The Corner

Gibbs: Obama the Multitasker

From Robert Gibbs’s press gaggle on Air Force One today (h/t Fox):

Q So this meeting with General McChrystal, I’m sure the President was multitasking?

MR. GIBBS: Well, look, if you have a President that can’t multitask, then you shouldn’t do the job or you shouldn’t run for the job or you shouldn’t run for a job where you represent more than the opinions of yourself in a legislative or executive branch. If you can’t do more than one thing at a time, the President wouldn’t have gotten through the first day. So, I mean, I think — again, I think the biggest loss of anything on this trip was sleep.

Q How much sleep did the President get?

MR. GIBBS: I don’t know. I don’t think any of us got a whole lot. I think when — you guys can attest to this — just because the hour says it’s time to go to sleep but you’re in these chairs and bumping around a little bit, it doesn’t mean — look, in terms of — let me just speak just for a second on the McChrystal meeting.

I mean, I described for you the reason and some of the logistics on how it happened. I talked to the President a bit about it. He found it to be very productive. He likes very much personally General McChrystal; got a chance, as I said earlier, to meet and talk with his wife, somebody who obviously is, along with General McChrystal, making personal sacrifices in this whole endeavor.

The President thought the meeting was very productive, an extension of the meetings that have been had thus far as we reassess and reevaluate moving forward in Afghanistan. The President has selected General McChrystal because of his ability and his leadership and I think after having seen him again, it simply underscored the fact that — many of the reasons why he picked him.

They both agree that this is a helpful process. General McChrystal expects that the President and others are going to ask him questions about the assessment that he’s made and that we’re going to ask questions of our diplomatic side, of our intelligence side, and of all of those involved in this to get the best strategy for success in Afghanistan.

Q What can you get out of a 25-minute meeting though?

MR. GIBBS: No, I don’t think — I don’t — we had blocks of time on the President’s schedule about 15 minutes a clip, so one on one, nobody else in the room, with General McChrystal for 25 minutes — you can get a lot done. I think they talk about a lot of aspects of what’s going on in the assessment and I think it was very valuable.

Q Can you say anything more about specifically what they discussed and what the President took out of it?

MR. GIBBS: That’s all I got from the President.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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