two years, telling CBS's " 60 Minutes" in an interview to be televised Sunday that he failed to clearly explain his decisions ? a communications problem he said had diminished him as a leader. But he shielded his staff from blame, saying: "I take personal responsibility for that.
November 4, 2010 | By Peter Nicholas and Michael Muskal
Two days after voters soundly chastised his party, President Obama on Thursday invited Republican and Democratic congressional leaders to the White House in the hopes, he said, of getting all sides to work together on the nation's problems. In televised remarks with his Cabinet looking on, Obama told reporters that the meeting was needed after voters sent a message on Tuesday. Republicans won control of the House of Representatives and broadened their influence by adding six seats in the Senate.
October 29, 2010 | By Michael A. Memoli, Tribune Washington Bureau
The White House Thursday declared President Obama's interview with Jon Stewart "a success," though others have questioned whether the appearance may have backfired. At his daily briefing, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs faced more questions about the president's "Daily Show" interview than any other topic. He defended the White House's decision to schedule it, repeating that it was a way of speaking directly to voters who may not watch traditional news outlets. Gibbs also said they expected the tough line of questioning.
September 30, 2010 | By Michael A. Memoli, Tribune Washington Bureau
On the eve of Rahm Emanuel's expected resignation as chief of staff, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs described Emanuel as "the energetic, inspirational leader" of President Obama's West Wing team. "His leadership, his energy has helped us accomplish so much," Gibbs said, listing the economic recovery and healthcare, credit card, Wall Street and student loan reform as top achievements. "There is not an important thing that has happened in this administration that we've been able to accomplish for the American people that has not involved heavily his signature.
September 10, 2010 | By Christi Parsons, Tribune Washington Bureau
President Obama said Thursday that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel would do a good job as Chicago mayor but is focused on his job at the White House, where there is a long to-do list at the moment. Obama, in a televised interview, stopped short of endorsing Emanuel and did not offer a guess as to whether his aide and hometown friend had decided to seek the office, which is being vacated by Mayor Richard M. Daley. Emanuel has said for several years that he would like to be Chicago mayor and has told friends in recent months that if Daley didn't seek reelection, he would think seriously about running.
September 9, 2010 | Doyle McManus
Stimulus spending has been the core of President Obama's economic policy from the start — from before the start, actually, because his $787-billion stimulus plan was designed even before his inauguration. The idea was straightforward: Pump enough money into the economy, and jobs would follow. When Congress passed the package in early 2009, the president and his aides trumpeted it as a triumph. So it's a striking measure of how effectively stimulus spending has been discredited that Obama and his aides now refuse even to use the word.
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