The First Press Briefing.

January 22, 2009 at 8:34 pm | Posted in WH Press Briefings | Leave a comment
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Shawn Thew/European Pressphoto Agency)

Robert Gibbs at his first White House press briefing. (Photo: Shawn Thew/European Pressphoto Agency)

From 1:39 p.m. to 2:29 p.m. today President Obama’s press secretary Robert Gibbs conducted his first White House press briefing. Mr. Gibbs, who has worked with President Obama since 2004, was communications director for the first two years of the president’s tenure in the Senate and again during the presidential campaign.

(NY Times) Mr. Gibbs opened the session by dropping a morsel of news: Every day, the president will receive a new briefing in addition to his daily intelligence briefing. This one will be called the Economic Daily Briefing, given to Mr. Obama every day in the Oval Office. He received his first one on Thursday morning.

With that, the questions began inside the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room, which was filled to such capacity that the room was swelling at the seams, with some television correspondents sitting on the floor as they craned their necks to see Mr. Gibbs.

Poor Mr. Gibbs. The assembled reporters apparently enjoyed ribbing him about some of the procedural difficulties he was having.

White House correspondent Major Garrett from Fox News managed to make an ass of himself over the re-administration of the oath of office. Helen Thomas was there and had no problem getting an answer she posed to Gibbs about torture policies — “the president believes that torture is wrong. … We’ve taken steps today to make sure that those beliefs are upheld.”

Most of the questions were about Guantanamo Bay, torture and the $825 billion economic recovery package. Reporters also inquired about how the First Family was settling in and about the President’s Blackberry use — he gets to keep it.


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