January 22nd, 2009
05:41 PM ET
9 years ago

Malveaux: Presidential plaudits for Gibbs' podium debut

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/22/art.gibbspt0122.gi.jpg caption="Malveaux: President Obama personally congratulated White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs after his first official press conference Thursday."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - It was a funny moment in the White House Press Office. And a rare one. I was in the White House press office when in walks President Obama. It happened so fast, it even startled his aides.

President Obama walked in to see his Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. An aide, looking down at her papers, didn't notice who was whisking by her, and said Gibbs was on a conference call. "I'm the President. I can do anything I want," joked Obama, proceeding directly into Gibbs’ office with a single photographer in tow as staffers laughed.

I overheard the president say "congratulations, congratulations man." Today, after all, had marked his press secretary's first official briefing with the White House press corps. Then, just as soon as he'd come in, the President moved off in the direction of the Oval Office - too fast for even a shouted impromptu question.

Moments later, I left the White House through the front gate and ran into the president's sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, with her young daughter. She greeted me warmly and said "you remember my daughter." A couple of passersby began to assemble with cameras. When one recognized her as the President's sister, we said goodbye.

Filed under: President Obama • Robert Gibbs
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. john w

    this guy will be gone in a month.

    January 22, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  2. Kay

    Good job, Mr. Gibbs. May you have great success in dealing with the press. Just don't let them get to you, stand above the fray they can cause.

    January 22, 2009 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  3. Pete, Fla.

    Whatever happened to the hot Press Secretaries like Dana Perino.
    Gibbs = Boring

    January 22, 2009 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  4. arc, Lugano CH

    RJ, CA January 22nd, 2009 9:21 pm ET
    arc, Lugano — with respect to your very nasty reply, and despite the "lightness of a moment such as this," (gag!) I don't quite understand the differerence between YOUR cranium and arse, either (whisper, whisper, shout, shout).
    Easy there Big Fella:
    Let’s read through YOUR post a second (or a third) time and see if it makes any more sense.

    January 22, 2009 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  5. Max

    Malveaux does write beautifully. Look forward to more anecdotes

    January 22, 2009 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  6. Seattle Sue

    One thing I saw at this press meeting that I haven't seen in a long time was that Helen (sorry can't remember her last name) got to ask a question. When the last President was in office Helen was blacklisted from asking questions. Welcome back Helen.

    January 22, 2009 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
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