"Bush's aides predicted victory when talking on the record, pointing to polls showing that the race remained a tossup, both nationally and in key states. But despite the insistence that all was well, the erosion in the moods of Bush's inner circle over the past two weeks was unmistakable. Several of his close advisers said they were concerned because the president had achieved no last-minute momentum, and Democratic turnout was looking as if it might swamp the Bush-Cheney campaign's projections.

A Republican official who is privy to Bush-Cheney strategy and polling said that as the incumbent, Bush should be further ahead of Kerry in polls. "Some of them have been moving in the right direction, but it isn't enough," the official said. "Karl [Rove] is a big believer in the bandwagon effect, but there has been nothing over the past week for the president to use it to turn it around."

Still, aides said the president was joking and playing gin rummy with Rove, his senior adviser, in the conference room of his Boeing 747. Bush even agreed to join a gin rummy tournament with seven aides.

Mark McKinnon, Bush's chief ad strategist, flew with him all day and said Bush was "nostalgic" about having so much of his team from 2000 out on the road with him one last time. Asked about the mood on the plane, a subdued McKinnon replied, in a deadpan voice: "Jubilation." "

Confident but busy just doesn't ring to well with this bit from today's Washington Post.

Link


"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that
we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."-- Theodore Roosevelt