Robert Gibbs

Robert Lane Gibbs (born March 29, 1971) is an American communication expert who is the executive vice president and global chief communications officer of McDonald's. He served as the twenty-fifth White House Press Secretary from 2009 to 2011.

As executive vice president, Gibbs is the chief of McDonald's public relations efforts.[1] Before McDonald's, Gibbs was an American political advisor and commentator, who served as White House Press Secretary during the first term of the Obama Administration.[2] Gibbs had worked with Obama since 2004 and previously served as the communications director for then-Senator Obama and his campaign during the 2008 presidential election. He later served as a senior campaign adviser for Obama's campaign during the 2012 presidential election.[3]

Prior to becoming a member of the Obama team he was press secretary for John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign and was a part of several Senate campaigns, having served as communications director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and for four individual Senate campaigns, including those of Obama in 2004 and Fritz Hollings in 1998.[4] Gibbs was also the press secretary of Representative Bob Etheridge.[5] Gibbs was announced as the press secretary for President Obama on November 22, 2008,[6] and officially assumed the role on January 20, 2009, giving his first official briefing on January 22.

Robert Gibbs
Robert Gibbs
25th White House Press Secretary
In office
January 20, 2009 – February 11, 2011
PresidentBarack Obama
DeputyJen Psaki
Bill Burton
Preceded byDana Perino
Succeeded byJay Carney
Personal details
Robert Lane Gibbs

March 29, 1971 (age 47)
Auburn, Alabama, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Mary Gibbs
EducationNorth Carolina State University (BA)

Early life

Gibbs was born in Auburn, Alabama.[7] His parents, Nancy Jean (née Lane) and Robert Coleman Gibbs, worked in the Auburn University library system and involved their son in politics at an early age.[2][8][9] Nancy Gibbs would take Robert, then known as "Bobby," to local League of Women Voters meetings rather than hire a babysitter, and involved him in "voter re-identification" work at the county courthouse.[10]


Gibbs attended Auburn City Schools and Auburn High School.[7] At Auburn High, Gibbs played saxophone in the Auburn High School Band, was a goalkeeper on the Tigers' soccer team, and participated in the school's debate squad. Gibbs graduated from Auburn High in 1989,[11] in the same class as novelist Ace Atkins and LEGO artist Eric Harshbarger.

Gibbs attended North Carolina State University, serving as goalkeeper for the North Carolina State Wolfpack soccer team from 1990 to 1992.[12] Gibbs graduated from North Carolina State cum laude with a B.A. in Political Science in 1993.[5]

While a student at North Carolina State in 1991, Gibbs became an intern for Alabama's 3rd congressional district Congressman Glen Browder. Gibbs quickly rose through the ranks of Browder's staff, rising to become the representative's executive assistant in Washington, D.C. Gibbs returned to Alabama in 1996 to work on Browder's unsuccessful Senate campaign that year.[10]


Congressional Press Secretary, 1997

In 1997, Gibbs was Press Secretary for Congressman Bob Etheridge of North Carolina and, in 1998, was spokesman for Senator Fritz Hollings' successful re-election campaign.[5] He worked in the campaigns of two other senators, and served as Communications Director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, before taking the position of Press Secretary of John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign.[5]

U.S. Presidential election, 2004

Early in the 2004 presidential campaign, Gibbs was the press secretary of Democratic candidate Senator John Kerry. On November 11, 2003, Gibbs resigned "in reaction to the firing of Jim Jordan, abruptly let go by Kerry Sunday night."[13] Gibbs was replaced by Stephanie Cutter, a former spokeswoman for Ted Kennedy. After leaving the Kerry campaign, Gibbs became spokesman for a 527 political group formed to stop the 2004 presidential campaign of Howard Dean which launched attack ads against Dean.[14] Gibbs was criticized in February 2007, during the Obama presidential campaign, by some left leaning bloggers.[15]

Adviser to Senator Barack Obama, 2004

Gibbs joined Barack Obama's 2004 U.S. Senate campaign as communications director in mid-April 2004[16] and remained with the senator through the first two years of Obama's term. Gibbs is credited with guiding Obama through those first years and molding his rise on the national scene. According to The New York Times, Gibbs advised Obama on politics, strategy and messaging, and spent more time with Obama than any other advisor.[3]

