WHAT’S NEXT: The Concordiensis sits down with Robert Gibbs

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By Tess Koman

“Still waiting for spring here, huh?” Yes, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

While I enjoyed my small talk with the former White House Press Secretary, I was more interested in hearing about his career.

“We have this tremendous experiment called democracy,” said Gibbs of lessons learned in his campaigns prior to Obama’s in 2008. “The one thing I have noticed in the arc of my political involvement is how shrill our debate has gotten. I’d like to see the discourse in our politics become more civil.” He shifted in his seat and checked his Blackberry.

While he admits that he still “[doesn’t] know what [his] exact role for the 2012 campaign will be,” he does know this: technology will change the way the 2012 presidential campaign unfolds. Seeing the look on my face as I worried that I was boring him when he checked his Blackberry yet again, he chuckled. “Technology is amazing. We can target the voters we want to reach and we will reach them often. What we can do with this next campaign is reduce the elections of hundreds of millions of people and make it a one-on-one relationship.”

Speaking of the toll technology will take on the campaign, I had to ask about how the rumors that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States will affect his chances of reelection. Again, a laugh: “I saw these rumors starting to swirl on the Internet. I have held the birth certificate in my hands and I said, ‘Just scan it and put it on the Internet.’ My theory on this is transparency will bring you the truth, but in this case it hasn’t always.”

Even though these rumors continue to fly, Gibbs and Obama maintain a close relationship. He looks forward to the 2012 campaign process. “I prefer to be out there on the campaign with him,” he said. “It’s not the most glamorous lifestyle, waking up in a new hotel every day, but, you know, it has its good moments.”

As for the rumors circulating about the former press secretary himself, he is rather amused. I got another smirk out of Mr. Gibbs when I asked if he would be working for Facebook at any point in the near future. “Not true. Not true. It’s a wonderful company that is doing wonderful things, but no, I will not be working for them,” he said.

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