Ben Smith writes:
One, Smith has great sources. Three people out of the 25 people in the morning meeting talked to him about Messina's comments. No one will talk to me about the flap, so score one to him.
Put yourself in the mindset of White House officials Tuesday morning, operating without the benefit of hindsight. This White House has been stung by criticism that it usually reacts too slowly to things. So it reacted quickly. The "it" here was a directive to Vilsack's chief of staff to fix the problem, and quickly.
Maybe the White House is too sensitive about race. But when the opposition not so subtly accuses the president on a daily basis of catering to minorities, of catering to the have-nots, and when his approval rating among whites has dropped off of a cliff, rapid reaction -- even when it comes to something that Fox News is spreading around -- isn't exactly the wrong move.
In Kremlinological terms, someone at the White House is trying to throw Jim Messina under the bus. It's not pretty.