U.S. Presidential election, 2008

Barack Obama at a rally in Hartford, CT on 4 February 2008

The appointment of Gibbs by Obama to the post of Communications Chief was met with mild controversy by some critics in the Democratic National Committee, who cited Gibbs' role in the aggressive campaign tactics used to block the nomination of Howard Dean in the 2004 race. Obama, however, referred to Gibbs as his "one-person Southern focus group" and welcomed him as part of his close-knit team that included strategist David Axelrod, campaign director David Plouffe, and research director Devorah Adler. In his communications role, Gibbs became known as "the enforcer" because of his aggressive rapid-response methods for countering disinformation tactics from opponents. Gibbs assumed responsibility for "shaping the campaign message, responding to the 24/7 news cycle, schmoozing with the press and fighting back when he disagree[d] with its reporting."[17] As the chief intermediary between the Obama campaign and the press, Gibbs sought to counter the Republican National Committee's opposition research tactics against Obama in early 2007.[18]

Gibbs adopted a policy of rapid response to claims by conservative news outlets that questioned Obama's religious upbringing. In response to the "Obama is a Muslim" meme suggested by these claims, Gibbs disseminated information to other news networks that Obama is not nor has ever been Muslim. At the time, Gibbs said, "These malicious, irresponsible charges are precisely the kind of politics the American people have grown tired of."[19]

After comments by George W. Bush to the Israeli Knesset questioning Obama's foreign policy platform's focus on international diplomacy, Gibbs responded, calling Bush's comments "astonishing" and "an unprecedented attack on foreign soil." Gibbs argued that Bush's policy amounted to "cowboy diplomacy" that had been discounted by Bush's own Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, and quoted with Gates' own words: "We need to figure out a way to develop some leverage ... and then sit down and talk...if there is going to be a discussion, then they need something, too. We can't go to a discussion and be completely the demander, with them not feeling that they need anything from us."[20]

He was widely blamed by news media executives for "holding hostage" reporters, while Obama and Hillary Clinton met for the first time after a heavily contested Democratic primary season. He countered back, "It wasn't an attempt to deceive in any way ... It was just private meetings."[18]

White House Press Secretary, 2008

Barack Obama and Robert Gibbs in the Conference Room of Air Force One
Obama and Gibbs in the conference room of Air Force One in July 2009

On 22 November 2008, it was announced by the Obama transition team that Gibbs would be the White House Press Secretary for the Obama administration.[6] He assumed the role of press secretary on 20 January 2009, and gave his first official briefing on 22 January 2009.

In an interview with The Hill, Gibbs derided the "professional left" and "liberals," who "wouldn't be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president." He said that people who compare Obama's policies to George W. Bush's "ought to be drug tested." [21]

Gibbs stirred controversy when he stated that the drone killing of 16-year-old son of Anwar al-Awlaki was justified, and that the boy "should [have] had a more responsible father."[22][23]

On 5 January 2011, Gibbs announced that he would leave the White House to become an outside adviser to the Administration. He formally left the position on February 11, 2011.

MSNBC Contributor, 2013

On 12 February 2013, it was announced that Gibbs had been hired as a contributor for cable-news channel MSNBC. His first appearance was on the same night prior to the 2013 State Of The Union Address. In June 2013 it was announced that Gibbs became a founding partner of a new strategic communications practice called The Incite Agency,[24] which he co-founded.

McDonald's Corporation, 2015

In 2015, Gibbs became the chief communications officer for McDonald's Corporation.[25]

Personal life

Gibbs is married to Mary Catherine Gibbs, an attorney, and lives in Alexandria, Virginia with their son, Ethan.[17] His parents live in Apex, North Carolina, where his mother Nancy is acquisitions director for Duke University Libraries.[10]


