What’s Bigger News: Michigan is in Play or Robert Gibbs Says National Polls are Wrong?

Yesterday Karl Rove and Robert Gibbs sat down at a political forum in Lansing, Michigan and revealed a great many political insights.  They disagreed on plenty but it was interesting to see first, Karl Rove forcefully argue Michigan is either in  play or will be on election day. But maybe more telling was  Robert Gibbs, rather than latch onto these unrealistic national polls showing Obama with huge leads, conceded the race will go down to the wire.  Here’s the write-up:

Two of the country’s foremost political strategists predict the presidential race will be extremely tight but veer apart on whether Michigan’s in play for Republican Mitt Romney.

Wait a second.  That throwaway open completely contradicts the wave of national polls saying Barack Obama is a shoe-in this November.  What does Robert Gibbs know that our state-run media isn’t telling us?

Robert Gibbs, a senior campaign adviser for President Barack Obama, said Wednesday night that the fight is being waged in eight or nine states. “You [Michigan] currently are not one of them,” he told the crowd at the Michigan Chamber of Commerce’s annual legislative reception and dinner, reasoning that the state has not been inundated with presidential TV ads.

Not so fast  Mr. Gibbs

That drew a response from his on-stage partner Karl Rove, the GOP strategist and former adviser to President George W. Bush who is behind two conservative political organizations spending big money against Obama this election cycle. He pointed out that Restore Our Future, a different pro-Romney group, is again running a TV ad in the state. Neither campaign has paid for airtime here since the February presidential primary, though. “Michigan is going to be in play,” Rove said. “You go tell (state GOP Chairman Bobby Schostak) it’s not in play. That guy’s raising a bundle of money for 23 Victory Centers. We’re already on pace to exceed the number of phone calls and the number of doors knocked and the number of contacts that we made in the state in 2004.” He said Gibbs and Democrats want Michigan voters to have the mentality that the race is over.

Burying the lede

Regardless of what happens in Michigan, both strategists anticipate a tight race nationally. “This is going to be an extraordinarily close election. It was always going to be an extraordinarily close election,” Gibbs said, noting that Obama only won 53 percent of the vote in what pundits called a “landslide” election.

So Gibbs admits both a) those national polls are wholly inaccurate and untrue to the state of the race and b) the media will exaggerate anything positive for Obama to absurd levels.  Thanks for the moment of candor

The 47% comment

Rove acknowledged Romney will “roll in the tank” for a week because of the comments but argued that Obama had made controversial statements, too. The economy and the candidates’ economic plans will have more sway for voters than remarks made at a fundraiser, he said, discounting the notion that they will cost Romney the presidency…Gibbs said the comments were not fatal to Romney’s chances.

So that secret tape about the 47% wasn’t fatal?  The media lied to me?  I’m shocked… shocked to find out the media isn’t telling the truth.

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