First Rush, Then …: This reporter isn’t usually obsessed with Jon Stewart, but the man is making real news this week. His highly trafficked video with CNBC’s Jim Cramer from last night’s episode made a splash in the briefing room today, too. Robert Gibbs said that while he talked with the president yesterday afternoon about watching the interview, he forgot to send him a reminder e-mail and didn’t follow up. “I enjoyed it thoroughly,” Gibbs said of his own viewing, adding that there were a lot of tough questions and he’s “not surprised that the video of Mr. Cramer’s appearance doesn’t appear on CNBC’s website today.”
Hold Those Bets: Chicago Sun Times reporter (and campaign trail Obama shadow) Lynn Sweet interrupted her own question on economic advisor Paul Volcker’s recent comments to ask about the president’s NCAA bracket. This was highly anticipated paperwork last year in the heat of March Madness, and interest has not waned. Gibbs reports that “in a transparent White House,” the Fan-in-Chief’s picks will be revealed next week.
Where’s the Crystal Ball?: Many questions today referenced the president’s remarks to the business roundtable yesterday, and others asked for clarification on Volcker’s speech at Brookings today. As one reporter introduced such a question, Gibbs gave an audible “Uh-oh” and explained that he was afraid his alma mater might take away his economics minor. Later, the press secretary gave this explanation of the state of things right now: “somewhere between not as bad as they could be and not as good as they need to be.” But he was also quick to point out: “We’ve unfurled no ‘Mission Accomplished’ banners.”
California Here We Come: Gibbs expanded on already announced plans for the president’s travel to California next week, noting in the typical “Week Ahead” segment of Friday White House briefings that Obama will hold a town hall in Santa Ana on Wednesday before other economy-focused events in the Los Angeles area. This week was an exception to the administration’s plan to leave D.C. weekly. Anyone predicting when the president might finally make it up to Alaska, his only neglected state from the election season?