By many calculations, Democrats are ready to make big gains in the midterm elections, enough to take over the House and possibly the Senate. But White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten says there is one reason he is feeling upbeat amid so much Republican gloom.You see, this is the power he wields, my friends. Democrats have been bitten so often by the losing bug, and ever so closely, that they're ready to believe they'll lose. It's a ripe environment for Rove to exploit and he's doing it again with his psych out number. It's entirely possible that a number of people may be swayed by such displays of bravado by Rove, and he knows it.
"I believe Karl Rove," Bolten said in an interview in his West Wing office Friday. "Karl Rove, somewhere inside that massive brain of his, has figured out the political landscape more clearly than the entire collection of conventional-wisdom pundits and pollsters in the entire city of Washington."
Even within Rove's own party, expectations are widespread that the Nov. 7 elections will mark a repudiation for the base-rallying, contrast-drawing brand of politics with which he and Bush have been so closely aligned. But it is a mark of the particular place Rove holds in the Washington psyche that even the most exuberant Democrats are wondering why he seems so confident.The guessing game that he stimulates has just got to be so satisfying to his smugness. Articles in the Washington Post, no less, focus on his headgames. A supposedly candid Rove had this to say last week on his game plan:
There are two questions. Is Rove just acting cocky as a way of lifting GOP morale, or does he really believe it? And, if the latter, is he deluding himself, or does he once again know something that Democrats do not?
"I look at the individual races as clear-eyed as I can every single day, knowing what we are doing and knowing that we have the capacity to move the resources in if we need to do more," Rove said in a brief telephone interview from the road last week. "Incumbents are hard to defeat. Our candidates by and large have significantly more resources than they have. And we have succeeded in making these races choices between two local candidates."Can't make it a national race since his boy, W, stinks to high heaven in every state but a few, like Utah and Wyoming.
Here's hoping that the spectre of W and Rove, unchecked for the next two years and free to continue their divisive politicking is enough of a deterrent at the ballot box next week...defeat Operation Psych Out once and for all. To use Rove's own words, "Fight, beat 'em, win."