Perhaps, last week's love phone call by Rove to Joe means more for the Republicans than we can speculate here. As you read through this quick exchange, ask yourselves this: Why doesn't this question recieve a simple "yes" reply and thusly move onto the next reporter? Who is playing politics and executing parlor tricks here?
Q Does the President support the Republican candidate for Senate in Connecticut?Yes, it is not really a game...so, why is Tony playing one? Another reporter tries to squeeze an answer out of him later in the briefing:
MR. SNOW: The President supports the democratic process in the state of Connecticut, and wishes them a successful election in November.
Q Wait a minute. I realize he supports democracy, but I'm wondering, does he actually support his own party's candidate?
MR. SNOW: I know that's not news --
Q Why aren't you committing -- why wouldn't the President commit support for the Republican candidate in that --
MR. SNOW: I don't know. Why do you ask? Is there something about the candidate that I should know about that would lead to judgments?
Q I'm just asking you --
MR. SNOW: No, that's just a --
Q -- it seems like a very natural thing, why wouldn't he support a member of his own party? Is it because he's well behind in the polls? Is it because the President likes Joe Lieberman? What's -- why not?
MR. SNOW: There may be -- there are a whole host of reasons the President -- I'm just not going to play.
Q It's not really a game --
MR. SNOW: It's not a game. It's not a game, but I'll -- okay, I'll tell you what. I'll refer you to the political office to give you the full judgments on that. I think you know the situation in Connecticut.
Q Following on Keith's question, so we should not routinely assume that the President is supporting the Republican nominee --
MR. SNOW: I think there's some peculiar characteristics going on in the Republican Party with the President candidate, and why don't you wait and see what happens?
Q What are those characteristics?
MR. SNOW: I think I was asking you and you wouldn't play, so --
Q Are there any other states where there are peculiar characteristics, or is this one unique?
MR. SNOW: I think this one may be unique. But we'll find out. Look, I know what you're trying to do and it's great and it's great fun, but --
Q -- get an answer.
MR. SNOW: Yes, well, they know the answer.