February 4th, 2011
06:32 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Press Secretary Robert Gibbs had two very special guests today at the White House: Emily Sparrow and Elaine Rutland. Or as he more likely refers to his high school government and economic teachers – Ms. Sparrow and Ms. Rutland.
Both retired from Auburn High School in Alabama, they made the journey to Washington, DC, today to visit “Bobby” Gibbs, their former ace student (Auburn HS class of ’89).Invited to the White House by the press secretary, the duo was seen in the James S. Brady Briefing Room taking in Gibbs’ daily briefing and snapping some photos. Later, they got a seat in the auditorium where President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Harper held their joint press availability.
Both Sparrow and Rutland gushed over Gibbs, recalling how he took Advanced Placement courses and excelled in class, earning high marks. Ms. Sparrow even brought her old grade book to the White House to show that Gibbs’ average in US Government was a 99. He earned a less stellar (but still respectable) 92 average in US History, which Sparrow also taught. Ms. Rutland didn’t recall his marks in her Economics course, but praised Gibbs as being “brilliant.”
And frustrated reporters take note – both teachers described Gibbs as a good listener who “cared about everyone in the room.”
Along with the grade book, Sparrow also had an old photo of her student on hand, which showed the future press secretary participating in a mock debate where Gibbs argued for the election of George H.W. Bush.
No wonder the two teachers now refer to it as “The Great Debate.” They assured us Gibbs took the opinion opposite of what he actually believed.