In Friday's press gaggle Tony Fratto - pinch speaking for Tony the Snow job - gives us the glimmer of a very interesting question. Have a look and I'll raise the question afterward:
Q It's been reported that in some of these meetings [chief of staff planning meetings for next year] the President doesn't want people to talk about the prospect of planning in the event that the Democrats take over Congress. Is that correct?This leads me to a hand full of questions:
MR. FRATTO: I think the President has been very clear that he's preparing for a Congress that has Republican leadership, and that's the way we'll continue to proceed. It's the only way to proceed.
- Is the President in denial about the possibility of a Congressional change in leadership? And,
- If not, then could he not be remotely thinking or talking about how he will proceed going forward if the Republicans trade places with the Dems in November? Which case, Tony would be lying, no? And finally;
- Could this be a bigger window that offers a look at the reasons why W didn't have a real concrete plan to get us out of Iraq - he doesn't plan in advance for contingencies?
Q You said that it's the only way to proceed, to prepare for a Republican-controlled Congress. With such a close election, and with both parties recognizing how close it's going to be, why not at least consider both alternatives?
MR. FRATTO: We're still in the game, and -- if you're in the game, you're in it to win.
Q But you don't know the outcome of the game any more than I do, and --
MR. FRATTO: We feel confident about the outcome, and that's the way we're going to proceed.
Q Continuing the analogy, but government isn't a game, and you are governing, and so your responsibility is to prepare for how to govern regardless of how it turns out. So it may be a game in the political sense, but it's really not a game to Americans who want their government to be ready to do what needs to be done.
MR. FRATTO: He'll be ready.
Q That means you're preparing for the other outcome?
MR. FRATTO: We are ready. We are ready for -- we're ready for a -- we're ready to work with a Republican Congress. Nice try, Jennifer.
Q That would suggest not ready for a Democratic Congress.