The White House goes to the mats

Party discipline in action

Sam Stein of Huffington Post reports that:

In the hours following the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, the predominant feature of the debate has been the swift, campaign-like operation of Washington's Democratic establishment.

Since President Obama introduced his Solicitor General as the choice to replace retired Justice John Paul Stevens, national airwaves and DC inboxes have been littered with a steady stream of material from Kagan backers. One party official compared it (favorably) to a presidential campaign war room, with caffeine-aided staffers shooting out "rapid response" messages to Republican attacks and driving narratives either supportive of Kagan or mocking of the GOP.

It has been by design. At the White House, a team of aides overseen by Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and run out of the office of the President's Counsel had already outlined many of the key arguments they want to dominate the Kagan conversation: her eminent scholarly qualifications, her consensus-driven leadership qualities, and her bipartisan support. The team includes Ron Klain and Cynthia Hogan on the Vice President's staff, Susan Davies (an Associate Counsel to the President) and press officials Josh Earnest, Jesse Lee and Ben LaBolt — all of whom pitched stories and monitored media throughout the day.

At the Democratic National Committee, the campaign atmosphere was even more robust.

And so on….

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