  1. ^ Smith, Aaron (9 June 2015). "McDonald's hires former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs". CNN. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  2. ^ a b Lowy, Joan (22 November 2008). "N.C. State grad tapped as Obama's press secretary". Retrieved March 13, 2010.
  3. ^ a b Zeleny, Jeff (6 November 2008). "Robert Gibbs" (Series). The New Team. The New York Times. Retrieved November 6, 2008.
  4. ^ Cillizza, Chris (16 January 2007). "Barack Obama's Impressive Team". The Fix. The Washington Post. Archived from the original (Blog) on February 5, 2012. Retrieved November 22, 2008.
  5. ^ a b c d Morrill, Jim; Funk, Tim (9 October 2003). "Carolinas ties key in national campaigns". Charlotte Observer. Archived from the original on 11 December 2008. Retrieved November 22, 2008.
  6. ^ a b (22 November 2008). "White House Communications and Press Secretary positions announced". Newsroom. Office of the President-elect. Archived from the original (Press release) on 15 July 2012. Retrieved November 22, 2008.
  7. ^ a b Yen, Hope (22 November 2008). "Obama names longtime spokesman Gibbs press chief". Associated Press. Retrieved November 22, 2008.
  8. ^ Kochak, Jacque (6 November 2008). "What's next for Robert Gibbs?". The Auburn Villager. Archived from the original on 15 July 2012. Retrieved November 22, 2008.
  9. ^ "robert gibbs".
  10. ^ a b c Rawls, Phillip (7 November 2008). "Obama spokesman, likely press secretary from Ala". Opelika-Auburn News. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 15 July 2012. Retrieved November 22, 2008.
  11. ^ Armistead, Trey (1986–1987). "Auburn High School Band – Members 1986–87". Auburn High School Band. Auburn City Schools. Archived from the original (Website) on February 11, 2009. Retrieved November 8, 2008.
  12. ^ Barett, Barbara (6 November 2008). "NC's Robert Gibbs may be Obama press secretary". Politics. McClatchy Newspapers. Archived from the original (Article) on 15 July 2012. Retrieved November 22, 2008.
  13. ^ Wire reports in Tuscaloosa News of 12 November, 2003 as of 13 April 2010
  14. ^ Rutenberg, Jim (16 December 2003). "New Democratic Group Finances a Republican-like Attack on Dean" (Series). The 2004 Campaign. The New York Times. Retrieved November 22, 2008.
  15. ^ Akers, Mary Ann (23 February 2007). "Bloggers Blast Obama Spokesman" (Blog). The Sleuth Blog. The Washington Post. Retrieved November 22, 2008.
  16. ^ Krol, Eric; Patterson, John (26 April 2004). "Campaign notebook". Daily Herald. p. 11. Retrieved April 9, 2009. Tidbits: Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Barack Obama has hired a new director of communications. Robert Gibbs came to Illinois last week.
  17. ^ a b Langley, Monica (28 August 2008). "Meet Obama's Media 'Enforcer'" (Article). Politics. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 22, 2008.
  18. ^ a b Budoff Brown, Carrie (6 November 2008). "Little shock in selection of Gibbs" (Blog). Politics '08. The Politico. Retrieved November 22, 2008.
  19. ^ Phillips, Kate (24 January 2007). "Obama's Religion and Schooling" (Blog). The Caucus. The New York Times. Retrieved November 22, 2008.
  20. ^ Phillips, Kate (15 May 2008). "Bush's Remarks in Israel Rile Obama" (Blog). The Caucus. The New York Times. Retrieved November 22, 2008.
  21. ^ "Liberals still steamed at Robert Gibbs – Kendra Marr and Abby Phillip". Politico. Retrieved 2011-07-07.
  22. ^ Grim, Ryan (24 October 2012). "Teen Killed In U.S. Drone Strike Should Have 'More Responsible Father,' Obama Campaign Official Says". Huffington Post.
  23. ^ Friedersdorf, Conor. "How Team Obama Justifies the Killing of a 16-Year-Old American".
  24. ^ "Ex-Obama spokesmen Gibbs, LaBolt launch new practice". The Washington Post. 13 June 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  25. ^ "Robert Gibbs joins McDonald's".

Further reading

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Dana Perino
White House Press Secretary
Succeeded by
Jay Carney
ASV Records

ASV Records was a London-based record label set up by Harley Usill, founder of Argo Records, Decca producer and former Argo general manager, Kevin Daly, and producer Jack Boyce, after Argo's parent company Decca was bought by PolyGram in 1980. ASV stands for "Academy Sound and Vision". The label was bought by the Sanctuary Records Group in May 1999.

ASV, which was founded in London in 1981, was mainly a classical label, but its catalogue included Bing Crosby, Cole Porter, The Ink Spots, and The Boswell Sisters. Starting in 1986, ASV had an imprint called Living Era, created by Kevin Daly, which specialized in reissuing recordings (particularly American jazz recordings) that are in the public domain in the UK, which are all at least 50 years old. It also showcased American pop music, American country music, British dance bands, and British nostalgia.

Much of ASV's classical catalogue was reissued on Sanctuary's Resonance budget label. Sanctuary's UK recorded music business was shut down shortly after Universal Music Group bought the firm in 2007. This also included the ASV and ASV/Living Era imprints.

