Next WH press secretary may have Iowa ties

Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, has announced he’ll be leaving in February.  As Jeff Zeleny of The New York Times reported:

…The leading potential replacements for press secretary include Jay Carney, a spokesman for Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., along with Bill Burton and Josh Earnest, who work as deputies to Mr. Gibbs. Other candidates also could be considered, an administration official said.

Bill Burton, a Minnesotan, is a former press aide to Iowa Senator Tom Harkin.  Burton was the communications director for Dick Gephardt’s 2004 Iowa Caucus campaign.  Burton was then hired by John Kerry’s 2004 general election campaign.  For the 2008 campaign cycle, Burton was among the first to set up shop at Camp Obama in Chicago. 

Josh Earnest also has Iowa ties.  Earnest, a Kansas City native, worked in the press shop of Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack’s 96 day presidential campaign.  He then worked on Obama’s campaign in Iowa for the general election. 

I’ve known Burton since his days on Harkin’s staff.  Burton is married to Laura Capps, a woman he met in Iowa in 2003 when he was working for Gephardt and she was working for Kerry’s Iowa campaign.  The two married in July of 2007.  Burton wore a light-colored suit to the ceremony, explaining it was the “audacity of taupe”.

UPDATE:  KCCI in Des Moines did a story about Burton & Earnest on their 10 o’clock news.  They asked me for comment, and I mentioned the “audacity of taupe” story. Brad Anderson, an Iowa-based political operative who has worked with Burton (and provided temporary housing to Burton), commented as well.  Anderson also worked with Earnest on Obama’s 2008 Iowa general election campaign, so he knows both men.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.