['08 rank - #22]
"I'm just the messenger." No White House press secretary would ever utter this phrase, but the statement would be truly preposterous for Robert Gibbs. Having previously served as communications director for the man who would become the first African-American president, Gibbs long ago established himself as a messaging strategist par excellence. Of Gibbs, then-Senator Barack Obama was once quoted as saying in a Wall Street Journal story, "Robert is the guy I want in the foxhole with me during incoming fire." With beacons of the US economy filing for bankruptcy; unrest in areas the world over; and a boss who likes to take his wife on an occasional date, Gibbs would be wise to get a comfortable chair for that trench. But while scrutiny mounts, Obama's message of hope and change – which Gibbs played a key role in crafting – still rings loud and true with a large portion of US and global citizens. And with a president whose enthusiasm and aplomb are unrivaled when it comes to communicating through various channels, the man who conveys that message merits global attention.