A New Beginning

"A New Beginning" is the name of a speech delivered by United States President Barack Obama on 4 June 2009, from the Major Reception Hall at Cairo University in Egypt. Al-Azhar University co-hosted the event. The speech honors a promise Obama made during his presidential campaign to give a major address to Muslims from a Muslim capital during his first few months as president.White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs indicated that Egypt was chosen because "it is a country that in many ways represents the heart of the Arab world." Egypt is considered a key player in the Middle East peace process as well as a major recipient of American military and economic aid. Reuters reporter Ross Colvin reported that the speech would attempt to mend the United States' relations with the Muslim world, which he wrote were "severely damaged" during the presidency of George W. Bush.

Abdulrahman al-Awlaki

Abdulrahman Anwar al-Awlaki (born al-Aulaqi; 26 August 1995 – 14 October 2011) was a 16-year-old American of Yemeni descent who was killed while eating dinner at an outdoor restaurant in Yemen by a drone airstrike ordered by U.S. President Barack Obama on 14 October 2011. Abdulrahman al-Awlaki's father, Anwar al-Awlaki, was alleged to be an operational leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Anwar was killed by a CIA drone strike also ordered by President Barack Obama two weeks prior to the killing of his son.

Alyssa Mastromonaco

Alyssa Mende Mastromonaco (born February 22, 1976) is a Senior Advisor and spokesperson for NARAL as of July 2018. She was previously the President of Global Communications Strategy & Talent at A&E Networks and the Chief Operating Officer of Vice Media. She is also a contributing editor at Marie Claire magazine. She previously served as White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations in the administration of President Barack Obama from 2011 to 2014. She was the youngest woman to hold that position. In 2005 Mastromonaco was hired as then Senator Obama's Director of Scheduling.

Anita Dunn

Anita B. Dunn (born January 8, 1958) is an American political strategist who served as Acting White House Communications Director from April through November 2009. She is managing director at SKDKnickerbocker, a strategic communications firm in Washington, D.C..

Baitullah Mehsud

Baitullah Mehsud (Pashto,Urdu: بیت اللہ محسود‎); c. 1972 – c. 5 August 2009) was a leading militant in Waziristan, Pakistan, and the leader of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). He formed the TTP from an alliance of about five militant groups in December 2007. He is thought by U.S. military analysts to have commanded up to 5,000 fighters and to have been behind numerous attacks in Pakistan including the assassination of Benazir Bhutto which he and others have denied.

Disagreement exists over the exact date of the militant's death. Pakistani security officials initially announced that Baitullah Mehsud and his wife were killed on 5 August 2009 in a U.S. Central Intelligence Agency drone attack in the Zangar area of South Waziristan. Interior Minister Rehman Malik delayed giving official confirmation and asked for patience and an announcement by Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) or other agencies. Kafayat Ullah, a TTP source, also announced the death of the militant in the strike, as did his deputy Faqir Mohammed. Later Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan commander Hakimullah Mehsud denied previous TTP announcements and said Mehsud was in good health. Major General Athar Abbas, ISPR spokesman, and Robert Gibbs of the White House said his death could not be confirmed, U.S. National Security Adviser James L. Jones also claimed that there was "pretty conclusive" evidence that proved Baitullah Mehsud had been killed and that he was 90% sure of it. On 23 August 2009, Hakimullah Mehsud and Wali-ur-Rehman telephoned the BBC to say that the Baitullah Mehsud had died on 23 August 2009 due to injuries sustained during the 5 August attack. On 30 September 2009, the BBC received a video that showed the body of Mehsud.Syed Saleem Shahzad, writing in the Asia Times, described Baitullah Mehsud as a physically small man, with diabetes.

Bill Burton (political consultant)

Bill Burton (born August 9, 1977) is an American political consultant.

Dana Perino

Dana Marie Perino (born May 9, 1972) is an American political commentator and author who served as the twenty-fourth White House Press Secretary, serving under President George W. Bush from September 14, 2007, to January 20, 2009. She was the second female White House Press Secretary, after Dee Dee Myers, who served during the Clinton Administration. She is currently a political commentator for Fox News, while also serving as a co-host of the network's talk show The Five, and is a book publishing executive at Random House. On October 2, 2017, she began hosting The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino on Fox News.

Death and funeral of Corazon Aquino

Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino, the eleventh President of the Philippines, died on August 1, 2009 at the Makati Medical Center in Makati of cardiorespiratory arrest after being in hospital since June 2009, and was first diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2008.

The Aquino family declined an invitation by government to grant the former president a state funeral. Her funeral was held on August 5, 2009, and her body was buried at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque. She is the first woman and the second President and layman after Carlos P. García to have their wake at the Manila Cathedral.

Jay Carney

James "Jay" Carney (born May 22, 1965) is the former press secretary to President Barack Obama.

