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Entries in Exit (2)

Tuesday
Feb082011

Gibbs Exits Stage Left

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- “I am going to miss almost all of you,” Robert Gibbs laughed as he turned and departed the lectern on his last week in the spotlight speaking for the President of the United States.  It is a job that carries global weight.

“People are watching it not just throughout this country but throughout this world,” Gibbs told one of his final briefings, which was dominated by questions about the freedom reforms being demanded in Egypt. “And your questions and my answers are being translated in languages that are spoken in continents far away. I think it demonstrates the importance of a strong freedom of the press, a sharing of information.”

The proud, red-haired son of Auburn, Alabama has been spokesman for the president through two wars, a historically severe recession, and a devastating Gulf oil spill for which he also took a significant lead on policy.

There have been colorful moments such as the August day in 2010 when Gibbs lost an Olympic bet to the Canadian prime minister’s spokesman and Gibbs arrived in the briefing room wearing an enormous Canadian hockey jersey. The sight produced whoops and laughter from the reporters, and applause when he tugged it off to reveal a Team USA jersey underneath.

Gibbs could get prickly about politics, suggesting in his office one day that “the professional left” should stop criticizing the President for not accomplishing all his ambitious goals with enough speed.

“I watch a lot of cable TV,” he argued at his briefing the next day, “and you don’t have to watch long to get frustrated by some of what’s said.” He survived, with humor. “There is no truth to the rumor I have installed an inflatable exit to my office.”

But Gibbs did not survive the West Wing reshuffling after the disastrous midterm elections.  There was no policy job higher up the senior staff food chain and so he decided to walk away from the press briefing room microphone. But not from the public discourse.  Robert Gibbs will show up next as a pundit in his new career as a Democratic consultant.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Feb032011

Administration Officials Discussing Scenarios for Mubarak Exit

Photo Courtesy - U.S. State Department(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. officials are discussing a number of possible scenarios for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, with one of them being Mubarak stepping down very soon and an interim government being formed, headed by Vice President Omar Suleiman working with the military to steer Egypt toward elections, officials told ABC News.

"The president has said that now is the time to begin a peaceful, orderly and meaningful transition with credible, inclusive negotiations," said National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor. "We have discussed with the Egyptians a variety of different ways to move that process forward, but all of those decisions must be made by the Egyptian people.”

The comment came after the New York Times published a story reporting that the Obama administration "is discussing with Egyptian officials a proposal for President Hosni Mubarak to resign immediately, turning over power to a transitional government headed by Vice President Omar Suleiman with the support of the Egyptian military."

Mubarak rebuffed the plan, the Times reported, but "officials from both governments are continuing talks about a plan in which, Mr. Suleiman, backed by Sami Enan, chief of the Egyptian armed forces, and Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi, the defense minister, would immediately begin a process of constitutional reform."

Officials told the Times that the proposal is "one of several options under discussion with high-level Egyptian officials around Mr. Mubarak, though not him directly, in an effort to convince him to step down now."

In response to the Times story, a senior administration official called it "simply wrong to report that there’s a single U.S. plan that’s being negotiated with the Egyptians."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio