Conservative bloggers are in mourning today over the announced departure of Robert Gibbs, the hilariously inept White House press secretary. Fox News reports this as “part of a broader shakeup in President Obama’s senior leadership team, as the White House pivots to deal with a new reality in Washington.” Gosh, this White House pivots a lot. Maybe Gibbs was getting dizzy.
Dizziness would explain one of Gibbs’ last acts as Press Secretary, a boastful Twitter message claiming “General Motors Co.’s sales were up 21 percent in 2010 for its four core brands.” As Edward Niedermeyer at The Truth About Cars explains in detail, Chevrolet is actually in deep, deep trouble when fleet sales are factored out, and retail market preferences are considered. Niedermayer writes that “relying on fleet-based growth is not a sustainable model for the future.” I’ll say! General Motors isn’t even the biggest supplier of vehicles to the government that owns it. Ford passed them in government fleet sales this year.
This is the kind of clumsy evasion and wacky pratfall that makes Gibbs so beloved on the Right. Granted that being press secretary for any Administration is tough, and working for this one would be even be hard for a master of the Jedi Mind Trick.
Gibbs made failure fun. He elevated talk-show hosts to Presidential status by picking silly fights with them, then tried to put down Dick Cheney by calling him “the next most popular member of the Republican cabal, after Rush Limbaugh.” When Obama starting feeling the heat from disappointed liberals, Gibbs tried doing the same thing with “the professional Left” and drew back a stump.
When the White House was embroiled in controversy over the arrest of a black Harvard professor, and Obama made his famous comment that “the police acted stupidly,” Gibbs tried to defend the boss by saying “I think the Fraternal Order of Police endorsed McCain, if I’m not mistaken.” Take that, you stupid teabagging cops!
He cracked jokes in front of reporters about the titanic national debt his boss and Nancy Pelosi racked up. He tried to tell us what Joe Biden’s crazy babble really means. He waved off WikiLeaks as “just some guy with a laptop.” Who could possibly fill such enormous clown shoes?
The obvious choice would be Baghdad Bob, the Iraqi official who became famous for delivering wildly implausible declarations of his government’s military superiority, even as American tanks were rolling outside his briefing room. However, the defeat of the DREAM Act means we can’t get old Bob an instant green card by smuggling his kids into the country and enrolling them in college.
A better choice would be Scott McClellan, the former Bush spokesman. He was almost as much of a goofball as Gibbs, and based on his venomous tell-all memoir, he would be perfectly comfortable continuing the Obama Administration tradition of idiotic attempts to blame all its failures on Dubya. The White House just isn’t going to see many resumes with that kind of experience!
We won’t have to go cold turkey on our Gibbs addiction, because he’s moving into a position as an “outside adviser to the President,” which means he’ll either be a Daily Kos diarist or a golf caddy. Fare well, Mr. Gibbs! Today I shall dine at Burger King, and feast upon a Whopper in your honor. Please don’t tell Michelle Obama I said that. We wouldn’t want the Food Police to act stupidly.