Gibbs' departure (even more) imminent! 

When we last checked in with White House press secretary Robert Gibbs' soaring career aspirations, he was either going to head the DNC (we didn't think so) or getting kicked upstairs to be full-time senior adviser to President Obama (more likely).

Now -- a third scenario!

From Glenn Thrush at Politico:

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is seriously considering leaving his job as President Barack Obama’s chief spokesman - a move that would allow him to work on Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign and act as a media surrogate for the president, according to sources.

The campaign! Thrush reports the contemplated new role for Gibbs would keep him in the inner circle, while loosening his game for more TV and whatever else a "surrogate" does. 

Which leads us to: Who replaces Gibbs as the second most-recognizable face in the West Wing? Thrush says it's down to deputy press secretary Bill Burton (pictured) and Jay Carney, a veteran former Washington journalist and currently spokesman for Vice President Joe Biden. But, says Thrush:

White House officials haven’t ruled out the possibility of other candidates, sources say, which could delay the handover for a few weeks.

The well-regarded Burton has been handling substitute duties for Gibbs, occasionally briefing from the podium at the White House, on trips and aboard Air Force One. But apparently some think him too young and inexperienced for what often appears to be a hideous, thankless and stressful job.

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