The Washington Post has a 2,400-word puff piece on Robert Gibbs’s talents as a behind-the-scenes strategist. The piece appears to be laying the groundwork for Gibbs’s move away from the podium and into David Axelrod’s job when Axelrod makes the expected shift to head Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign.
Gibbs’s reviews from the podium have been, well, mixed, but the piece suggests that his stategery skills may not be any better. He never spoke in the 33 hours of extended presidential briefings on Afghanistan, although it might have been nice to point out that the accusation that the president was “dithering” was starting to gain some traction. He did, however, weigh in during recent conversations on Israel, in order to convey the brilliant insight that the administration’s tough-on-Israel approach “would potentially erode [Obama’s] domestic Jewish support.” Obama, however did not think much of this, according to Gibbs: “For a lot of reasons, [Obama] would discount that.” Gibbs’s recollection should give Jewish voters a reason not to discount Obama’s discounting.