Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Gibbs Welcomed Departing Egypt Narrative

Robert Gibbs could not have written a better exit script than the one Egypt gave him.

Pro-democracy protesters filled the streets of Cairo and Alexandria just as President Obama delivered his State of the Union address, the last major message event that Gibbs would execute as spokesman for the President.

For more than two weeks the demonstrators remained in the streets, stepping all over the White House strategy to break out themes from the State of the Union address. Gibbs, like the spokesmen and women ahead of him, had to become an overnight expert on an issue du jour, this time Egyptian democracy.

Right on cue, or so it seemed, the curtain came down on the first act of Egypt's political metamorphosis: Hosni Mubarak stepped down on the same day that Gibbs presided over his final daily briefing. Mubarak's exit even delayed the start of Gibbs' curtain call in the briefing room (Obama needed to deliver his own statement first Friday).

"I didn't have to spend the time talking about myself," Gibbs chuckled this week, admitting he liked the way his closing script wrote itself.

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