The WP is saying the Bush camp is alarmed at how badly his debate performance was received.
Bush advisers were described as stunned by how negative the reviews were of the president’s performance, which many of them regarded as not his best but not so bad. Bush was portrayed as upbeat while acknowledging to supporters that he knew he could have done better. His aides indicated they planned some retooling before Friday’s debate, but maintained a sense of outward confidence.
…For Bush, the immediate objective is to wipe away impressions of that debate, in which he appeared annoyed and irritated by Kerry’s criticism. But just as significant may be how well he passes the test of explaining why he believes his policies in Iraq are working at a time when conditions on the ground suggest that the insurgency is stronger than ever. The longer the focus is on Bush’s record, these strategists said, the more trouble he may have.
And I thought all the people that trotted out after the debate (Hughes, Ginsburg, and their ilk) were just lying out of their asses to put the best spin on things. Maybe they actually believed Bush did an ok job…boy, whatever they are smoking, it’s led to some brain damage.
There’s no one admitting the hard truth, even internally, that their candidate stinks like a down east hog farm and his policies and tactics have blown up in their faces.