How can you tell when one party thinks it will lose an election?  As the Los Angeles Times writes, when it begins to argue that the election in question doesn’t really matter.  Earlier today on C-SPAN’s Newsmakers, DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz defended the national party’s involvement in Wisconsin, pointing to a contribution of $250,000 and an e-mail appeal.  But in almost the same breath, Wasserman Schultz tried to minimize the importance of the recall election entirely:

Recent polls have pointed toward a victory for Republican Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin’s June 5 recall election. But here’s the clearest evidence to date that national Democratic party officials believe their side is losing: Democratic officials are playing down the potential impact.

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) insisted in a television interview that a loss for the Democratic candidate in the recall, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, wouldn’t have any implications for other races, such as the presidential election.

“I think, honestly, there aren’t going to be any repercussions,” Wasserman Schultz said on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” program. “It’s an election that’s based in Wisconsin.”

No repercussions from an expensive recall flop?  That’s a little odd, considering her insistence on CNN this morning that Wisconsin is providing Democrats with “the dry run” for the presidential election.  The comments came as a fallback position in case of a Tom Barrett loss a week from Tuesday (via Twitchy):

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Sunday classified Democratic efforts in the Wisconsin recall election as a “test run” for the presidential race.

“It’s given the Obama for America operation an opportunity to do the dry run we need of our massive, significant dynamic grassroots presidential campaign,” the Florida representative said of the battleground state on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Wasserman Schultz, who is scheduled to campaign with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett on Tuesday, said he has a “real opportunity” to oust incumbent Republican Gov. Scott Walker in the June 5 election. But she was quick to add it will also test the Obama re-election campaign and the grassroots operation in the state.

Looks to me like a lot of silver-lining mining in the dark clouds that have gathered over Wisconsin for Democrats in this recall.  If the combined might of the unions and Democrats can’t oust Scott Walker after more than a year of organizing for the effort, what does that have to say about the “dry run” that Wasserman Schultz highlights here?  The no-repercussions spin looks a lot more like pre-humiliation spin from the DNC, and a tacit admission that Democrats consider the recall all but lost already.  Let’s make sure they’re right.