It's so scampish of the White House to relentlessly steal focus from John Boehner and the new Congress today. We are kind of loving it.

But anyway -- President Obama, having dealt with the administration's news of the day in the aforementioned quick phoner with the NYT, issued the following bland statement to the rest of us regarding the sort-of departure of press secretary Robert Gibbs and his pastel tie collection from the podium:

“For the last six years, Robert has been a close friend, one of my closest advisers and an effective advocate from the podium for what this administration has been doing to move America forward.  I think it’s natural for him to want to step back, reflect and retool.  That brings up some challenges and opportunities for the White House – but it doesn’t change the important role that Robert will continue to play on our team.”

Gibbs, who has been with Obama since back in the Senate days, is leaving after State of the Union to work on the 2012 campaign. So he's leaving the West Wing, but not leaving Obama -- and he will probably be back for the second term, we're guessing, in some other capacity. He is after all, the "Barack Whisperer."