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

Joe Says It Ain’t So: This morning’s statement from the VP’s office — meant to walk back his Today Show comments on advising family members not to take public transportation — sparked several questions of clarification from the WH press corps. ABC’s Jake Tapper, dissatisfied with Press Secretary Robert Gibbs‘ re-wording of the VP’s comments to return to POTUS’s precautionary-but-not-extreme message, said he sympathized with Gibbs while the reiteration was “not even remotely close to what he said.” “I understand what he said,” Gibbs replied. “And I’m telling you what he meant to say.”

Fiat and Flu: The two biggest items of the day didn’t gather much steam in this afternoon’s briefing. A White House conference call and presidential announcement on autos preceded Gibbs, who clarified procedural details and noted that the Chrysler/Fiat deal was promising because the Italian company had experience in restructuring and with producing high-mileage vehicles. Gibbs made a brief but mild announcement on a security official from the administration who had contracted flu but who “never came within six feet of the president.” The official spread the flu to three family members, but each has since recovered.

Please Don’t Stop the Music: It wouldn’t be the first time that raucous cheers from a South Lawn event leaked into an amused briefing room as Gibbs held class, but today’s noise from the Wounded Warrior Soldier Ride included an extensive Indiana Jones soundtrack. Probably safe to say this reporter wasn’t the only one wishing Gibbs had dressed the part.

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