FishPoolDC: Our Insider’s Notes from Today’s Press Briefing

Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word: 21 minutes late today, no official delay and no explanation, which leads this reporter to wonder: What if they had a briefing and nobody came?

“Naptime!”: One day after the blogosophere lit up with the lighthearted jab at the Wall Street Journal one from its team nodded off in the White House briefing, reporters were playfully scheming a collective ‘nod-off’ of sorts. Other pranksters joked about pretending to fall asleep each time Gibbs would address them. Sounds like senior prank time…

Greatest Hits: Jon Stewart, among others, has made a point of castigating the hand-me-down dodges of each West Wing press secretary. Today, Gibbs used an all-too-familiar phrase from the podium playbook: “I won’t comment on an ongoing investigation,” with regard to the FBI’s raid on the office of the White House’s chief technology officer. As reporters pressed for comment on the administration’s general feelings of the chief technology officer, Gibbs continued to use the classic cloak.

We Stand With You… In a Way…: The press seats weren’t sold out today, but the WH press team’s seats were. Assistant Press Secretary Reid Cherlin was left standing next to five of his colleagues along the wall next to the podium — another reminder of the crowded Obama press shop as compared to the Bush team’s lame-duck period press team.

Robert Pan: While on the subject of a potential second stimulus package, Gibbs deflected NBC’s Savannah Guthrie’s point on timing with the quip, “If we had all the time in the world, we’d be in Never Never Land. And I’d be flying.” (Who does that make Captain Hook?)

Also after the jump, WaPo’s Sleuth’s “Wacky Wafers In the White House Briefing Room.”

Don’t Give a Damn ‘Bout My Reputation: Gibbs rejected conclusions made by a recent WSJ poll of economists in saying, “The administration is not here to win a popularity contest among economists that are interviewed by a newspaper.” One small voice in the audience snarkily replied, “Why not?”

Je suis americain!: Gibbs led a little French lesson today, re-pronouncing one reporter’s “blah blah blah” in continuing French President Sarkozy’s remarks as “blugh blugh blugh.” When asked about the Republicans using the French president in criticisms of the Obama administration, Gibbs noted: “Irony of ironies, yes… While I was eating my freedom fries.” His G20 talking point on the president’s goals for next month’s summit (repeated within the briefing) was a simple two-fer: focus on managing the current crisis, and prevention of future crises.