This came over the wires from the White House not long ago:
*THERE WILL BE AN ON-CAMERA BRIEFING BY DAN BARTLETT, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT, AT 2:00 PM LOCAL TIME (4:00 PM EDT) IN THE PRESS FILING CENTER IN MERIDA, MEXICO*
Tony Snow is on the LatAm trip, and Bartlett rarely briefs the press. So there’s a very specific reason they’re putting Bartlett out there. And the reason — I’m almost certain — is because Bartlett has, since Bush’s 2000 campaign, been the keeper of the Texas vault. Whenever the press had questions about Bush’s record as governor, or his “young and irresponsible days,” Bartlett, working with Karen Hughes, was the operation’s point person.
Why go to Bartlett now? Because all the principals involved in this unfolding story are old hands from Bush’s days in Austin — Harriet Miers, Alberto Gonzales, Karl Rove. Snow is an interloper in this crowd; the delicate task of protecting the Texas family has to fall to Bartlett.
It shows how nervous the White House is about this.