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The Campaigners-in-Chief

The New York Times front-pages how Bush has become the "optimist-in-chief" when it comes to the midterms.  "In lobbying shops and strategy firms around town, the latest Republican parlor game is divining whether the White House optimism is staged, or whether Mr. Bush and his political team really believe what they are saying."  

The Los Angeles Times' Brownstein on Sunday wrote that by practicing the politics of polarization throughout his presidency, Bush has left himself "very little margin for error" when it comes to getting the party base out to win elections.  "His approval rating since mid-2005 has rarely reached 45%, and he is now limping into the midterm election with support in most surveys below 40%." 

Vice President Cheney headlines a closed-press fundraiser for the Republican National Committee at a private home in Greenwich, CT.

Karl Rove filled in for Sen. John McCain (R) at a fundraiser for endangered Rep. Tom Reynolds (R) on Friday night and "used his speech to road-test new lines of attack on the Democrats," per Sunday's Washington Post.  "The basic themes -- that voters face a stark choice between the parties on taxes and terrorism -- have been a Bush standard.  But Rove, who once claimed liberals preferred 'therapy' to war against terrorists, delivered them with an acerbity not seen from his boss."