I smell disinformation - I smell Rove
Some Republican strategists are increasingly upset with what they consider the overconfidence of President Bush and his senior advisers about the midterm elections November 7–a concern aggravated by the president's news conference this week.
Followed by this in tomorrow's Washington Post,
Amid widespread panic in the Republican establishment about the coming midterm elections, there are two people whose confidence about GOP prospects strikes even their closest allies as almost inexplicably upbeat: President Bush and his top political adviser, Karl Rove.
Some Republicans on Capitol Hill are bracing for losses of 25 House seats or more. But party operatives say Rove is predicting that, at worst, Republicans will lose only 8 to 10 seats.
I'm assuming that both these stories are plants. So, what's going on?
I think they're trying to force a turning point in the momentum. Foley is starting to fade and the clock is ticking down, only three weeks to election, so if the Republicans are going to build any real momentum that will show up consistently in polls and change the national narrative, it'll have to start this week.
Both of these are placed such that only political junkies and other media will see them. This is an effort to to pass the message, "Karl isn't worried," both to reframe the operatives, but more importantly to force a media reexamination. Can't you just hear Chris Matthews asking a question around this?
But, I'm not taking it at face value. The fact that I'm seeing this message passed at all tells me Karl is very worried about the perception trend.
(I may be wrong, but notice all the sourcing in both is to unnamed Republican operatives. In the past, any article describing Rove's thinking has always been propagated with intention.)