Does Robert Gibbs Need to Take the Same Public-Speaking Crash Course Obama Did?


Between the primary and general-election debate seasons, Barack Obama did some training in order to edit the “ums” and “ahs” out of his unscripted responses. The old style made him look thoughtful, but the new one made him look much more poised, decisive, and confident. It helped him seem more alert and relevant against McCain, who had the confidence that comes with years of town-hall experience and off-the-cuff remark-making. After yesterday’s Health and Human Services press conference, held by Robert Gibbs to discuss Tom Daschle refusing his nomination as secretary, some YouTuber compiled all of the “ums” and “uhs” into one clip reel. Now, as Anne Schroeder Mullins pointed out, the press secretary is less than a dozen pressers into the new gig, so this is a little harsh — especially considering the good nature he’s made an effort to maintain. But it may not be a bad idea to prepare for when the press turns on him, like they did on their formerly beloved Caroline Kennedy. You know?