Catcher in the Colonnade: Ax takes time to smell the flowers. (ap)
White House senior advisor David Axelrod took time out from whatever he does these days to kick around Tuesday night's election results with ABC News White House correspondent Jake Tapper. Jake -- who btw is totally cool -- tried with limited success to prod Axelrod on how Tuesday's results were in no way a reflection of the president or his policies, as the White House has generally tried to claim. Axelrod would finally cop to this much:
TAPPER: Obviously – whether or not Gibbs approved of how the question was asked -- there are a lot of voters who are very worried about the economy, a lot of voters who are very concerned about the economy. Even if mostly they were talking about property tax issues in New Jersey, transportation issues in Virginia, that has got to be a concern for any party that is the incumbent party.
AXELROD: Yeah, Jake we're governing in the worst economy since the Great Depression. We found the economy in a ditch when we arrived in January. Our job is to pull the car out of the ditch. It would be helpful if the people whose policies helped create the mess in the first place didn't sit roadside critiquing how we were pulling the car out of the ditch and instead jumped in and helped us push. But that notwithstanding, these are tough times and obviously there is a heavy burden and responsibility that…falls on the governing party. And that's just something you accept. That's part of the deal.
TAPPER: Gibbs told us that the president didn't watch election returns– do you know what he was doing?
AXELROD: You know, I really don't. I talked to him late at night. I don't know precisely what he was doing. He takes a thick notebook home every night with a couple hours of reading so I am sure that is part of what he was doing.
TAPPER: Maybe he was watching the Bulls/Bucks game?
AXELROD: Maybe he watched the Bulls/Bucks game; if he watched the second half he would have been a happy man.