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White House's Gibbs has mastered art of speaking with his hand

The press secretary drummed a bah-dum-bum on the lectern. Reid ignored the percussion and asked whether the "groundswell of support for a Republican in the blue state of Massachusetts for a candidate who's running against the president's agenda" meant that "the White House has simply lost touch with the American people."

Gibbs gave another dismissive wave and cited a CBS News poll that wasn't about Massachusetts.

"Good diversion," Reid replied.

"I hate to quote CBS to CBS," Gibbs continued with a grin.

About the closest the spokesman came to acknowledging fault in Massachusetts was to say that Obama "understands that frustration" among voters, but he then added that the president "heard it when he ran for the United States Senate, beginning in 2003." Unemployment, now at 10 percent, was 5.7 percent at the end of 2003.

Gibbs was so combative that when he turned to the Wall Street Journal's Laura Meckler, he tried to predict her question. "There's a race near Connecticut," he guessed.

"I wasn't going to mention New England at all," Meckler said. "But feel free to answer your own question."

Don't give him any ideas.


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