Administration a Victim of Own Success?

Some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

The A-Team

While White House adviser David Axelrod tried to explain the enthusiasm gap between Republican and Democratic voters this year, he gave his team a pat on the back. Axelrod told The Huffington Post: "In a sense, we are a victim of our own success, of the expectations that the president aroused and the fact that we have gotten so much done."

Axelrod also described the current mindset of the GOP, "Realistically what you have is a Republican Party that is now thoroughly focused on one thing and they have been frankly from the beginning, which is to try and regain power."

University of Virginia's Larry Sabato says of Axelrod's reasoning, "Each political party is supposed to thoroughly focus on gaining or regaining power. The clash of ideas and ambitions in regular competitive elections is what makes the American system work."

Sky's the Limit

Despite the sluggish economy, political candidates this election cycle are setting fundraising and spending records already. House and Senate candidates have raised nearly $1.2 billion, outpacing the last three big election years.

A former Federal Election Commission chairman says, "We may be on track for the most expensive cycle ever, even more than '08 which is really hard to believe."

Not Easy Being Green

A new environmental sciences school named, in part, after Al Gore is set to open next week in Los Angeles, but not everyone is happy about it. The L.A. Times reports critics say the school's location poses a health risk because it's built on contaminated soil.

Construction crews have been replacing toxic soil with clean fill. However an environmental coalition has written the school district saying: "Renaming this terribly contaminated school after famous environmental advocates is an affront to the great work that these individuals have done to protect the public's health from harm."