If Gibbs Leaves, President Obama’s Three Amigos Will Have All Said Adios

By Dschabner

Jan 4, 2011 7:39pm

While no decision has been made yet, top Democrats say it seems likely that press secretary Robert Gibbs will be departing the White House fairly soon.

President Obama is, according to sources, happy with Gibbs’ work as press secretary. But Gibbs was eager to leave the podium and assume a more “senior counselor” role, a la David Axelrod, who is leaving to depart for Chicago, in part to help with the president’s 2012 reelection campaign.

The issue, sources say: President Obama’s 2008 campaign manager, David Plouffe, is coming to the White House, making it unclear that there is enough room for another “senior counselor” type with a defined and effective portfolio. Plouffe will run messaging and politics, in addition to other duties.

Democrats say Gibbs is exploring the possibility of serving as an outside adviser for the White House, DNC and the reelection campaign. That might allow Gibbs the opportunity to create a defined and effective role, albeit one outside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Throughout 2009 and 2010, the president’s three closest advisers were Axelrod, Gibbs and then-chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. This would mean that Obama will not have any of those three men inside the White House any longer. Though Plouffe is a close adviser and member of the inner circle — as is White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett — those three departures will necessitate a serious readjustment by the president.

Two names in contention for the press secretary job are deputy press secretary Bill Burton and Jay Carney, Vice President Biden's communications director.

– Jake Tapper

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