In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Gibbs: Dem Losses In VA And NJ 'Didn't Involve The President'

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Newscom / KEVIN DIETSCH

Gibbs said the exit polling is "pretty clear people went to the polls and voted for local issues."

Asked the lessons from the race, Gibbs said that "the economy was on people's minds."

Results in NY-23 -- in which Democrat Bill Owens beat Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman 49-45 -- illustrate "anger can get you 45 percent of the vote." Gibbs also said the GOP "sought greatly to nationalize" the race there.

And next year? Gibbs said he expects Obama will play an "active role" in 2010 races.

It's the one-year anniversary of his historic 2008 victory, an occasion the Democratic National Committee's Organizing for American is marking with campaign reunions.

Obama will soon be en route to Madison, Wisconsin, to talk about education. Tonight he and First Lady Michelle Obama will host an event at the White House to celebrate classical music.