A clever amalgamation, Gibbs is stitched together with the most useful parts of his predecessors: courtly Southern humor (Mike McCurry), stare-down-style toughness (Ari Fleischer) and an ability to keep reporters on his side even in difficult circumstances (Dana Perino). Transition practice paid off; had good podium skills and consistent preparedness right from the start, despite the rude awakening of the grand tug-of-war nature of the job. Knows what to say and when not to engage. Occasionally too flip or repetitive when the going gets rough, but he remains comfortably in the loop, which boosts his credibility and the press corps' confidence in his answers.
By Mark Halperin