<bI Don't Really Wanna Fight No More: The briefing room cooled considerably from yesterday’s >exchange over how Press Secretary Robert Gibbs helps orchestrate the presidential newsers, as today’s class opened with a detailed discussion of how not to omit the press from tonight’s dunk tank fun at the WH luau for Congressional members and families. Fox’s Wendell Goler lobbied for video of Bobby G’s dunk tank performance, and a tentative deal was reached to offer charity money for a video. (Several reporters offered moderately low-dollar bids.) Gibbs pledged to throw in some free pitches from the press, and advised the corps to “pick your best arm.” Tryouts TBD….
Gambling Against Omaha: One of the (several…) briefing delays was due to POTUS’s Rose Garden comments on climate change, as a dramatic vote looms in the House. Gibbs had no details on whether POTUS had spoken recently with Warren Buffett, whose outspoken criticism of the bill might derail the effort. “We like where we are now, and I’d bet on the president,” Gibbs said.
Immigration Nation: Claiming again that he owns no crystal ball (methinks the Gibbs doth protest too much?), Gibbs declined to make a WH promise on getting immigration done this year, as a bi-partisan group of 30 members climbed down from Capitol Hill to help “launch a policy conversation,” as the WH statement reads. He did make clear, though, on the potential for a 2009 bill: “We’d like that.”
Mis-Under-Informed: RG was asked to clarify what “misinformation” POTUS was talking about when he used the word in last night’s healthcare town hall. For two, Gibbs offered: 1) the idea that reform would hurt jobs instead of help them; 2) made-up numbers on long-term costs. For the latter, he offered CBO’s estimate that in 2020, it will cost the average American 60 cents/day. (Ironically, this follows the administration’s criticism of CBO for not crediting proposed ealthcare reform for its potential broader long-term savings.)
Mark Your Calendar: Gibbs added to the Moscow-Italy-Ghana trip a July POTUS commencement of a new economic school in Moscow. The speech wll address non-proliferation, global security, and economic growth.