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Posted at 2:45 PM ET, 01/ 5/2011

White House Press Sec. Robert Gibbs is retiring? Hire Ted Williams!

By Alexandra Petri

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs announced today that he is departing for the private sector. It's an understandable move. Probably his job as White House Press Secretary made it difficult for him to pursue his real passion: avoiding lengthy sparring matches with members of the press.

The names Bill Burton and Jay Carney have been floated as possible replacements for Gibbs, but I think one more should be thrown into the mix: Ted Williams.

Ted Williams is a homeless man with an amazing, golden radio voice who has, of late, been getting job offers right and left. I'm amazed at his success -- people frequently tell me I have a face for radio, but they usually follow up by shooing me away from the light rather than by offering me any jobs.

He is a two-years-clean recovering addict with radio training, and he speaks powerfully of his love of radio. His job-getting M.O. so far has been to stand outside on the street with a sign proclaiming his "God-Given Voice." Everyone from ESPN to the Cleveland Cavaliers has leaped at the opportunity to sign him.

Forget Michael Vick. Mr. Williams is the symbol of second chances. And after 2010, President Obama needs a second chance. That's why I am suggesting that he replace outgoing Press Secretary Robert Gibbs with Ted Williams.

As the economy continues to pose problems and the Obama administration undergoes staff transitions, he needs someone capable of delivering the goods. Bad news is like a baby -- you just want to deliver it as fast as possible without injuring anyone.

They tried the C.J. Cregg approach. Mr. Gibbs delivered with gravitas and sparred. Now it's time to try something else!

In this new era of forced bipartisanship, maybe we need someone with a voice that will be capable of bringing everyone together by soothing and delighting everyone who hears it. If you have to deliver bad news, you might as well deliver it well, with a golden voice that sounds like your words have been shellacked in butter sauce. You know all those people who insist that they want Morgan Freeman to narrate their lives? The next best thing would be having Mr. Williams conduct all their press conferences. People wouldn't even throw him hardballs. "Read us a bedtime story," the CNN correspondent would ask. "Say something Darth Vader would say," the WSJ reporter would chime in. "Tell us the date and time!" the BBC correspondent would shout.

He'd be able to respond to the allegations that President Obama had not created jobs by simply pointing at himself.

And he seems to grasp the principle of the task. "Radio is defined 'theater of mind,'" Williams says at one point. That's public relations in a nutshell!

The video that made Williams a sensation:

By Alexandra Petri  | January 5, 2011; 2:45 PM ET
Categories:  Bad Advice, Barack Obama, Petri  | Tags:  Classic DC, Ted Williams, law of the jungle, media  
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Next: Let the men handle it! Ron Franklin, Antonin Scalia, and sweetcakes


Alex, Alex, Alex. Young people can be so gullible. Ted Williams died in 2002, and was cryogenically frozen so he could be brought back to life in the future.

But ... wait a minute. It IS the future. Maybe they DID bring him back to life.

The alleged, reanimated Williams does look like he has some freezer burn, and he has a nice voice, but I'll only believe it's him when I see him swing a bat.

But ... wait a minute. It can't be him. I just found out that Ted Williams' frozen head was chopped off and they used it for batting practice. As Dave Barry used to say, "I'm not making this up."

Posted by: divtune | January 5, 2011 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Good riddance to the painfully inept doughboy.

and divtune did you even read the article?

Posted by: mcsquared65 | January 5, 2011 6:30 PM | Report abuse

He could replace Obama just as well. Couldn't do much worse.

Posted by: comeback373 | January 5, 2011 7:56 PM | Report abuse

No, we could have divtune.

That was painful to read.

Not so funny.

Posted by: Grant_x | January 5, 2011 9:08 PM | Report abuse

mcsquared65 wrote: and divtune did you even read the article?
Why should I do that, for Pete's sake? Did YOU even read THIS article, Mr. Spongebob McSmartyPants?

"Scalia: I don't even have to read the briefs, for Pete's sake"
And here's a shout out to Grant-x (sweetcakes) for her endorsement of my presidential bid. Mr. Williams and I will be candidates for "The Voice Is Too Damned Low Party."

Posted by: divtune | January 6, 2011 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Did you notice he looks a lot like President Barak Obama?

Posted by: mario17 | January 6, 2011 2:05 AM | Report abuse

Will Fame Return Ted Williams to the Street?
For us alcoholics and addicts, our egos can literally kill us. I sat at the top of the business world ten years ago, quoted in all the top magazines and newspapers – at least one every week. A regular guest on CNBC and NPR, Random House published my book. I was running a venture fund and a major company, CTPartners, which just went public. I lost that company and everything else. The company I started made millions for everyone but me.
I hope Ted Williams doesn’t follow my path. He’s clean and sober today, which is priceless beyond belief. Holding on to that is difficult for any one of us, only 5 out of 100 people suffering from this disease stay clean and sober.
I wasn’t homeless but I was pretty close, going from one bad motel to the next. Ted has a chance but, with fame, it’s going to be next to impossible. It was for me. Staying humble is a cornerstone of my program today.

Posted by: jeffchristian | January 6, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse


Thanks for reminding us that we're talking about a fellow human being who is facing incredible difficulties. We should all stay humble and remember that, "There, but for the grace of God, go I." It's truly the most important thing you'll ever do.

Posted by: divtune | January 6, 2011 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Ah, America. The only place that you never have to give up on your dreams. One day you’re a penniless Panhandler from Columbus, Ohio and before you know it, you’re sitting next to Matt Lauer on the set of the “Today” show and have people wearing t-shirts with your face printed on the front.

If only there were more good feel stories about panhandlers making it....

Posted by: zoezoe123 | January 7, 2011 3:02 AM | Report abuse

He would fit right in anyways

Ted Williams = Obama

Posted by: kelmister34 | January 7, 2011 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Don’t get me wrong I love the fact that Ted Williams is using his Gift. I think the better story is that we all have Gifts from God and when we utilize them they will make room for us just like the Guy with the Golden Voice. Learn Your Gift Today:

Posted by: execdmiles | January 12, 2011 12:44 PM | Report abuse

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