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

“Robert, You Got Shorter!”: Some oohs and aahs welcomed today’s surprise briefing room guest as Secretary Clinton joined the party to discuss this morning’s Af-Pak meetings. “I successfully avoided this room for eight years,” she smiled. The secretary hailed “very promising early signs” and reiterated support for the two leaders, noting that “democratically elected president of Pakistan” is not a common phrase. Clinton, who recently was critical of the Pakistan’s anti-Taleban efforts, now said she was “quite impressed” by the actions they’re taking and that she “won’t second-guess” the Pakistani government’s SWAT valley negotiations with the extremist group. “Come back!” one reporter yelled upon her exit. Gibbs assured the corps that she wouldn’t be the last, and joked about “get[ting] a La-Z-Boy in here” as other officials commandeered his daily duty.

Times They Are A-Changin’: Clinton was able to work in at least a couple of not-so-subtle one liners at the expense of her predecessors, noting that the Obama team is not taking a “one-size-fits-all approach” and that “a lot of lip service was paid in the past” but the new administration is now working toward “an atmosphere and reality of candor and openness.”

Use it in a Sentence: Press Secretary Robert Gibbs (who played waterboy for a coughing Clinton), took the second act in the Brady briefing room and was pressed on the characterization of the administration’s “level of confidence” in Presidents Zardari and Karzai. Gibbs said he was “confident that we’re going to make progress to address these challenges” and later added that he was “confident they understand the situation” and “confident that, working together, we can make progress in this situation.”

And Now We’re Facebook Friends!: Both Clinton and Gibbs rehashed a quotation from the earlier trilateral, noting that one of the attendees said of the two states that “geography binds us but we were not connected before.”

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