White House press secretary Robert Gibbs gestures during the daily briefing at the White House on Monday, Dec. 20, 2010 in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) By Evan Vucci
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary and one of the most visible and forceful advocates for President Barack Obama, is quitting his job to become an outside political adviser.
The change is among the many expected in the coming days as Obama redefines his leadership team to get ready for a re-election bid and a more powerful Republican Party. Gibbs said he would be leaving the White House by early February.
The top contenders to replace him are two of his deputies, Bill Burton and Josh Earnest, and Jay Carney, who is the press secretary to Vice President Joe Biden.
The move allows Gibbs to leave the grinding pace of the press secretary's job, make money giving speeches and spend more time with his family. But it also will change the dynamic of the White House, particularly combined with the coming departure of senior adviser David Axelrod, who, like Gibbs, has been at Obama's side for his entire presidential run.
Obama is also weighing a change at the top staff job at the White House and perhaps in all of politics: his chief of staff. The interim holder of that job, Pete Rouse, may leave it soon, and the president is considering bringing in William Daley, the banking executive and former commerce secretary under President Bill Clinton.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)