In the Dark, Some Early Morning Expectations Setting from the White House
By Michael D. Shear
The White House stood just beyond press secretary Robert Gibbs' shoulder this morning as he braved frigid weather to have a cup of joe with Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
But you couldn't tell -- it was so early and dark, you couldn't see the White House.
Gibbs rejected wearing a big overcoat, or even as scarf, while Scarborough and Brzezinski wrapped themselves in blankets. He did joke about being cold, though.
"I twitter now," Scarborough admitted.
"Will that make us any warmer?" Gibbs asked.
Gibbs used the appearance -- and similar ones as he hopped from one morning show to another Tuesday morning -- to explain that President Obama's speech will lay out his overall plans to heal the economy.
"The president will talk tonight about how the legislation has already begun to save jobs throughout the country," Gibbs said. "We do have a plan that, for the first time, addresses the millions of people who are making their payments but can't get a refinancing."
At Brzezinski's urging, Gibbs said the speech would be both sober and hopeful.
"The president believes very clearly that we have to be honest with the American people about where we are," he said. "But absolutely, Mika, tonight he will tell us, tell the country, that we have faced, as I said, far greater challenges than we do right now. But we as Americans always meet those challenges."
The sun had come up by the time Gibbs's colleague, senior adviser David Axelrod, joined the show. By then, you could see the White House in the background.
"In certain ways, the challenge is very clear and that is to explain to people what the president's economic vision is, how we are going to get out of the mess we have inherited here, how we are going to turn this thing around," Axelrod said.
Dressed in a green parka, Axelrod dismissed the cold, explaining that as a long-time Chicago resident, this was nothing.
"Tonight, he has the opportunity to talk to the American people about the steps we need to take to get out of the situation we're in," Axelrod said. "I think he's very confident we can do that, and he's going to express that as well."
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