June 18th, 2009
03:23 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama press secretary chronically tardy

Robert Gibbs was a total of 13 hours and 46 minutes late to his own press briefings in the month of May alone.

Robert Gibbs was a total of 13 hours and 46 minutes late to his own press briefings in the month of May alone.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs delayed the start of his daily briefing Thursday - which is only remarkable for the fact it's so unremarkable.

The Bush White House briefings were only rarely delayed. Journalists covering the White House have now grown accustomed to waiting in the briefing room…at least so far.

Consider the numbers: Gibbs was a total of 13 hours and 46 minutes late to his own press briefings in the month of May alone.

Of the 19 briefings held by Gibbs in May, the White House officially pushed the scheduled start time back 14 times (although: one time they actually made it earlier.) That averages out to a delay of roughly 28 minutes a day - a total of 8 hours and 50 minutes for the month.

He was tardy for every one of the scheduled briefings he held that month: The shortest delay was just eight minutes, the longest was one hour and 41 minutes. The actual time Gibbs arrived at the podium to start the briefing took even longer - the time from when the briefing was originally scheduled to when it actually started accounted for a 13 hour and 46 minute total delay, or 43 minutes a day.

Filed under: Robert Gibbs
soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. John M in NoHo CA

    I'd rather he show up tardy and informed rather than on time to evade direct answers like Ari Fleischer.

    June 18, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  2. Will-o

    Very unprofessional of Gibbs and a sign of dissaray in the White House. Shows arrogance in that Gibbs sees his time as valuable, the reporters time as less so.

    June 18, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  3. Jon

    No surprise at all. This President, more than any other in history, is all about careful, some may say deceptive, messaging and packaging in real time and very little on transparency and facts.

    June 18, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  4. Grog in Ohio

    Someone has entirely too much spare time to calculate such inane numbers that no one, except perhaps the White House Press corp, will give a flying fig about.

    June 18, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  5. ynot

    WOW...News worthy

    June 18, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  6. why why

    Are u guys bored at CNN. This is not news. Time for a pay cut.

    June 18, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  7. JP

    Lesser mortals will wait, that's the attitude. The attitude trickles down from top I guess.

    June 18, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  8. Glenn


    I have continued thinking about your article and have come to conclusion that CNN should probably fire you. If you want to report on fake news I would suggest applying at the onion. I'm sure that they would be glad to have you and your incredibly informative reporting. Another thing you might consider is seeing how long you can keep a plastic bag over your head.

    June 18, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  9. wagg

    Well, you konw it wasn't because he was studying up on questions that may be asked of him. I don't think that he has actually answered anything since he has been PS.

    June 18, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  10. TODDmn

    Really, what do you expect.....He's a blundering idiot....Just like his boss.

    June 18, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  11. Jeff

    How stupid is this story? So what if he is often late? Obviously he is very busy tending to numerous issues in the Bush mess clean up. And assumptively (word?) Bush's press secretary did less or had less to do. And shut up R-wingers...yes it's a big mess Bush created to clean up! And no I'm not a L-winger. I am a centrist Independent. So know what the hell you are talking about before labeling others. GOP = no solutions, just mud-raking. And yes, I do know what I am talking about.

    June 18, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  12. Bob in Pa

    Oh come on now, give the guy a break. It takes time to come up with good plausible cover stories.

    June 18, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  13. Sharon Northern Virginia

    CNN this is not NEWS... and silly to report on it

    June 18, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  14. Alexander

    This is 'change' at its finest!

    June 18, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  15. Elmer

    I see Randy Quaid as Peter Blunt in Caddyshack 2. Can't help it. And the buffoon type approach including being late plays right into it. I just can';t atake Gibbs seriously. He will be replaced within a year.

    June 18, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  16. Jaime

    Another example of the self-importance and arrogance of this administration. This administration believes the solar system revolves around them. The media is so enamored with this administration, they are willing to overlook this unprofessional behavior. In any other company, an underperforming employee who is chronically tardy to their own scheduled meetings would be fired. Where is the new transparency and accountability of government that was promised by this administration during the campaign? This administration is quick to point out the speck of dust in corporate america, be critical of CEOs and corporations, yet this administration does not see the moat in their own eyes, they overlook their wasteful spending of our tax dollars with photo op fly overs of NYC and date night travels with Airforce One, and now a clear example of an overpaid underperforming employee in Robert Gibbs. The hypocrisy is hard to miss.

    June 18, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  17. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    @ TCM who said

    "I've never seen a public official, representing any branch or office of the government with worse speaking skills…and the hoot is, he was hired to TALK to the press…..he rambles, babbles, misquotes and generally is rude and sarcastic to members of the press."

    That sounds alot like Sarah Palin and not Robert Gibbs.

    June 18, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  18. Brian in AZ

    Aha! Yet another sign the administration is dragging the country down to Socialism. Gibbs is surely ready on time, just sitting beyond the press room door reveling in the control he has over those press peons

    This, along with Obama's implicit approval of citizens' lines to order food when he went for a burger, are the PROOF, comrades...

    June 18, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  19. JP

    It definitely takes good preparations to wash the laundry.

    June 18, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    Obama's press sec: tardy

    Bush himself: tarded

    I mean, who didn't see that coming?

    June 18, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  21. Lee W. in Raleigh, NC

    Gibbs is closely involved with the President and is probably tied up with important meetings most of the time. Bush's press secretaries I understand were not at all involved and had to fictionalize as they went.

    June 18, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  22. I give up


    June 18, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  23. ike

    It is better late than never. However, I wish he improves. Lateness does not speak well of our beloved new Obama administration. Buckle up and be on time Gibbs! Love you.

    June 18, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  24. Proud Member..Party of No

    I have a question: which comes first, the lobotomy or membership in the democrat party?

    June 18, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  25. Nate

    If I'm late for a total of 13 hours in one month, I'd be fired. I'd be fired for being late much less.
    Wait, was he late for the time HE appointed?

    June 18, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
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