White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Wednesday that his job has been “the opportunity of a lifetime” but that he is leaving in early February to “step back a little bit” and “recharge” after keeping up a frenetic work pace.
During a briefing with reporters, Gibbs said his two years in the White House have been “extraordinary” and, despite the exhausting pace, “I would not trade the worst day I’ve had here for many of the best days that you might have in another job.”
Still, Gibbs said the White House is “a tough place to work” and that President Barack Obama could probably use some fresh blood around him. “You have to admit, there’s a bubble in here,” he said.
The White House spokesman won’t be far from Obama; his next stint will be as a political adviser to the president and his re-election campaign. Gibbs’ successor has not been named, but possibilities include Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton and Jay Carney, Vice President Joseph Biden’s communications director.
Looking further down the road, Gibbs said he expects to become a paid campaign consultant “at some point” and has no plans to write a book. He also jokingly said he would consider returning to the administration to serve as ambassador to Italy in Obama’s second term.
News of Gibbs’ departure is just one in a chain of White House staff changes on the horizon. Obama’s former campaign manager, David Plouffe, will begin his new role as a senior adviser to Obama on Monday, and all signs point to Gene Sperling being named Obama’s new National Economic Council director on Friday.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.