The last time we asked Bush-Cheney campaign manager Ken Mehlman about that bulge on the president's back, Mehlman joked that it was a receiver for messages from Mars. When we pushed him for a straight answer, he said he'd try to find out and get back to us. That was Wednesday. We're still waiting.
On "Meet the Press" this morning, Mehlman trotted out his Martian joke again. When Tim Russert urged him to "come clean" on the bulge, Mehlman said: "The president, in fact, was receiving secret signals from aliens in outer space. You heard it here on 'Meet the Press.'"
When Russert pressed him for a straight answer about the bulge, Mehlman said he is still "not sure what it was," then made a joke about tailoring.
If Mehlman is really trying to figure out what was lurking under Bush's suit, he's not trying very hard. Or maybe he's not trying at all. There may well be an innocent explanation for the bulge. But each time the president's people refuse to come clean, it gets just a little harder to give them the benefit of the doubt.