Sunday, October 15, 2006

Bush and Rove predict victory but the Post thinks they are delusional

Look, I know that the Democrats portray Bush as an idiot but give credit where credit is due and take into account that these men know how to win elections and they didn't do it by deceiving themselves (remember, Post, Rove is a Machiavellian genus and can manufacture victory from defeat). They do have access to internal polls that others don't and they are well aware of what's going on:

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 -- shy of the 15-seat threshold that would cede control to Democrats for the first time since the 1994 elections and probably hobble the balance of Bush's second term.

In the Senate, Rove and associates believe, a Democratic victory would require the opposition to "run the table," as one official put it, to pick up the necessary six seats -- a prospect the White House seems to regard as nearly inconceivable.

The Mark Foley page scandal and its fallout have many Republicans panicked, but Rove professes to be taking it in stride. "The data we are seeing from individual races and the national polls would tend to indicate that people can divorce Foley's personal action from the party," he said in a brief interview Thursday.
They believe that the GOP can pull it off but they are really working with people who are quick to admit defeat:
The question is whether this is a case of justified confidence -- based on Bush's and Rove's electoral record and knowledge of the money, technology and other assets at their command -- or of self-delusion. Even many Republicans suspect the latter. Three GOP strategists with close ties to the White House flatly predicted the loss of the House, though they would not do so on the record for fear of offending senior Bush aides.
Everyone wants to be too smart for the room, I've seen this so many times in past elections. Very disheartening when you see people giving in to panic and predicting doom and gloom. The fact is we don't know what's going to happen in November, so we all need to calm down.

But what's most amazing about this editorial masquerading as a report, is that after the strategists pontificate from on high, you read that Bush and Rove actually have a strategy for winning the election. They know what their resources are and know how to obtain their goal because it's worked in the past:
Republican officials say the three closely coordinate strategy, with constant e-mails and a daily conference call. They see this familiarity -- in many respects it is the same team leading GOP strategy as in the past two elections -- as one advantage they have over Democrats, whose leaders on Capitol Hill and national party officials have been at odds on strategy.

So far, there have been few surprises in the Bush-Rove playbook, which seems little changed over the past four years. It includes tapping the powers of incumbency, mobilizing Christian conservatives and others in the GOP base, and seeking to polarize the electorate around national security and taxes. A huge effort to raise money by Bush, Vice President Cheney and first lady Laura Bush seems to be paying off: By Taylor's calculation, the various GOP campaigns and party committees will have a $55 million money advantage in the final three weeks of the campaign.
And if the Republicans were looking at such a bloodbath, do you think that Bush would be able to raise that much money? If Republicans hated Bush and were tired of the war, would they give him a "$55 million money advantage?"

Oh and by the way, if Bush and Rove do pull this off, then maybe those strategests should be retired. They certainly don't want to have such short sighted people working for them, people who are willing to demoralize the base further.

(Link via Drudge Report)