U alum on short list to be next White House spokesman

WASHINGTON — University of Minnesota alumnus Bill Burton is on President Obama’s short list to replace outgoing White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, who announced Wednesday he’d be leaving the White House.

Burton is the current deputy press secretary, who fills in for Gibbs when he’s absent and frequently holds court on presidential trips and on Air Force One. If tapped, Burton would be the first-ever African-American White House press secretary, and as far as anyone on the White House beat knows, would be the first Gopher alum to hold the post.

White House officials confirmed to MinnPost the wide speculation that Burton was under consideration, but declined to comment beyond that. Burton, through another White House spokesman, declined a request for comment for this story.

The short list, in no particular order, according to a report in POLITICO:

  • Burton, currently the White House deputy press secretary;
  • Jay Carney, spokesman for Vice President Joe Biden;
  • Karen Finney, former spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee; and
  • Josh Earnest, another White House deputy press secretary.

Long-shots for the job, according to the same POLITICO report, include DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse, State Department spokesman PJ Crowley and Pentagon Spokesman Geoff Morrell.

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