One former White House press secretary versus seven Republican presidential candidates? Robert GIbbs will take those odds.
President Obama’s ex-spokesman is expected to hit the local and national airwaves tonight in New Hampshire after the Republican debate, the first to feature frontrunner Mitt Romney, freefalling Newt Gingrich, and Tea Party rabble-rouser Michele Bachmann. According to the Associated Press, his mission will be to defend the President from the inevitable spate of high-profile attacks from the 2012 field, getting in the White House’s point of view on issues like the economy, health care, and Libya.
The appearance fits a broader reported strategy of maintaining a high profile and strong grassroots operation in early primary and caucus states like Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada, in order to prevent the GOP from scoring an organizational advantage over the course of the long nominating process and to make sure the GOP attacks on Obama are consistently rebutted.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.