The resignation and departure next month of White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs means that administration will soon have a much different face making its case in the lead up to the 2012 presidential election. But it's unclear who that face will be. Many insiders expect that deputy Bill Burton will get the job, but other names have started to emerge, such as former Clinton and Democratic Party spokeswoman Karen Finney, that would substantially change the look and tone from the press podium. We've polled reporters and Democrats around town in October to come up with the top choices for the next White House spokesman. Now we've updated the list. Here are the top 12 choices for White House press secretary: [See a slide show of the top 12 choices for press secretary.]
1. Bill Burton, deputy White House spokesman. Like Gibbs, he is liked by the media and has a rich background in congressional relations. He was spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. [See photos of the Obamas behind the scenes.]
2. Stephanie Cutter, the president's special projects aide and longtime political spokeswoman. She is a regular, and lively, blogger on the White House site and has also aided first lady Michelle Obama.
3. Jay Carney, the vice president's communication adviser. He is a former Time magazine bureau chief and the media's favorite for the job.
4. P.J. Crowley, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's communications chief. He has the most experience of the group, having also served as a spokesman for Bill Clinton's national security adviser. He also worked for Obama and Clinton adviser John Podesta, head of Center for American Progress. He is a retired Air Force colonel and best fits the Mike McCurry model.
5. Brad Woodhouse, the communications chief for the Democratic National Committee. An inventive progressive activist, he's built a strong team at the DNC and is destined to become Obama's re-election campaign spokesman if not promoted into the White House.
6. Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell. A close aide to Defense Secretary Bob Gates, Morrell, a former ABC White House reporter, is more in tune with policy and issues than the others who are more politically driven.
7. Center for American Progress spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri. She knows the key issues and players and has been a spokeswoman in the Clinton administration, the John Edwards presidential campaign, and DNC. She also worked for CIA Director Leon Panetta.
8. Former Democratic Party spokeswoman Karen Finney. She helped craft Howard Dean's message that helped put the Democrats in charge of the House and Senate. She is a blogger for U.S. News and has worked in the Clinton White House.
9. Treasury counselor Jake Siewert. He was Bill Clinton's last White House spokesman and was close to Al Gore. He has also worked for Alcoa.
10. Gibbs deputy Josh Earnest, who talks on the hot topics of the day. When his name was rumored, fans back in his native Kansas City, Missouri lit up Twitter, Facebook, and media blogs with excitement.
11. MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, a long shot if President Obama wants to reach into TV's ranks like former President George W. Bush did to find the late Tony Snow.
12. MSNBC's Ed Schultz, also a long shot for the same reason as Keith Olbermann.