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If They Really Think This, The Election is Over...

From Dan Balz's story in Sunday's Washington Post, on Bush's reelection "strategy":

"In 2000, the necessity was to demonstrate that he had a clear vision of what he wanted to do, that he had a plan of action that all fit together, that he could talk with assurance," said one of Bush's most senior advisers, who asked not to be identified. "This had to be a credible governing statement. [Today] we have a credible governing statement; it's called the budget."

One of my pet causes is that newspapers should not allow sources to go unnamed when all they offering is the official spin. Sentences of the type, "'The President is decisively focused on creating jobs and meeting the challenges ahead,'" said an aide who asked not to identified," appear all too often in the Post and to a slightly lesser extent, the Times. But in this case, I'll make an exception. If I had to offer this particular spin, I wouldn't want to be named either.

(Although it's not really such deep cover: Since Karen Hughes as well as all the top campaign officials -- Ken Mehlman, Marc Racicot, Matthew Dowd -- are quoted in the story by name -- this is Karl Rove. Maybe the prospect of going to jail has addled his brain.

Posted by Mark Schmitt on March 13, 2004 | Permalink


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What hilarious irony! -- you weren't being serious ther now, were you?

I thought you were making fun -- How can the massively deficit ridden, red ink stained Federal Budget be considered a "credible governing statement?"

Yes, we know its "called the budget" and its one of the reasons W's job is at risk. He was a much easier-to-elect candidate without the past 4 years -- now, Bush is laden down with baggage. He was more or less a blank slate last time out -- now, he has a record.

Posted by: Barry Ritholtz | Mar 14, 2004 5:09:44 PM

I just wrote a piece on this very topic:

The Reagan Question: Are You Better Off Than Four Years Ago?

Here's how it starts:

During the 1980 presidential campaign, Ronald Reagan quickly deflated Jimmy Carter’s reelection bid with a simple question, asking the American people, “are you better off today than four years ago?” The answer, at a time of high unemployment, staggering inflation, spiraling energy prices, and hostages in Tehran, was an obvious - and devastating - no.

Now it’s George Bush’s turn to face the Reagan question. And as with Jimmy Carter, the verdict from the American people won’t be kind: the numbers speak for themselves...

Posted by: Jon | Mar 14, 2004 5:20:21 PM

Yes, we were promised the agenda for the second term some time ago, but none has appeared. Given the lack of policymaking apparatus in the WH, I guess there isn't going to be one.

Posted by: Bob H | Mar 15, 2004 12:26:39 PM

"[Today] we have a credible governing statement; it's called the budget."

The word he was looking for was "credulable" - you can believe it if you really work hard at trying to.

Posted by: Stirling Newberry | Mar 15, 2004 1:00:54 PM

What else do you expect from this bunch of dangerous cretins? To them, saying it out loud makes it so. They also think the Iraq invasion is going swimmingly, and the only reason why the people there didn't bombard us with flowers is because we had to bombard their flower shops.
Up is down
Left is right
White is black...ah, what the hell.

Posted by: alic | Apr 29, 2004 4:22:46 PM