Robert Gibbs, not long for the podium 

"It's hard to message 9.5 percent unemployment," Gibbs said. (ap photo)

Buried at the end of a mostly accurate GQ mag portrayal of White House press secretary Robert Gibbs and his relationship with the White House press corps, is a bland confirmation of what we all know and expect: Pretty soon, Gibbs is outta there.

But before we get to that, just exactly who are you calling "little known," Mr. Robert Draper? The Washington Examiner? Ouch.

Draper, who once wrote about book about former President George W. Bush that was read by 12 people, recently spent some quality time with Gibbs and others -- and learned that the White House briefing room is home to mutual disdain, and that Obama likes columnists like David Brooks and hates "cable chatter." Sigh. Really?

One interesting thing we did learn is that it's Gibbs who is extra-squeamish about race-related conversations. We always assumed that was just Obama. (Stroking chin) Interesting.

A standard question the blog and other WH reporters get all the time about Gibbs is generally about how he will probably be fired soon, right? No. Gibbs is really close to Obama, and when he leaves he will likely go upstairs, as they say. To a bigger job. Obama already lost Rahm and will soon lose Axelrod (to the campaign). Who is he supposed to talk sports with? Valerie Jarrett?

Notes Draper:

One day, perhaps as soon as the end of this year, Robert Gibbs will step back from the podium, away from the food fight that is his daily bread, and assume the more ethereal climes of big-picture strategist.

Draper's physical description of Gibbs, sitting in his messy and depressing office surrounded by clutter, was a good one:

Gibbs is probably tired, but it's hard to say for sure. His 39-year-old face is more like a shield, with an immense forehead and tiny eyes that scarcely radiate. The smile, affable and empty, could be that of a small-town gas-station attendant or a hired assassin.

"Assassin" might be overstating. Disappointed suburban dad, ferryboat captain, girls field hockey coach, Senate staffer -- sure. Assassin? Hmm.

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Julie Mason

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