Robert Gibbs

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Robert Gibbs is Executive Vice President and Global Chief Communications Officer for McDonald's[1] and a former White House Press Secretary, serving as the first Press Secretary for President Barack Obama from 2009-2011,[2] and as a senior campaign adviser for Obama's re-election campaign.[3]

After leaving the White House, Gibbs became a contributor to NBC and MSNBC. He also co-founded a public relations firm, The Incite Agency. Gibbs was hired by McDonald's in June 2015 in order to "lead McDonald’s corporate relations group, which manages internal and external communications and government and public affairs," according to a press release.[1] The New York Times noted that McDonald's was hiring Gibbs "as labor groups increase the pressure on the company to raise wages for its restaurant workers."[4]

Prior to serving in the White House, Gibbs had been communications director for U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill).) and as communications director for Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.

Gibbs, a "longtime communications operative with a special focus on the Senate, has been with Obama since shortly after his 2004 primary victory. Prior to that Gibbs served as a spokesman for Sen. John Kerry's (D-Mass.) presidential bid," according to the Washington Post.[5]

Gibbs, like Obama's former national campaign manager David Plouffe, "has experience in the nitty-gritty of Democratic politics, having served as the communications director at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and as campaign spokesman for Sen. Fritz Hollings (D-S.C.) in 1998."[5]

U.S. presidential election, 2008

"As the Obama campaign enters a crucial phase, beset by tightened polling numbers and the prospect of a tough race for the next two months, Mr. Gibbs has emerged as Sen. Obama's advocate-in-chief with the media, and therefore the voters," reported the Wall Street Journal. "The 37-year-old is in charge of shaping his message, responding to the 24/7 news cycle, schmoozing with the press and fighting back when he disagrees with its reporting -- which has won him the label of 'the enforcer.'" [6]

U.S. presidential election, 2004

On November 11, 2003, it was announced that Gibbs, chief spokesman for John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign, had resigned "in reaction to the firing of Jim Jordan, abruptly let go by Kerry Sunday night. ... Gibbs is a North Carolina State University graduate." Gibbs was "replaced by Stephanie Cutter, a former spokeswoman for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., and then spokeswoman for the Democratic National Convention."[7]

After leaving the Kerry campaign, in December 2003 Gibbs became spokesman for Americans for Jobs, Health Care and Progressive Values, a Democratic group formed to stop the 2004 presidential campaign of Howard Dean.[8]


A biographical note states that he was born in Auburn, Alabama and was "a graduate of North Carolina State University, began working with President-Elect Obama in April 2004 serving as Communications Director for his United States Senate race and later as his Senate Communications Director. Gibbs held the position of Communications Director for Obama’s presidential campaign until becoming Senior Strategist for Communications and Message during the general election. Earlier in his career, Gibbs served as Communications Director for Senator Fritz Hollings and worked on Senator Debbie Stabenow's 2000 Senate campaign. He also served as press secretary for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and worked for Senator John Kerry's presidential campaign."[2]


Related SourceWatch articles


  1. 1.0 1.1 McDonald's, "McDonald’s Appoints Robert Gibbs as Global Chief Communications Officer; Silvia Lagnado as Global Chief Marketing Officer," press release, June 9, 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "White House Communications and Press Secretary positions announced", Media Release, November 22, 2008.
  3. Alex Lazar, "McDonalds puts a smile on with Gibbs, whatever he may have said at White House podium," Center for Responsive Politics, Open Secrets blog, June 10, 2015.
  4. Hiroko Tabuchi, "McDonald’s Hires Robert Gibbs, Ex-Press Secretary for Obama," The New York Times, June 10, 2015.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Chris Cillizza, "Barack Obama's Impressive Team," The Fix/Washington Post, January 16, 2007.
  6. Monica Langley, "Meet Obama's Media 'Enforcer'," Wall Street Journal (sub req'd), August 28, 2008.
  7. This link is no longer active.
  8. Jim Rutenberg, "New Democratic Group Finances a Republican-like Attack on Dean," New York Times (Common Dreams), December 16, 2003.

External articles