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Posts Tagged ‘Bill Burton’

Romney Goes M.I.A. To Keep From Making Mistakes

An illustration by 'The Daily Caller's Matt Lewis.

When we saw yesterday that Mitt Romney had put out a statement denouncing the debt ceiling agreement, we thought, “Hmm… When was the last time we heard from him?”

Turns out it has been a long time and it was by design. Politico has coined a new term today — the “Mittness Protection Program” — to describe the silence coming from the Romney campaign. Why all the hush-hush? Conservative Republicans have issues with him and he’s prone to gaffes. So if he keeps quiet and under the radar, the thinking goes, it helps his current status as leader among the Republican candidates.

That doesn’t sound right.

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Burton Steps Down From WH Deputy Press Sec Post

White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton is leaving along with WH political advisor Sean Sweeney to start their own political and strategic consulting firm.

Burton had been on the list of candidates to replace press secretary Robert Gibbs. The job eventually went to Jay Carney, who held his first press conference today. (More on that in a post to come.)

Sweeney was the chief of staff to former WH chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. Both will leave the White House on Friday. Politico reports that both will play a role in the 2012 election cycle.

Burton’s departure e-mail after the jump.

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Farewell Press Sec Robert Gibbs!

Today was White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs‘ last day on the job! President Obama stopped by his last press briefing to return a tie he borrowed seven years ago as he was about to speak at the Democratic National Convention. The tie was framed with a personal note. Aww. It’s like a Judd Apatow movie.

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WH Press Secretary Robert Gibbs Stepping Down

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has announced that he’s leaving the position and will become a political adviser to President Obama’s reelection campaign, The New York Times is reporting. His departure is scheduled for early February; his successor will likely be announced in the next couple of weeks.

According to the Times story, a couple of the top contenders for the post are VP Joe Biden’s director of comms (and Karl Rove’s choice) Jay Carney and current Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton.

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Gibbs May Be Considering a Move to Top DNC Post?

Talk of White House press secretary Robert Gibbs‘ departure continues, fueled by Gibbs’ statement (or lack of statement) yesterday about a possible move to chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

“I love my job,” Gibbs is quoted saying in The Hill. Still, he wouldn’t say that he would rule out a move when pressed and saying nothing is tantamount to saying something. The current chairman is former Virginia governor Tim Kaine.

Over the weekend, Politico columnist Mike Allen gave his short list to succeed Gibbs in his Playbook column (in alphabetical order): Bill Burton, Jay Carney, P.J. Crowley, Stephanie Cutter, and Geoff Morrell. Dee Dee Myers, former Clinton press secretary and current Glover Park Group MD, is also predicting Burton will be next in the role.

[Image via]

Myers Predicts Press Sec Gibbs Will Step Down

Dee Dee Myers, recent addition to D.C. firm Glover Park Group and Twitter, is using her 140 characters to predict that President Obama’s Press Secretary Robert Gibbs will step down after the midterm elections with Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton stepping up. Burton was the go-to guy for Gibbs when he was on vacation last month. According to the L.A. Times blog, there are others making the same prediction, and Myers herself did the same during the Clinton administration.

In other Glover Park news, the firm has signed (sub req’d) a $400,000 contract with South Korea’s Washington D.C. embassy to handle legislative and government affairs issues.

‘Easygoing’ Burton Steps In for Vacationing Gibbs

bill burton.jpgWhile White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is on vacation, Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton, has been subbing in.

Known for being less combative than Robert Gibbs has been of late, Burton has worked with a number of Congressmen, including Sen. John Kerry during his presidential campaign.

And, according to the AP, Burton “appears to be the first African-American to take the podium and speak on behalf of the president.” Wikipedia provides a list of past press secretaries.

In the past few days, Burton has addressed a variety of topics, including a recent ruling blocking additional stem-cell research and an upcoming speech President Obama will deliver about the Iraq war.

[Image via CBS]

Report: White House PR Team Among Highest Paid Staffers

Our sibling blog FishbowlDC recently dug through this list of White House staffer’s salaries. Interestingly, the public relations and communications staffers are among the highest paid. Reports FishbowlDC:

Along with White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, press secretary Robert Gibbs, speechwriter Jon Favreau and communications director Dan Pfieffer all pulled in the highest salary of $172,200.00. Deputy press secretary Bill Burton gets $113,000.00 and deputy communications director Jen Psaki makes $150,000.00.

RELATED: Robert Gibbs Debates With Reporter As To What Defines a Press Conference

Amidst Hyperactive News Cycle, White House Focuses on Long Term


Despite the fact that White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton have been active on Twitter as of late, the Obama administration is trying its best to not let the ever increasing speed of the news cycle affect its communications strategy.

Tracy Sefl, a Democratic media strategist and senior vice president of Navigators Global, a Washington communications consultancy, told media reporter Jeff Bercovici:

“If Obama didn’t believe the news cycle was important, he wouldn’t have such a robust communications apparatus,” says Ms. Sefl. But no president, no matter how obsessed with managing the media, could possibly afford to engage with it on the hyper-granular level it now operates on. “If the White House did the same dance that the press does on the minute-by-minute news cycle basis, I can’t imagine anyone there would have the stamina to get up every day to do their jobs,” she says.

However, if Obama and his senior advisers are focused on long term messaging, that doesn’t mean Gibbs and his team aren’t focused on the daily grind.

Gibbs said recently, “the news cycle starts at 5:00 a.m. in the morning. It lasts probably until 10:00 or 11:00 at night. It sleeps only a little bit before it all starts again. And on occasion we want to get ahead of what the news is going to be that day by letting folks know.”

In this case he was describing authorized leaks, but the statement shows how the administration is focusing both on the “long” and “short” news cycles.

Is Robert Gibbs Headed Towards a Promotion?


That’s what the Washington Post‘s Jason Horowitz hints at in a lengthy profile of the White House Press Secretary today.

Gibbs is one of the three advisers closest to the president, along with presidential campaign manager David Plouffe, and senior strategist David Axelrod. With Axelrod potentially heading off to run the re-election campaign, the door would be open for Gibbs to step up into a new role.

On potentially leaving the Press Secretary position for that of senior adviser:

Gibbs is too discreet to say which job he prefers, but it’s not hard to figure out. Listen to the press secretary talk about the media as a predictable, hyperventilating rabble obsessed with access and covering “everything as make or break,” or observe his frustration percolating in the briefing room.

On who could succeed him:

While deputy press secretary Bill Burton is being groomed for Gibbs’s job, and other Democratic communications specialists, such as Brad Woodhouse at the Democratic National Committee, are considered potential successors, none has Gibbs’s authority.

Certainly, the role of press secretary is tireless, and often thankless — at least outside the administration. But like a good PR pro, Gibbs wouldn’t entertain any ideas of a job move. “I think if you were to look forward a year, I expect I will be where I am,” he told Horowitz.