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Posted at 9:51 AM ET, 01/ 5/2011

Robert Gibbs's Twitter @PressSec reign to end?

By Melissa Bell
Robert Gibbs
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs holds out the palm of his hand to show his notes to members of the media during a press briefing at the White House. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

Just as Nancy Pelosi rebrands herself on Twitter, changing her handle from @SpeakerPelosi to @NancyPelosi, another handle may be changing soon as well: @PressSec. Robert Gibbs, after two years of engaging, deflecting and battling with the press and after about eight months as @PressSec, will be stepping down as the White House press secretary.

Gibbs was often credited for the carefully orchestrated media presentation of the White House: The message that was sent out was a White House message, not a media message, much to some journalists' chagrin. A large part of this had to do with Gibbs's savvy social media handling. Not only did the press secretary keep a tight leash on leaks in the White House, but he also moved the administration onto Twitter, started a weekly video series and took questions directly from people without the media filter.

On his Twitter, designated as an "official WH twitter account," Gibbs often responded to questions, made announcements and took sly jabs at political opponents. He also took to YouTube to answer questions in a cyber press conference.

While some saw this as a more transparent, accessible administration, others saw it as a way for Gibbs to control the message. While Gibbs likely will continue to advise the president on social media for the 2012 campaign, no word on if the @PressSec handle will pass to the incoming secretary or if it's Gibbs for keeps.

With Gibbs bowing out, how would you like to see the social media presence of the White House change?

By Melissa Bell  | January 5, 2011; 9:51 AM ET
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Comments

Gibbs was presented as the most intelligent and best press secretaries of all time. He was maybe the best manipulator and spin machine of all time. He oftentimes would not answer questions posed by the white house press corps but would deflect and ignore those he did not want to answer. Obama needs another sycophant like Gibbs to put the debt that Reid-Pelosi-Obama brought to our children and grandchildren and may well bankrupt this country. The jobs that were supposed to be here, aren't. Two major car companies are owned by the government and auto worker unions. Voter intimidation can only be done by whites on blacks, not blacks on whites, though video tapes don't lie. We are still in Iraq, Afghanistan, and with terrorists in Cuba. The world is not a safer place. The U.S. economy cannot be rescued by government debt. The next press secretary will tell us how all that is not true and everything that is false and smoke and mirrors is true. Maybe we need the anti-Semite Helen Thomas back in the front seat again.

Posted by: SouthernPatriot | January 5, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse

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