On Meet the Press this Sunday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs does what press secretaries are supposed to do: he frames the economic-recovery debate as being between "look[ing] backward" and "look[ing] forward," he defends the administration's policies in Iran, and he compares Obama's jump-shot to LeBron James's. He also draws some scrutiny for trying to manage expectations in the November elections. Gibbs admits to host David Gregory that there was "no doubt" the GOP has a shot at taking control of the House of Representatives. Jim Geraghty at the conservative National Review is quick to point out the contrast with a confident quote from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who was seen "laughing off" the idea (back in February, mind you).
Gibbs's concession is probably no accident however. The question, as George Stephanopoulos puts it, is whether he is "firing up the troops or laying groundwork for defeat?"
MR. GREGORY: Two final points. First of all, I want to get a prediction from you on, back on the political debate. Is the House in jeopardy, the majority for the Democrats in the House, in jeopardy?
MR. GIBBS: I think there's no doubt that there are a lot of seats that will be up, a lot of contested seats. I think people are going to have a choice to make in the fall. But I think there's no doubt there are enough seats in play that could cause Republicans to gain control. There's no doubt about that. This will depend on strong campaigns by Democrats.