Trying to reclaim the upper hand on the message war, the White House is tacking the same tack with health care that it did with the rumors last year that President Obama was actually a Muslim: building them up to knock them down.
It's a modern-day, Internet version of the old political maxim — celebrated in Chris Matthews' original "Hardball" book — known as "hanging a lantern on your problem."
Note not only this morning's direct engagement of Matt Drudge but also this note on the White House blog:
There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to email@example.com.
This is exactly what it did with the Muslim smear and other rumors (including the birth certificate) last year — created a website and e-mail address, its own Snopes, to highlight and then disprove that which was damaging its candidate.