The Note: Q: Is It a Game or Is It Real?

WASHINGTON, Sep. 23

NEWS SUMMARY

The Mayor of the United States of America heads to the eye of the storm today.

He plans to leave the White House at 3:15 pm ET for San Antonio, TX to meet with first responders preparing for Hurricane Rita. (Note: look to see what he wears, and how many "g's" he drops when talking to the front-liners, and what Bush SOTS* and pix show up on the network newscasts at 6:30 pm ET.)

Mr. Bush then travels to Northern Command in Colorado Springs, CO (where he RONs**) to oversee the federal government's response to the storm. (Note: look to see if there is a photo op that looks like this: LINK

)

What the MOTUS is doing tomorrow remains, at this writing, as up in the air as the amount of damage Rita will do is. (Note: look to see if the Bush bike is loaded on AF1.)

(Before he departs for all this, Mr. Bush will present the Medal of Honor to Army Cpl. Tibor Rubin, a veteran of the Korean War, in a 2:30 pm ET ceremony in the East Room.)

Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, in his capacity as chairman of the National Governors Association, delivers a 1:00 pm ET speech to the National Press Club on his healthy living initiative. He is also expected to discuss Arkansas' well-reviewed Katrina Assistance Relief Effort. (Note: look to see how many of the questions Huckabee takes are about disasters.)

Sen. John Kerry was expected to deliver a 9:00 am speech to the Congressional Black Caucus on health care, veterans, and education. (Note: look to see if anyone asks the Senator to autograph today's Scot Lehigh column.)

The Cato Institute holds a 12 pm ET briefing on "The Republican Pork Explosion" in Rayburn B-369. (Note: look to see how the Catoians react at the mention of Leader DeLay's name.)

First Lady Laura Bush and Librarian of Congress James Billington attend a 7:00 pm ET gala to kick off the National Book Festival in the LOC's Jefferson Building. (Note: look to see if the FLOTUS keeps up the pressure to get a woman on the Supreme Court.)

Sen. Hillary Clinton speaks to seniors and attends a ribbon-cutting ceremony for RNN-TV in Rye Brook, NY before attending an 8:30 pm ET fundraiser for her re-election campaign at Crobar in New York City. Singer/songwriter Venice Maki is scheduled to perform.

Vice President Cheney is scheduled to undergo elective surgery to treat an aneurysm in an artery behind his knee at some point this weekend.

On Saturday, United for Peace and Justice and ANSWER hold a joint anti-Iraq war rally at the White House. (Note: As the Philadelphia Inquirer points out, the only Democratic officeholders who plan to speak at this weekend's protest are Reps. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) and John Conyers (D-MI).) LINK

Karl Rove is scheduled to address North Dakota's Republican Party tomorrow night. (Note: look to see if Tim Lamb of Grand Forks or Greg Brokaw of Ashley attend. LINK and LINK

(Note that Al Kamen in the Washington Post marvels at Rove's ability to multitask, dealing with Katrina -- and immigration and more -- while he takes this trip and maybe tries to "induce" popular GOPer Gov. John Hoeven to run against Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) next year. LINK

) (Note that the AP says, "Hoeven said he will attend the Fargo fundraiser and meet with Rove, but he downplayed the visit's significance." LINK

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