Local Politics

N.C. State grad likely candidate for Obama's press secretary

Posted November 14, 2008 9:31 p.m. EST
Updated November 14, 2008 11:12 p.m. EST

— Political experts say North Carolina State University graduate Robert Lane Gibbs is a likely choice to be White House press secretary under President-elect Barack Obama.

Gibbs majored in political science and growing up his father, Robert Coleman Gibbs, said politics were always a topic at the democratic family’s dinner table.

“This child was born talking and hasn’t stopped yet,” Robert Coleman Gibbs said from his home in Apex.

Robert Lane Gibbs was communications director for Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.

On the night of the presidential election, the younger Gibbs’ voice nearly failed him.

“The night of the election he lost his voice. He couldn’t speak. He was drinking tea and honey,” Robert Coleman Gibbs said.

Born in Alabama, Robert Lane Gibbs traveled to North Carolina to attend college. The elder Gibbs said his son’s love of soccer may have brought him to the Triangle.

“I think that is one of the reasons he went to N.C. State, because they have a good soccer team, if you want to know the truth,” Robert Coleman Gibbs said.

Robert Lane Gibbs has been working with Obama since 2004 as his communications director. In the past, he worked as press secretary for John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign.

“I have realized how important it is – what he might become,” Robert Coleman Gibbs said.

Throughout the years, Robert Coleman Gibbs said his son has formed a close relationship with Obama. Robert Coleman Gibbs describes the President-elect as “easily approachable and easy to talk with.” As for his son, Robert Coleman Gibbs said he isn’t a “yes” man.

“If he doesn’t agree with something, he doesn’t mind telling him. He is not a ‘yes’ man, in other words,” Robert Coleman Gibbs said, noting that Obama respects him for it.

Robert Lane Gibbs currently lives in Alexandria, Va., with his wife and 5-year-old son.