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

By Christine 

Back to business after WHCD weekend…

That’s Cheney You Can Believe In: In response to a newsworthy “Face the Nation” appearance by the former vice president, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said of the former #1 and #2 that he was “struck” by the “markedly different views to their lives,” as the Obama team has consistently credited Bush for a graceful exit. Dick Cheney’s FTN remark that favored Rush Limbaugh over Colin Powell was deemed “an illuminating answer about what you’re going to see going forward” (wishful thinking?) and part of “a series of ideas… the last election rejected.” Gibbs added, “We’re happy to leave him to those devices.”

“More Cowbell” Needed?: Today’s driving WH message is a pledge by healthcare industry leaders to work toward savings of $2 trillion over the next 10 years, which had even economic Debbie Downer, NYT‘s Paul Krugman, excited about welcoming these players into healthcare reform discussions. Gibbs gloated, “The table got bigger this morning.” (Like this?) But reporters were less giddy, and Gibbs said of the cynicism, “there’s a few raging cases around here.” He took his oft-traveled we’re-not-DC path: “We’re used to, in this town, the cynicism that goes along with these debates.” When Fox’s Major Garrett kept the tone, Gibbs called for “two and a glass of water for Mr. Garrett.” The one-name press celebrity fired back a few minutes later: “I won’t prescribe the dosage necessary for your humility pills.” Oh snap.

Rush Reference Number Two: The corps was all abuzz (and surely a-Twitter) in coming off a weekend of WHCD festivities, and at least one line by the night’s entertainment is still grabbing attention. NYT‘s Jeff Zeleny asked for POTUS’s reaction to the Wanda Sykes jab that casted Rush Limbaugh as a 20th terrorist of the 9/11 attacks. Gibbs took a side step, saying “I don’t know how the guests get booked” and referring to outgoing WHCA president Jennifer Loven of the AP, but then indulged the query: “My guess is, Jeff, I think there are a lot of topics that are better left for serious reflection rather than comedy,” noting that 9/11 falls within that realm.

Watch Gibbs’ answer after the jump…