“I Saw Someone On Cable Say This…”

… were Obama campaign manager David Plouffe’s “least favorite words in the English language,” according to Mark Leibovich’s profile of Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs in this Sunday’s New York Times Magazine.


Staff members were encouraged to ignore new Web sites like The Page, written by Time’s Mark Halperin, and Politico, both of which had gained instant cachet among the Washington smarty-pants set. “If Politico and Halperin say we’re winning, we’re losing,” Obama’s campaign manager, David Plouffe, would repeat mantralike around headquarters.


The campaign bragged that Obama never even visited with the editorial board of The Washington Post — a decision that would have been unheard of for any serious candidate in a previous presidential cycle. “You could go to Cedar Rapids and Waterloo and understand that people aren’t reading The Washington Post,” Gibbs told me last month in Chicago.

And, one of my favorite quotes:

“Sometimes the press corps thinks transparency and openness should be defined as carrying out all of our internal deliberations on the Web so they could watch,” [Obama adviser Anita] Dunn said. “But in fact, transparency and openness is about the process of how government is run. It’s not necessarily about who might be mad at whom on a different day.”

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.