Dave Weigel has a hilarious piece at his eponymous Slate blog today describing the daily adventures of the shadowy figure in American politics known as "Top Democrat." Today, Top Democrat thinks that November is shaping up to be "a total wipeout" for Democrats, and that President Barack Obama should just cut bait and start working on what comes next. But! Top Democrat is also saying that Obama has "been very good in what he's been saying and in being out campaigning for the agenda," and that people "need to see him." But Top Democrat also says that -- rather than traveling -- Obama needs to "use the bully pulpit of the White House" and that "it is inconceivable that a team so disciplined during the presidential campaign can't carry a message."
Obviously, the joke here is that we're talking about three unnamed people whom three different reporters have judged to be the "top Democrat." As Weigel says, "When a reporter wants to make an argument without actually making the argument, he talks to a simpatico source who'll make the point for him. This is not laziness, mind you. It's just a journalistic convention that doesn't really make sense."
In related news, Top Ordinary Americans Who Send Me Emails have expressed a concern that the political media spends a lot of time pointlessly mystifying things!
Ask A Top Democrat [Dave Weigel at Slate]