- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 22, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama formally named his longtime aide and close adviser Robert Gibbs as press secretary Saturday, along with two top members of the White House communication team.

Mr. Gibbs, well-liked by reporters and a frequent traveler on the Obama campaign plane, started working with Mr. Obama during his run for the U.S. Senate in spring 2004.

It was a long anticipated move caps two years of Mr. Gibbs acting as one of the key spokesman for the Obama campaign. He was a regular guest on morning political shows and held his own against combative television hosts.

As press secretary, Mr. Gibbs, 37, will be the face of the Obama administration, meeting the press each day and pushing and defending the president’s policy from the podium. When Mr. Obama toured his future home recently, Mr. Gibbs huddled with President Bush’s press secretary Dana Perino.

His 5-year-old son Ethan sometimes was spotted on the trail, and often bragged that one of the best times he had this year was in Hawaii when Mr. Obama and his wife Michelle Obama babysat him during their vacation in Hawaii.

Mr. Gibbs is a native of Auburn, Alabama. He has worked on many campaigns and for several politicians. He lives in Alexandria.

The transition team also announced that Ellen Moran would be director of communications and Dan Pfeiffer, 32, would be deputy director of communications.

Miss Moran is executive director of Emily’s List and has worked for the Democratic National Committee, the AFL-CIO and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. She also worked on Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin’s 1992 presidential bid and helped plan two presidential inaugurations for Bill Clinton.

She is a native of Amherst, Mass.

Mr. Pfeiffer was communications director for the campaign and holds the same position for the transition team. Before joining the campaign in January 2007, Mr. Pfeiffer worked for Sen. Evan Bayh as communications director. He worked for incoming Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Daschle, the former Senate Democratic leader, the Gore-Lieberman campaign and the Democratic Governors Association.

He frequently communicates with reporters and worked tirelessly in the days before Mr. Obama clinched the Democratic nomination sending out notes about superdelegates who were flocking to his boss.

“These individuals will fill essential roles, and bring a breadth and depth of experience that can help our administration advance prosperity and security for the American people,” Mr. Obama said in a statement. “This dedicated and impressive group of public servants includes longtime advisers and a talented new addition to our team, and together we will work to serve our country and meet the challenges of this defining moment in history.”

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