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FishPoolDC: Our Insider’s Notes from Today’s Press Briefing

What’s So Funny About Warranties?: Press Secretary Robert Gibbs seemed all too tempted to comment on a suave cell ring tone interruption in today’s briefing, but kept it to a giggle as he tried to continue his explanation on the administration’s pledge to ensure warranties on autos that could go under. So for those in the drinking game, put down those glasses.

Not That Anyone’s Counting: Numbers Guru Mark Knoller of CBS Radio was quick to correct Gibbs today on the age of the Obama administration, but apparently not quick enough. “You were supposed to cue a little earlier!” Gibbs retorted as Knoller clarified the count is at 70 days.

Sh!t Happens: Gibbs fielded another question on the administration’s campaign trail promise to post non-emergency bills to their web site for comment at least five days in advance of a bill-signing, as today’s Omnibus Public Lands Management Act didn’t pass that test. Obama has brought “greater transparency,” Gibbs argued, noting that “situations will come up, especially if the president is going to go overseas.” (POTUS heads to Europe tomorrow for a whirlwind of G20 and NATO summits as well as side-trips to Czech Republic and Turkey.) Gibbs repeated the familiar Obama team mantra that while not perfect, they’ve made great strides in White House openness.

Like POTUS, Like PSOTUS: Bloomberg’s Roger Runningen pressed Gibbs on the timeline of the president’s pitch to GM’s Rick Wagoner that he step down from heading the company. In a bit of an eerie flashback to last week’s presidential slapdown of CNN’s Ed Henry on a related question, the press secretary refused to “get into the tick-tock.” Asked why, he replied staunchly: “Because I’m not.”

Buy American: In the wake of the president’s grand auto industry announcement this morning, Gibbs confirmed that the president would encourage Americans to support cars produced at home. “I don’t want to turn this into an advertisement,” he joked, before pointing out that the award-winning Chevy Malibus and Buicks were hot picks.

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