From 2014 to 2015, he worked as a senior political analyst at CNN. He served as White House press secretary, from 2011 to 2014, and his resignation was accepted by President Barack Obama, on May 30, 2014. From 2008 to 2011, he was director of communications for Vice President Joe Biden. He worked as the Time Magazine Washington bureau chief, from 2005 to 2008 and was a regular contributor in the "roundtable" segment of This Week with George Stephanopoulos for ABC News.

Carney has been the senior vice president of worldwide corporate affairs at Amazon since March 2, 2015.

Jen Psaki

Jennifer Rene Psaki (; born December 1, 1978) is the former White House Communications Director. She previously served as a spokesperson for the United States Department of State and in various press and communications roles in the Obama White House. She is a contributor on CNN.

Jon Favreau (speechwriter)

Jonathan Edward Favreau (born June 2, 1981) is an American political commentator and the former Director of Speechwriting for President Barack Obama.Favreau attended the College of the Holy Cross, graduating as valedictorian. In college, he accumulated scholastic honors, and took part in and directed community and civic programs. After graduation, he went to work for the John Kerry presidential campaign in 2004, working to collect talk radio news for the campaign and was promoted to the role of Deputy Speechwriter. While working for the Kerry campaign, he first met Barack Obama.

In 2005, Obama's communications director Robert Gibbs recommended Favreau to Obama as a speechwriter. Favreau was hired as Obama's speechwriter shortly after Obama's election to the United States Senate. Obama and Favreau grew close, and Obama referred to him as his "mind reader." He went on the campaign trail with Obama during his successful presidential election campaign. In 2009, he was named to the White House staff as Director of Speechwriting.In January 2017, he co-founded liberal media company Crooked Media with fellow former Obama staffers Tommy Vietor and Jon Lovett, and began co-hosting the political podcast Pod Save America with Vietor, Lovett and Dan Pfeiffer.

Jonathan Gibbs (bishop)

Jonathan Robert Gibbs (born 6 May 1961) is a Church of England bishop. He is the current and first Bishop of Huddersfield, an area bishop in the Diocese of Leeds.

Josh Earnest

Joshua Ryan Henry Earnest (born January 22, 1975) is an American public affairs professional and former campaign worker and White House aide who served as the twenty-seventh White House press secretary under President Barack Obama, from 2014 to 2017. He succeeded Jay Carney as Obama's press secretary, in 2014, and was succeeded by President Donald Trump's first Presidential press secretary, Sean Spicer. He currently serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer for United Airlines.

Obama's Wars

Obama's Wars is a 2010 book written by Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Bob Woodward. The book was published by Simon & Schuster and released on September 27, 2010. It focuses on the internal debates and divisions within the Obama administration regarding the handling of the United States' involvement in the ongoing Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Woodward was interviewed by ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer to promote the book as well as PBS journalist Charlie Rose.

R. Perry Turner House

The R. Perry Turner House is located in Greer, South Carolina. The Classical Revival style house was built in 1937 for prominent local businessman Richard Perry Turner. The house was designed by Greenville-based architect William Riddle Ward, commissioned after Turner saw the house designed by Ward for his younger brother, Robert Gibbs Turner.The brick house on a poured concrete foundation is almost 10,000 square feet in size. A brick garage, stable and octagonal brick summer house in the backyard were also designed by Ward for the property.

Reggie Love

Reginald L. "Reggie" Love (born April 29, 1981) is an American political aide, former college basketball player, and media editor. Love served as the special assistant and personal aide, commonly referred to as body man, to United States President Barack Obama. Love left this position at the end of 2011, to complete his Master of Business Administration degree at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. In July 2015, Vice Media announced that Love would become an editor-at-large for its sport site, Vice Sports.

Robert G. Turner House

The Robert G. Turner House is located in Greer, South Carolina. The Colonial Revival style brick veneered house was designed by the prominent Greenville, South Carolina-based architect William Riddle Ward for Robert Gibbs Turner and Turner's wife, Mary. Ward also designed the one-story brick veneered garage to match the house.


The word "strategery" ( strə-TEE-jər-ee) was used in a Saturday Night Live sketch, written by James Downey, airing October 7, 2000, which satirized the performances of George W. Bush and Al Gore, two candidates for President of the United States, during the first presidential debate for election year 2000. Comedian Will Ferrell played Bush and used the word "strategery" (a mock-Bushism playing on the word "strategy"), when asked by a mock debate moderator to summarize "the best argument for his campaign", thus satirizing Bush's reputation for mispronouncing words. The episode was later released as part of a video tape titled Presidential Bash 2000.

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