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Obama Picks White House Communications Team

By Eric Pianin

President-elect Barack Obama formally announced his communications team today -- as expected, appointing longtime spokesman Robert Gibbs as White House press secretary and choosing two other veteran operatives to help shape his message.

Gibbs went to work for Obama's Senate campaign in 2004 and was communications director while Obama was in the Senate. He will be joined at the White House by Ellen Moran and Dan Pfeiffer.

Moran will be director of communications, responsible for getting Obama's message out. She is executive director of the Washington group EMILY's List -- a group that supports female candidates who support abortion rights. She also has worked for the AFL-CIO.

EMILY's List President and Founder, Ellen R. Malcolm, issued a statement this evening saying: "As Executive Director for the past two election cycles, Ellen has done a phenomenal job. She deserves tremendous credit for leading EMILY's List this election cycle as we elected the second largest group of Democratic women in American history. She has been a stalwart ally and true friend for me and I will miss working with her on a daily basis."

Her deputy in the White House will be Pfeiffer, who is communications director for Obama's presidential transition team. He helped managed the press operation on the Obama campaign.

While Gibbs can be combative in private in defending Obama, he is affable and smooth talking on camera, often deflecting reporters' uncomfortable questions with a quip, the Post's Howard Kurtz reported in a Nov. 12 profile. The son of two Auburn University librarians, Gibbs got his first exposure to politics when his mother took him to voter registration drives.

By Eric Pianin  |  November 22, 2008; 5:55 PM ET
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Yes Joe, the media failed way before the election. For 8 years they were afraid to ask questions about the usurpation of the constitution by an executive run-amok.

Congress was afraid, the Senate was afraid, everybody was afraid. That was how Bush made an astonishing power grab that the electorate has judged a failure.

The media doesn't lead nearly as often as they follow. They merely followed the popular movement that elected Obama.

"Gibbs made Hannity look like the pathetic angry clown he is. I hope Clear Channel goes broke over their idiotic and immoral investment in Limbaugh."

Absolutely right roster54.

Losing audience and sponsorship are much more important than any impossible fantasy about the Fairness Doctrine.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | November 23, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse


Targeting of U.S. Citizens by Gov't Agencies: Root Cause of Wall Street Financial Crisis


Posted by: scrivener50 | November 23, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

The media failed the American people prior to the election and they will continue to fail to ask Obama difficult questions and demand answers.

Chris Matthews is a disgrace to journalism!

Posted by: JoeJankovic | November 23, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the communications team - or this newspaper - need to follow up on this radio interview with the Kenyan ambassador who admitted Obama was born in Kenya!
Could a Constitutional issue there...

Posted by: leefstrong | November 23, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Moran will no doubt raise hackles from the Right. But it's all about smarts, less about ideology in the press department.

Posted by: parkerfl1 | November 23, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Regarding my previous post one must remember that Chris Matthews admitted that he is not a journalist when it comes to Obama but he is an avid supporter.

MSNBC should of removed him from the air immediately!

Posted by: mwhoke | November 22, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

There is no reason for Obama to hire anyone one to work in his press office.

The media will praise anything he does and if anyone has the gall to critize him Olbermann, Maddow and Matthews will go on the attack.

The messiah can do no wrong as far as the media sees it!

Posted by: mwhoke | November 22, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Gibbs made Hannity look like the pathetic angry clown he is. I hope Clear Channel goes broke over their idiotic and immoral investment in Limbaugh.

Obama's success means most of us are fed up with angry clown propaganda, and half-baked, sophomoric, "free market" panacea stupid monologue B.S.

Posted by: rooster54 | November 22, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Can't wait for that sharecropping hillbilly Gibbs to start holding press briefings. (They only have picture books in the Auburn University library...).

Posted by: daman1 | November 22, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

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