Gibbs on His Final Week as Press Secretary

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As White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs winds down his final days as President Obama's spokesman, he is imparting lessons learned with his successor.

Gibbs will conclude his tenure Friday as the only press secretary Mr. Obama has had as president. He says he's spoken many times to incoming spokesman Jay Carney about "the importance of this job."

"[T]his is more than just a conversation that is happening between this side of the room and this side of the room. It's happening and people are watching it, not just throughout this country, but throughout this world," Gibbs said in his on-camera briefing Tuesday. "And your questions and my answers are being translated in languages that are spoken in continents far away."

Carney certainly isn't a novice before the cameras. Having served as Vice President Biden's Communications Director and spent many years at Time Magazine before that, he's familiar with both sides of the public relations experience.

Still, Gibbs says each day brings a new opportunity to perfect your performance, "I think if you do a job for a specific amount of time and look back and say you wouldn't have done anything differently, you probably haven't spent a lot of time thinking back about what you did. I mean, look, I take my transcript home every night and I read my transcript," he revealed.

"And I think there's -- if there's a time in which I've read that transcript and I thought, 'Wow, perfect. I did it all just right,' I mean, that -- it may happen on Thursday night -- we don't brief that day," Gibbs joked.

Carney will of course be grappling with the daily exposure of the job, but it is also the task of a press secretary to work with the White House Press Corps on access to the president and other administration officials.

Just last week, the White House Correspondents Association, comprised of journalists who cover the beat on a routine basis, sent a letter to Robert Gibbs listing its concerns about the recent lack of editorial access to the president.

Despite the tougher aspects of the job, Gibbs says had he not enjoyed his two years at the White House, you might not have seen him around much. "As I've said a hundred times -- well, probably 10,000 times -- if you didn't enjoy some element of this, you'd do it for about three days, and you would turn in your pass and hope no one ever found you again."

Gibbs won't be hard to find after he leaves the White House. He'll be an outside advisor to the president in Mr. Obama's re-election bid, which will include speeches and bits as a TV pundit.

Recent White House tradition calls for the outgoing press secretary to leave a note of advice for his or her successor. While Gibbs declined to answer whether he left one for Carney, it is safe to say, the symbolic and literal flak jacket that is also passed along remains securely in Gibbs' office.