Vacationing Obama gets temp press secretary – and we care because . . . he’s from Buffalo! Bill Burton is a Buffalo native and on the fast track in Washington.
VINEYARD HAVEN, Mass. (AP) – With a broad grin and aw-shucks approach, Bill Burton is a marked contrast with his boss, the always ready-for-battle White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.
While Gibbs comes off as combative and hot, Burton is low-key and self-deprecating. He always seems ready to smile.
Describing how Obama was spending his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, Burton joked Tuesday, “This will probably get me fired, but I know that Valerie (Jarrett, a senior presidential adviser) did not do so well in Scrabble against the president.”
For two weeks, Burton is standing in for the vacationing Gibbs, serving as the public face of the White House. That’s allowed Burton to gain stature on one of the key indices in Washington: proximity to power.
Just 33 years old, the Buffalo, N.Y., native has already worked in three presidential campaigns and on Capitol Hill. He’s seen as a top contender to be White House press secretary if Gibbs moves on. Burton – like Obama, the son of a black father and white mother – appears to be the first African-American to take the podium and speak on behalf of the president.