Or is it just a lovers’ quarrel? It’s too early to tell, but things are already getting testy at Robert Gibbs’ press conferences. Today one of the White House reporters [UPDATE: Jake Tapper, I believe; who, to be fair, has never been an Obama groupie] asked Gibbs about the waivers that the Office of Management and Budget gives to some cabinet and other appointees to release them from ethics constraints to which President Obama claims to be committed:
QUESTION: Robert, two questions. One’s a housekeeping one. In the name of the transparency that you and the president herald so much, is there any way we could get the copies of the waivers that the OMB issues to allow certain cabinet posts or deputy posts…
GIBBS: I’ll check.
QUESTION: … free of the ethics constraints that you put up? And, also, the disclosure forms that your nominees put out that go to the Office of Government Ethics, that somehow they’re not able to e- mail or, you know, put on the Web, is there any way we can get copies of those?
GIBBS: Yes, I will check. I don’t — I don’t know how those forms are distributed.
QUESTION: Just based on listening to the president’s rhetoric, I’m sure it’s something he’d want to do.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) question is…
GIBBS: Knowing of your crystal clarity on his opinion, I’ll certainly check.
QUESTION: He doesn’t believe in transparency?
GIBBS: Did you have another more pertinent question?
QUESTION: I think that’s pretty — I think it’s fairly pertinent, your cabinet nominees and whether or not they pay their taxes and whether or not they have speaking fees with all sorts of industries they’re suppose to regulate. I think that’s fairly pertinent. You don’t?
GIBBS: Obviously I do. And obviously the — the president does.
Only two weeks into the Obama administration, and already the natives are getting restless!
JOE updates: John’s right about Jake: he’s suspicious of everyone, and that makes for a keen reporter. I think the video of this exchange is worthwhile. Helen Thomas’s glowering is lovely.
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