Politico reports that “Democratic insiders” are testing the waters with donors about the possibility of a DNC run by White House press secretary Robert Gibbs in 2011-2012, in a scenario that would see current DNC chair Tim Kaine installed in a top administration post.
Donors’ response has been positive, according to people who have been consulted.
Gibbs, one of the president’s closest confidants, already had been planning to leave the podium next year, perhaps to become a White House senior adviser.
In response to POLITICO’s report, he posted this on his Twitter feed: “I have not had any conversations about the future – it is a great honor to have the job I have right now and I am very happy doing it.”
According to the report, the idea is to give Obama’s “inner circle” a hold on the top level of the party structure:
It would “put the Obama imprimatur on the DNC, once and for all,” and install a “great partisan fighter” as the face of the national party for the reelection campaign. “It’s a brilliant idea if he ends up deciding he wants to do it,” said one official who has been consulted.
Another rationale: David Plouffe, campaign manager of Obama for America, is expected to come into the White House as a senior adviser or deputy chief of staff with operational responsibilities, depending on how the West Wing is restructured in coming weeks.
So, along with senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, Obama would have plenty of trusted voices in the building, and Gibbs could tighten the inner circle’s grip on the larger Democratic apparatus.
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