A few months ago, a serious Democratic challenge for the White House seemed like a distant longshot (of course so did the idea of Justin Timberlake earning my attention and respect). But the increased heat and focus related to the Democratic primaries (and the constant airtime to shower W with negative vibes) has helped to transform the upcoming matchup into a neck and neck race (subtle Nascar Dad allusion entirely unintentional). And it’s not just the Democrats who see it that way. President Bush has been out on what has undeniably become the campaign trail. Who would’ve predicted W’s hour-long sitdown with Russert even a few weeks ago? The First Lady is in full campaign mode, defending her apolitical husband from those nasty Dems who are “spending most of their time saying really terrible things about my husband. No, I really don’t like that.” So how much election-related pressure is being felt in the White House? We don’t want to overstate things, but it is a telling sign that W and Laura are even considering the idea of breaking out the twins and letting them loose on the campaign trail (Real World, D.C.?).
. . . Friday February 6, 2004