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Politics

Gibbs Leaving White House

January 5, 2011

The exodus is continuing at the White House: Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is leaving the Obama administration in early February.

Gibbs told the New York Times that he will become an outside political adviser and will work on Pres. Obama's re-election campaign.

"Stepping back will take some adjusting. But at the same time, I have a feeling that I will keep myself quite busy, not just with speaking, but continuing to help the president," Gibbs told the Times.

The departure of Gibbs will likely be the first of many among the West Wing staff. Earlier this week reports surfaced that Obama is considering candidates to be his chief of staff, replacing Pete Rouse.

An announcement of the next press secretary could come as early as next week.

Gibbs has been at the helm of the president's communications efforts since his inauguration. He has been a long time advisor to president, dating back to before the president was elected to the Senate in 2004.

There is regularly high turnover at the press secretary position at the White House -- rarely does a spokesperson keep the job for more than two years -- and the midterm elections provide a natural segue.

Contrary to earlier reports, Gibbs told the Times that he will not launch a consulting firm. He will, however, work out of the same D.C. office that fellow Obama advisor David Plouffe used for the past two years. Plouffe will be joining the White House team as an advisor in coming weeks.

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