Our new press secretary and our president-elect's campaign media strategy get the Times Magazine treatment this Sunday. There is, frankly, nothing all that revealing. But there are amusing anecdotes!
This David Plouffe story right here illustrates exactly why Barack Obama is our president-elect:
The paradox of this scene was that the 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. . . .”
Ignore Mark Halperin! It's that simple, people. And it's never been easier than it is today! Thanks, Time.
Also Obama and Gibbs have been working the press together for years, and Obama will cut Gibbs if the message isn't properly disseminated.
Obama and Gibbs developed a fast rapport. I remember interviewing Obama in early 2005, a few months after he was elected to the Senate, in his temporary office in the basement of a Senate office building. He and Gibbs were sprawled out in virtually identical postures like a couple of frat brothers watching a football game — without the beer.
Clearly they were pushing the message that day that Obama was no prima donna. He was happy to be a team player, complete his freshman dirty work. Obama and Gibbs kept emphasizing that Obama had already sat through countless town meetings in Illinois and committee hearings on Capitol Hill. The article I wrote poked gentle fun at Obama for his and Gibbs’s zealous efforts to show how unzealous Obama was being about climbing the ladder. “Jeez, was it really that obvious?” Obama said to me when I ran into him and Gibbs on Capitol Hill a few weeks later. “Nice going there, Gibbs,” Obama said, pretending to smirk at his sidekick.
Here is that sarcastic article, with the "gentle fun" and all. Also that is clearly the sort of good-natured ribbing, on Obama's part, that is probably scary to hear, for an aide.
Anyway the rest of the story is all "they're just like Bush, message-wise" and "they're so disciplined" and "press secretary's a funny job" and stuff like that, there are still no compelling stories about the Obama campaign team, guys.