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

Malveaux: Presidential plaudits for Gibbs' podium debut

Malveaux: President Obama personally congratulated White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs after his first official press conference Thursday.

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. Pam

    American January 22nd, 2009 7:37 pm ET
    Pam, lighten up and it is President Obama to you, thank you very much.
    ---------–
    YOU can call it what YOU want. I can call it what I want. Thank you very much.

    January 22, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  2. Shalom

    Hey Pam, what would you prefer? McCAIN with punch card computer? This is the 21st century with a 21st century president at the helm!

    January 22, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  3. Pam

    Sharon Jacobs January 22nd, 2009 7:39 pm ET
    Pam relax sweetie…everything isn't that serious (all the time). Pam take a minute to take a breath, to laugh alittle, to smile a lot. Mr. Gibbs is lucky that he has a boss who cares enough to take time to say congrads!!!!!!!
    -------–
    Actually, Sharon, Sweetie - I laugh a LOT - especially these days!

    January 22, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  4. Shannon

    That is just one more reason why Obama is da man! How many times do you think W. dropped by the Press Office just to say, "Hey, man," to Tony Snow.

    January 22, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  5. arc, Lugano CH

    Pam January 22nd, 2009 6:36 pm ET
    THAT, Mr. Obama — is NOT funny !!!!!!!!!!!!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The ability to coherently grasp the lightness of a moment such as this one would require extracting one's gigantic cranium from one's arse. Sadly you have proven that in your case, because of your undying bitterness, this would prove quite difficult to achieve. But give it a try.

    'Country First'.....(whisper)

    January 22, 2009 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  6. Dragon

    Its A New Day for America...

    What a breath of fresh air.

    Part of leadership means showing appreciation for people who work for you when they do a good JOB, since you the leader is in a position to critize when they FAIL...

    Pure.ure.ure.ure Leadership!

    My Fellow Americans, Welcome to a new DAY in Leadership

    The calss has begun and everyone better pay attention; Course is Leadership 101...

    I Love IT..! Ha Ha!

    January 22, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  7. censoredPoster

    How does "Mike's" post "How do those balls taste" NOT violate your content policies and why is THAT posted but legitimate comments are censored and some people are permanently banned/censored from getting ANY comments on the PoliticalTicker blogs?

    January 22, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  8. Pam

    Sharon Jacobs January 22nd, 2009 7:39 pm ET
    Pam relax sweetie…everything isn't that serious (all the time). Pam take a minute to take a breath, to laugh alittle, to smile a lot. Mr. Gibbs is lucky that he has a boss who cares enough to take time to say congrads!!!!!!!
    ---------
    Hey, Sharon, Sweetie - I laugh a lot these days. In fact, this is the funniest saddest election I've ever witnessed. By the way, Sweetie, its "congrats," not "congrads."

    January 22, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  9. Suzi

    President Obama has always had an excellent working relationship with his staff members before and I can see why. They said he had a good sense of humor, but we haven't been able to see it. I think it's great that he would take the time out of such a busy day to congratulate Gibbs on a job well done.

    January 22, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  10. adam

    Pam. I know there is a difference between Obama making a joke about it and Bush thinking it to be true but try to see it. And the proper title is Mr. President, not Mr. Obama. Have some respect for the office.

    January 22, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  11. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Pam obviously is having a personal flashback which may require some joke therapy to help her learn to laugh a little, life is great and laugher is good.

    January 22, 2009 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  12. Rick Sutter

    This guy has his work cut out for him.

    January 22, 2009 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  13. roger in ga

    @ PAM,

    It's Mr.President to you Pam and if he chooses to be funny he can do it. If it is not meeting with your approval may I suggest that you change the channel.

    January 22, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  14. Denise

    Cool! When did you ever hear of Bush coming down to a PC? He'd have been chased away!

    January 22, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  15. KLS

    Pam: Please show some respect to our new president - it's President Obama, NOT Mr. Obama.
    Also, you need to lighten up a bit and take what he said in the manner it was said - it was a joke! I think it was great he took time out of his busy day to say congrats to Robert Gibbs.

    January 22, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  16. Steph

    Strange country................. USA. Make Palin the President........... or mr. Limbaugh

    January 22, 2009 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  17. Perusing-Through

    PLEASE GIVE GIBBS SOMETIME TO GET HIS "PRESS LEGS UNDER HIM". HE IS SUCH AN HONEST AND NICE MAN. DON'T WHERE HIM OUT ON THE FIRST WEEK – – – – PLEASE!!!

    January 22, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  18. RJ, CA

    arc, Lugano CH January 22nd, 2009 8:12 pm ET

    Pam January 22nd, 2009 6:36 pm ET
    THAT, Mr. Obama — is NOT funny !!!!!!!!!!!!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The ability to coherently grasp the lightness of a moment such as this one would require extracting one's gigantic cranium from one's arse. Sadly you have proven that in your case, because of your undying bitterness, this would prove quite difficult to achieve. But give it a try.
    'Country First'…..(whisper)
    ----------–
    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).

    January 22, 2009 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  19. Perusing-Through

    Dear Pam,

    Sharon is correct, you need to chill. And it helps if you let the bitterness go. YES WE CAN make it through the "Bush-Cheney-Rove-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz" debacle. So breath easy, relax, and we will get through this.

    January 22, 2009 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  20. RMGofCO

    I think it is funny...I think any President would have said that as a joke. Really...lighten up...of course for some of you, nothing he does is going to be right.

    More importantly, a good leader acknowledges when their staff do a good job. I think that is great. How many of us, get an "atta boy" in our workplaces.

    Way to go Mr. President.

    January 22, 2009 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  21. Perusing-Through

    Dear Pam,

    Sharon is correct, you need to chill. And it helps if you let the bitterness go. YES WE CAN make it through the "Bush-Cheney" debacle. So breath easy, relax, and we will get through this.

    January 22, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  22. Perusing-Through

    PLEASE GIVE GIBBS SOMETIME TO GET HIS "PRESS LEGS UNDER HIM". HE IS SUCH AN HONEST AND NICE MAN. DON'T WEAR HIM OUT ON THE FIRST WEEK – – – – PLEASE!!!

    January 22, 2009 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  23. yellow dog democrat

    Pam – you are sad! take a night time toddy and get some rest.

    January 22, 2009 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  24. GuyInVA

    I gotta say it. This is HISTORIC! I don't know why it's HISTORIC, but if President Obama is present, it's HISTORIC. Did I mention the HISTORIC nature of the first African American President's visit to the office of the first press secretary to the first African American President? Wow, just wow. Oh, and HISTORIC.

    January 22, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  25. MLH

    Take a chill, Pam. It isn't like he was BOMBING a country, or LYING to the public about something. He was making a joke. He is a constitutional lawyer – of all the presidents we have had in the past few decades, he is the one that understands he can't do anything he wants.

    January 22, 2009 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
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