Robert Gibbs, the drag on Obama
by Jerome Armstrong, Thu Feb 22, 2007 at 05:19:14 AM EST
This post is about Robert Gibbs, the man that Barack Obama has chosen to be his spokesperson to the world.
Robert Gibbs was was spokesperson for John Kerry in 2003, and he worked under the direction of Jim Jordan. Both of them grew to detest Howard Dean, as they saw their frontrunner candidate slip in his position to Howard Dean over the year. For Jordan, it was a case of terrible strategic advice that he was fired, but he went on to position himself below the media production through in 2004 and did quite well. Robert Gibbs remained a spokesperson, but his next gig wasn't Barack Obama until after Obama won the primary in 2004. Before that, Gibbs became the spokesman for a new group called "Americans for Jobs, Health Care and Progressive Values". A group that promptly created the most disgusting ad I've ever seen occur in a Democratic primary against Howard Dean.
The ad (view the ad here [and YouTube]) slowly moved in on a Time Magazine cover featuring bin Laden, zooming in on a close-up of Osama's eyes, while saying that Howard Dean was an unqualified Democratic candidate because of his lack of military or foreign experience.
Tricia Enright, who was the spokeswoman for Howard Dean at the time, summed the ad up best, saying: "Whoever is behind this should crawl out from underneath their rock and have the courage to say who they are." But Robert Gibbs, who was the spokesman for the group, embraced the slime ad against Dean, and refused to say who had funded the ad. Now sure, you can say that Gibbs was just doing his job. But Gibbs wasn't just aligned with the group, he was in the leadership. The group took seed money from crooked former Senator Robert Torricelli to get off the ground, and then went out and raised over a million to run the ad. Gibbs was one of three people that made that ad happen.
The reason I bring this up, is the disgust of reading Gibbs response to the broadside by the Clinton camp telling Obama to "remove David Geffen from his campaign and return his money". Gibbs responded in part:
It is ironic that the Clintons had no problem with David Geffen when was raising them $18 million and sleeping at their invitation in the Lincoln bedroom. It is also ironic that Senator Clinton lavished praise on Monday and is fully willing to accept today the support of South Carolina State Sen. Robert Ford, who said if Barack Obama were to win the nomination, he would drag down the rest of the Democratic Party because he's black.
Aside from the use of Republican talking points over the Lincoln bedroom, the real Gibblie here is that he's having Obama's campaign criticize Clinton for saying: "Senator Ford has apologized, and I appreciate him doing so".
I don't really care about the back and forth here between the Clinton and Obama camps, but is Gibbs that lame, or does he think we are that stupid?
What a joke.
If Gibbs is gonna be the voice of Obama, then what I want to know is whether Gibbs has renounced his past association with the anti-Dean ad that Joe Trippi called the "the kind of fearmongering attack we've come to expect from Republicans," one that "panders to the worst in voters." Mistake?
And does Gibbs still believe that a Presidential candidate with "no military or foreign policy experience" is "unqualified"? Then how Gibbs, is Barack Obama going compete with John McCain on foreign policy. Howard Dean was right on Iraq too, ya know.
Everytime I see Gibbs as Obama's campaign voice, I get further and further from seeing Obama as a candidate that is strategically smart, different, or an effective transformative leader. I really don't know what Obama is building. Sometimes I get the sense that he believes he can start the progressive online movement all over again, this time in his camp. I can tell though that whatever the Obama camp is building, his spokesman is not our partner.
Update [2007-2-24 22:48:40 by Jerome Armstrong]:
In a follow-up by Adam Nagourney of the NYT's, Obama said he was not aware of what his spokesman was saying on his behalf:
...when it came to tallying the final score on the most intense engagement so far in the 2008 presidential race, even Mr. Obama, the junior senator from Illinois, seemed to acknowledge that he may have been outmaneuvered.
In a telephone interview Thursday, Mr. Obama said he had not been aware beforehand of the statement his campaign had put out Wednesday morning responding to the public demand by Howard Wolfson, Mrs. Clinton's hard-driving senior communications adviser, that Mr. Obama denounce Mr. Geffen and return the money he had raised.
Mr. Obama said he had been on a red-eye flight, getting a haircut and taking his daughters to school as the fight broke out, and strongly suggested he had told his aides he wanted to stay above the fray.
I told my staff that I don't want us to be a party to these kinds of distractions because I want to make sure that we're spending time talking about issues, Mr. Obama said. My preference going forward is that we have to be careful not to slip into playing the game as it customarily is played.