The full article from Sunday’s NYT Magazine profile of Barack Obama’s incoming press secretary Robert Gibbs “Between Obama and the Press” is now online and over at FishbowlDC Patrick Gavin has taken it upon himself to read so that you (or us) don’t have to! A few highlights:
Obama campaign’s communications strategy was predicated in part on an aggressive indifference to this insider set. Staff members were encouraged to ignore new Web sites like The Page, written by Time’s Mark Halperin, and Politico, both of which had gained instant cachet among the Washington smarty-pants set. “If Politico and Halperin say we’re winning, we’re losing,” Obama’s campaign manager, David Plouffe, would repeat mantralike around headquarters. He said his least favorite words in the English language were, “I saw someone on cable say this. . . .”
After the jump Obama loses his temper!
Obama was said to be furious over the serial public airings about Hillary Clinton’s eventual nomination to be Secretary of State. He sent an explicit message that anyone caught leaking would be fired — and he sent it through his newly named chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, who a couple of weeks earlier conducted a very public hand-wringing about whether he would take that job.
The idea that Obama has benefited from an extended journalistic valentine breeds great impatience from his advisers. They argue that good press follows naturally onto winning campaigns — and that the efforts of Clinton and McCain yielded deservedly bad press.
They prided themselves on never leaking. If there was any turf-wrestling, power-grabbing or tantrum-throwing in the Obama campaign, it was never for press consumption — in contrast to the campaigns of Hillary Clinton or John McCain, both of which (God love ’em) dished out all-you-can-eat buffets.