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Press Secretary Robert Gibbs briefing highlights

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Robert Gibbs talks to reporters in his daily briefing (Fox Photo)

Robert Gibbs started the briefing by reading a statement from the White House about the crash of the Ethiopian airliner that went down last night in Beirut.

* On Wednesday's State of the Union, Gibbs said we'll see ideas that will fall into a few different categories. How to get our economy back on a firmer foundation, what do we do to put the government back on firmer footing with the middle class, and what ideas does the White House have for changing ideas of the ways Washington works.

* On the announcement that David Plouffe is going to work with the White House, Gibbs says he will be working internally on strategy with the people who are already in place at the White House. And Gibbs added, Plouffe is not taking over every campaign in 2010

* On the Bernanke nomination, Gibbs says the Fed Chair has helped the White House steer through some tough times and Gibbs said he expects the nomination to be approved later this week.

* On the topic of how many jobs were saved and/or created by the stimulus, Gibbs says the latest information was 1.5-2 million and that the answers given by various administration officials over the weekend on the Sunday talk shows all fall into those parameters. Watch a clip of Robert Gibbs on "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace"

* A new gallup poll says the approval rating of the President is the most polarized for a first year president and Gibbs says everyone in Washington shares the blame for any polarization in Washington.

* Gibbs reiterated his statement last week that the President still wants to pass health care legislation in its current form without changing things around. Gibbs says the problems in the health care system still exist.

* Gibbs says the State of the Union isn't going to be a "re-set" of his issues. He said if you go back to 2004 lots of these themes have been present since then.

* On health care, Gibbs says the President has continued to talk to leaders in Congress about the best path forward but wouldn't give away any more details urging everyone to turn into Wednesday night's State of the Union.

* Regarding the timeline on the interrogation of Abdulmutallab, Gibbs says the FBI did have an opportunity to interrogate him and they got useful intelligence that was transmitted back to people throughout the government. But he wouldn't comment on the total time of the interrogation, reportedly 50 minutes.

* Regarding the State of the Union speech and its construction: Gibbs says the President and the speech writers (Jon Favreau and Ben Rhodes) spent time working on the State of the Union this weekend and were back in the Oval Office this morning working with senior advisers.