Thursday, January 6, 2011

Robert Gibbs: the king of peasants

Government Disconnect? Obama Pities Gibbs for His ‘Modest’ $172,200 Gov’t Salary

Via The Blaze Maybe in Obamaland Robert Gibbs’s $172,200 salary isn’t that much. But the comments by President Obama yesterday thanking Robert Gibbs for sacrificing so much these last two years and making so little has many scratching their heads wondering if the president is disconnected from the people.

The president’s comments came in a telephone interview with the New York Times on Wednesday after Gibbs announced he was resigning as Press Secretary:

“We’ve been on this ride together since I won my Senate primary in 2004,” Mr. Obama said. “He’s had a six-year stretch now where basically he’s been going 24/7 with relatively modest pay. I think it’s natural for someone like Robert to want to step back for a second to reflect, retool and that, as a consequence, brings about both challenges and opportunities for the White House.”

The comment has drawn fire from both sides of the aisle. The Atlantic’s James Warren wonders if the president is suffering from “tone deafness.” Gibbs, Warren points out, “earns $172,200 in a nation where the average family income hovers around $55,000, unemployment is high, record foreclosures persist and wages for most folks are at best stagnant.” And by exiting the White House and entering the lucrative speaking circuit, Gibbs is joining a “world in which a one-hour appearance can bring more than many Americans earn in a year, with the elite in the roughly $50,000 to $75,000 range.”

“[A] former Chicago community organizer might have edited himself just a bit better in suggesting that a loyal lieutenant is a portrait in financial sacrifice,” Warren writes.

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