Monday, October 23, 2006

Last Gasp

NYTimes (10.22.06):
"The capital is filled with Republicans convinced that they will lose the House and maybe the Senate. So last week, the White House and party leaders convened a 'friends and allies' teleconference to dispute what Ken Mehlman, chairman of the Republican National Committee, considers flawed conventional wisdom. For 20 minutes, Mr. Mehlman and the White House political director, Sara Taylor, tried to lift the cloak of gloom that has descended on the top ranks of Republican strategists, using what one of the dozens of lobbyists, donors, party aides and other supporters who listened in later called 'happy talk.'" As G.O.P. Mopes, Bush Adds the Duties of Optimist in Chief
"President Bush and his political strategists may be the most outwardly optimistic Republicans in Washington these days, and perhaps the only ones." "The president’s professed certainty, shared with outside friends and advisers, is a source of fascination among even his staunchest allies. In lobbying shops and strategy firms around town, the latest Republican parlor game is divining whether the White House optimism is staged, or whether Mr. Bush and his political team really believe what they are saying." Nope. It's staged. George and the boys are "well aware of the Democratic surge recorded by polls". Their own data shows that "as many as 14 House seats were probably already lost to Democrats, just one shy of the 15 seats they need to gain to win control." The bunker mentality has set in. "Though White House aides said that account was exaggerated, they acknowledged that polls have shown at least that many races with Democrats leading Republicans. 'Their attitude is, ‘We’ve got our backs against the wall, but we know how to fight our way out of this,' said Charles Black, a Republican strategist who has been in regular contact with Karl Rove, Mr. Bush’s senior adviser." Ahhh, nothing like the smell of desperation in the morning.


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