Rich Galen

If Dan Pfeiffer is looking for the ways voters will be defining the candidates, let's start with the economy. We've already talked about unemployment. Yesterday the Conference Board's survey of consumer confidence came in at 51.0. What does that mean? According to the AP, "It takes a reading of 90 to indicate a healthy economy."

The war in Afghanistan? The release of 92,000 documents, according to the Christian Science Monitor, "is likely to reinforce perceptions - specifically, widespread skepticism about Afghanistan and about any prospects for a good outcome there."

To that end, 102 Democrats in the House voted against the war funding bill yesterday. How would you like to be a Democrat running in a swing district having to explain why something just short of half of your caucus refused to support the troops?

More? How about the BP oil spill? According to the Washington Post "BP said Tuesday that it plans to cut its U.S. tax bill by $9.9 billion, or about half the amount pledged to aid victims of the disaster, by deducting costs related to the oil spill."

The Congress will likely change the tax law making BP pay up, but it shows the President wasn't quite Bret Maverick when it came to playing $20 billion poker with BP's Tony Hayward (who was fired yesterday).

Speaking of Congress, Democrats in the House are rocking back-and-forth in their custom-made chairs murmuring prayers that Charlie Rangel cuts a deal with the House Ethics Committee avoiding a trial which will certainly run up to within weeks, of not days, of the election.

So, it turns out the Senate vote on the DISBCLOSIE Act was a defining moment.

It helped define a White House which has demonstrated it is woefully out of touch, and may be out of its political mind.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at