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January 31, 2009

Gibbs Sits Down with CBS Radio's Peter Maer

Robert Gibbs at the podium Mike Allen's Playbook has the highlights of an interview White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs gave to White House Correspondent Peter Maer for CBS Radio's "Weekend Roundup":

Says the President and his staff have “had a pretty frenetic pace” but downplays any prospect of burnout: “I know he [Obama] will pace himself and we’ll pace ourselves.”  Asked how the presidency has changed Obama, the press secretary said, “Just in the job itself, he has in a very short period of time filled up the seat he sits in every day.”  Gibbs quickly noted that Obama “has not let any of this stuff go to his head,” and noted that Obama “doesn’t get too excited about good news. He doesn’t get too down about bad news.”  But he added, “From where we started to where we are now, it’s been remarkable to watch.”

Gibbs also discussed the somewhat relaxed style at recent official events where piano music and not “Hail to the Chief” could be heard wafting through the White House hallways. Gibbs chuckled about the elevator-style music. He said he didn’t know if the president had asked that musicians not play the presidential march but noted that Obama “is not a pomp-and-circumstance kind of guy.” He said the president “is much more interested in the substance of the job.”
Gibbs tells Maer that he believes his boss has finally quit smoking.  He says he has not seen Barack Obama light up “in some time.”  Gibbs added, “He understands the powerful example he has to be for teenagers and adults around the world.” Gibbs also reflected on his own job, saying, “I haven’t felt quite like the human piñata yet. I have a feeling those days are coming.”  When asked if he would ever lie from the podium, the press secretary responded with a flat “no.”  
“I think that whenever somebody in my capacity does that, it puts you in a position where reporters are now having to guess whether what you’re saying is true or not. I think at that point, you’re incapable of doing your job.”  He said there would be times when he would not be as open about what he may or not know, especially on national security issues.  But he emphasized, “I’m not going to lie from that podium and I think the president would expect me to tell the truth.”

January 27, 2009

Hill Veteran Leaves for Congressional Media Group

Henry Peterson, Jr. the 18-year veteran of the Senate Republican Conference and most recently its director of television services, has been named vice president of production at Congress Media Group. (Congress Daily AM's People column and PF Tipster).

January 26, 2009

Matt Miller to DOJ

Doj Matthew Miller, who spearheaded the communications operation at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee during the 2008 election, is moving inside the walls of the Obama administration as chief spokesman for the Justice Department.  With Eric H. Holder Jr. expected to be confirmed as Attorney General this week, Miller will be jumping from the frying pan into the fire. He's had good practice. Before working under Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) at the DSCC, Miller was Communications Director for the successful 2006 Senate campaign of Robert Menendez (D-N.J.).  (Wash Post's "The Fix" column)


Senate Press Secretary: Ideal candidate will work under the direction of the Communication's Director and assist in all media activities for the Senator and the office; exercises discretion and independent judgment in the performance of his/her duties; and manage and coordinate all media contacts and activities for the Senator and the office. Must be an excellent writer, adept at crafting press releases under time constraints, have superior oral communications skills, an ability to juggle multiple projects simultaneously, experience in dealing with national press corps, and be a team player who works well with others.  Interested candidates should contact Tara Trujillo at tara_trujillo@markudall.senate.gov.

Roll Call's Fabulous 50

Rollcall It's that time of year again, when Roll Call posts the top 50 staffers on the hill.  They are judged on their know-how, muscle, spin control, and access.  Superstars on this year's list include: Rob Collins, Deputy Chief of Staff, House Minority Whip; Brendan Daly, Communications Director, Speaker of the House; Ryan Loskarn, Communications Director, Senate Republican Conference; Jim Manley, Senior Communications Adviser, Senate Majority Leader; Rodell Mollineau, Staff Director, Senate Democratice Communications Center; Joe Shoemaker, Communications Director, Senate Majority Whip; Don Stewart, Communications Director, Senate Minority Leader; and Mike Spahn, Staff Director, Senate Democratic Conference Secretary.  (Roll Call)

January 25, 2009

Mortman Moves to C-SPAN

Mortman2 On February 4, seasoned media veteran Howard Mortman, of www.extrememortman.com, will begin a new chapter in his life when he moves to C-SPAN where he will be Director of Communications and the man responsible for C-SPAN’s relationships with both traditional and online media.  Good luck Mortman!  (PF Tipster)

January 15, 2009

Rep. Marcia Fudge Hires Press Secretary

Freshman U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) has hired Aketa Marie Simmons as Press Secretary. Simmons was a policy and research assistant to Tennessee State House Speaker Pro Tempore Lois DeBerry. (CQ’s People on the Move” column)

Rep. Polis Appoints Rahall Aide as Communications Director

Lara Cottingham has joined U.S. Rep. Jared Polis’ (D-CO) staff as Communications Director.  Cottingham was Press Secretary to Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV). (CQ’s People on the Move” column)

Rep. Kratovil Promotes Campaign Flack to Communications Director

U.S. Rep. Frank Kratovil (D-MD) has named Kevin Lawlor Communications Director in his Congressional office.  Lawlor was Communications Director for Kratovil’s congressional campaign. He has previously served as Communications Director for U.S. Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA), former U.S. Rep. Tim Roemer (D-IN); and the late Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA). (CQ’s People on the Move” column)

Rep. Honda Names GMU Flack Communications Director

Michael Shank has been hired as Communications Director for U.S. Rep. Michael Honda (D-CA). Shank was Communications Director at George Mason University’s Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. Before that, he was Press Secretary for Citizens for Global Solutions and Director of Public Affairs at World Culture Open, a nonprofit organization.  (CQ’s People on the Move” column)

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