SPENDING LIMITS….This has to be the most ridiculous story I’ve read in ? well, a couple of days, anyway:

With President Bush’s reelection fundraising nearing the $100 million mark, several advisers said Monday that the new financial threat posed by former Vermont governor Howard Dean should encourage the president’s donors to vault his campaign well past its ambitious fundraising goal of $170 million.

You could get whiplash from trying to follow the spin in this story. Are Republican “officials” seriously trying to use Dean’s decision to forego matching funds as an excuse for raising even more than $170 million ? already nearly double the amount Bush raised in 2000? And did campaign press secretary Terry Holt manage to keep a straight face when he said their financial plan was drawn up “on the assumption that Bush was ‘likely to be outspent,’ largely because of spending by labor, environmental and other liberal groups”?

Probably the only true statement in the entire story is this one:

Even so, several Bush aides have said that raising more than $170 million is unnecessary. “At some point, you run out of prospects,” a senior official said.

Glad to hear it.