Politico has an interesting article today about the carping by congressional Democrats and their campaign strategists over the remark made by Robert Gibbs on Sunday that the GOP could win the House in November. The issue is not whether the prediction could come true, the issue is strategy: Was it smart to say this in public? Gibbs is right and the Dems on the Hill are wrong.
One of the complainers, identified as a money bundler, says, “It was the dumbest thing in the world to do. Barack Obama doesn’t understand this [election] is a referendum on his agenda.” Well, actually what Obama was trying to do is what McCain failed to do in 2008. If the election is about Obama, about the status quo, Dems will lose. The only way to win, or even to minimize losses, is to make it a choice election, where voters see their ballot as a choice between a Democrat and a Republican. Especially in those states where the GOP has selected a not-ready-for-primetime candidate like Kentucky and Nevada, this will happen no matter what Gibbs says. But, in other states, let the voters realize that they cannot simply cast a vote against the status quo. You don’t “send a message” to Washington, you send a congressman.
Yes, Gibbs "stoked" the anxiety of the Democrats. People who are anxious tend to get moving.