News / USA

    Obama Spokesman Gibbs To Leave White House

    White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs talks about his decision to step down and other personnel swaps  coming to the Obama Administration, during a press briefing at the White House, 5 Jan 2011
    White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs talks about his decision to step down and other personnel swaps coming to the Obama Administration, during a press briefing at the White House, 5 Jan 2011

    White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, a trusted adviser to President Barack Obama, will step down.  This is one of several staff changes expected in the Obama administration.  

    Robert Gibbs has been Mr. Obama's spokesman and a key adviser since his 2004 campaign for the U.S. Senate.  Gibbs announced Wednesday he will soon leave the administration.

    "I had the opportunity to work for this president, serve this country, work with so many wonderful friends and be in the middle of what is going on.  It has been a tremendous honor," he said.

    Gibbs will, however, continue working with the president as an outside adviser and a paid consultant to his 2012 re-election campaign.

    "What I am going to do next is step back a little bit and recharge some. We have been going at this pace for at least four years," said Gibbs. "I will have an opportunity, I hope, to give some speeches. I will continue to provide advice and counsel to this building and to this president."

    President Obama, in a written statement, called Gibbs a close friend, one of his closest advisers and an effective advocate.

    Gibbs is expected to leave early in February.  He says his replacement should be named in the coming weeks.

    Two possible successors are deputy press secretary Bill Burton and Vice President Joe Biden's communication's director, Jay Carney.  Administration officials say they will also consider candidates from outside the White House.

    Other changes are expected soon in the West Wing.  Mr. Obama will introduce a new director of the National Economic Council on Friday, replacing Larry Summers, who stepped down late last year.

    The president's senior adviser, David Axelrod, announced earlier that he would leave, and Gibbs says longtime Obama political adviser David Plouffe will take his place next Monday.

    Also, a permanent White House chief of staff may be named in the next few days.  Interim chief of staff Pete Rouse and former Clinton administration Commerce Secretary William Daley have been mentioned as likely candidates.

    Gibbs said Wednesday it is not unusual for presidential administrations to undergo staff changes after two years in office.

    "I think in many ways, this is a pretty major retooling.  But again, part of this is based on the fact that there are a lot of us who just feel like we need a little bit of a break," Gibbs said.

    Gibbs is a 39-year-old native of the Southern state of Alabama.  He is known for his carefully worded responses to questions and his willingness to debate with reporters about administration policies.  

    Gibbs is the first presidential press secretary to post updates on the social network Twitter, and he has made frequent use of Facebook as well.

    You May Like

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora