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

Brought to You by Coca-Cola: Healthcare remained the favored topic in the briefing room as reporters floated several legislative proposals before Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. Amid news of a proposed “soda tax” that some Senate players are considering to defray healthcare reform costs, Gibbs was asked for reaction to the related CBO findings. “I have not seen the CBO report. I ingested a Diet Coke not long before coming out here,” Gibbs said, dodging direct reaction. He confirmed that this endorsement was not a policy pronouncement. CBS Radio’s Mark Knoller followed with, “What about Fresca?”

HillaryCare to BarryCare: Growing a little impatient with the call for reaction to various potential bullet points in a healthcare reform plan, Gibbs touched on a familiar campaign theme: “We’re not going to get into a daily score-keeping of each idea and proposal.” When one reporter tried to get Gibbs to compare this process to the previous one — long ago in the early ’90s — that featured a certain current Secretary of State, Gibbs took the bait, while noting the Obama team’s penchant to keep quiet during the process: “Are you going to have this fight on the airwaves, as you did 15 or 16 years ago?” he asked, adding that Obama is more focused on bringing people to his (private) table.

Obama, 23; No-bama, 1: With POTUS poised to address graduates from ASU, Notre Dame, and the Naval Academy, Gibbs gave a broad sketch of his message, which will point to the “amazing opportunities” these young people have and the choice to serve “a purpose higher than yourself.” ABC Radio’s Ann Compton asked whether he would acknowledge the sensitive issues that have caused some in the Notre Dame community to boycott his speech, and Gibbs added the theme, “We can disagree without being disagreeable.” He said that while there is one group organizing protests of POTUS’s appearance, 23 have formed to support Obama. Pew research shows American Catholics generally support the speech, and 97% of the students agree, he said. Not that anyone’s keeping score though, right?

A New Gibbsism?: Used twice today: “resist the temptation to comment.” Related to the health of GM: “It’s probably better that I resist the temptation to comment on individuals’ personal stock holdings.” Related to healthcare proposals: “I’m going to resist the temptation to comment on every machination of what happens in the committee on the Senate side.”

Also after the jump, check out a funny Twitter from inside the briefing room…

mikememoli: The reporter sitting next to me at the Gibbs briefing is asleep

about 3 hours ago from TwitterBerry

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