Gibbs on Moran’s Departure: Family, not Friction

Apr 22, 2009 7:15pm

From Sunlen Miller

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs today beat back questions over the abrupt departure of White House communications director Ellen Moran, framing her move as a decision made more for her family and less due to troubles breaking into the tight-knit communications team.

Less than one hundred days into the administration Moran resigned her post yesterday as the developer of the president’s message and communications strategy, in order to work as the chief of staff for Commerce Secretary Locke. 

"It’s a position that greatly interests her and it gives her a chance to spend more time with her husband and her children," Gibbs explained to reporters today, "you probably get to see your kids and your family a little bit more often….I saw my son last night when he got up at 11:30 p.m. looking for more milk.  So that was the only time I saw him yesterday."

When Moran was tapped for the top communications job in late November, the move was seen then as somewhat of a surprise. She was the only senior member chosen to be a part of Obama’s communication staff that had not worked for the campaign and when she was Executive Director of Emily’s List, the organization endorsed Obama’s rival, then-Senator Hillary Clinton in the primary.

Moran – who rode to Iowa today on Air Force One today with the President – was the subject of much questioning on both legs of the trip, amid reports implying her premature departure was much due to her not fitting in among a very close communications staff which had worked with the President longer.

"I guess I tend not to focus on blogs and web sites," Gibbs responded. "You know, look, I mean, I think she’s — well, let’s just say I don’t believe everything I read on a computer."

The White House as not named a replacement for Moran yet.

- Sunlen Miller

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