TODAY SCHEDULE (all times ET)
News out of Iraq — our culture loves moving video over still photos, don't you know — will dominate the media consciousness today, but if you want to know where the minds of the political insiders are focused, think of these things:
1. With new state job figures due today, the focus is on Ohio, Ohio, Ohio, with Treasury Secretary Snow and Tar Heel Senator Edwards in the Buckeye State talking separately about the economy.
2. USA Today 's Judy Keen correctly reports that the Bush-Cheney campaign will go on the air next week with an ad challenging John Kerry's record and statements on the Patriot Act.
3. The Wall Street Journal says that the Kerry campaign is about to switch its ad traffic from bio to issues (Which ones, we wonder … .?).
4. USA Today 's Walter Shapiro shares with us an inside look at the biweekly meeting organized by America Votes that is so vivid and insightful that it's sure to give Sean Hannity nightmares for at least a week, and the presence of one of John Kerry's advisers is sure to perk up the Sisyphusian ears of GOP superlawyer Ben Ginsberg. LINK 5. Are Leader Pelosi's anti-Bush words from yesterday just par for the course in the Gingrich-Clinton world of Washington, or do they represent a watershed?
6. What staffers/advisers are getting on the Kerry plane soonish?
7. What will Ralph Nader (on "This Week") and Hillary Clinton (on the Rupert Murdoch Sunday show) have to say in less than 48 hours?
8. Post-POTUS pep rally, what will MOCs hear at home during the recess about peace and prosperity from their constituents?
President Bush delivers the commencement address at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge today and then attends a fundraising reception at a private residence in Metairie, La. This weekend, the president is out of Washington as he attends a dinner for his daughter Jenna's graduation in Austin, Texas, on Saturday and another for his daughter Barbara on Sunday in New Haven, Conn.
Senator Kerry records the Democratic radio address today in Washington (to air Saturday) and attends a fundraising reception at a private residence in White Plains, N.Y. this evening. Over the weekend Kerry will be in Boston with no scheduled public events. On Saturday, the campaign will hold "Kerry National House Party Day" where supporters will gather in 2,000 house parties in all 50 states to show their support for their candidate. Kerry will join them via conference call.
Today, Vice President Cheney campaigns for congressional candidates in Texas. He will speak at a breakfast for congressional candidate Judge Ted Poe in Houston and at a reception for congressional candidate Arlene Wohlgemuth in Waco in the afternoon. This evening the Vice President also will speak at a reception for congressional candidate Judge Louie Gohmert in Longview.
The Labor department releases its monthly state-by-state unemployment and aggregate job gain and loss numbers today.
Lynne Cheney travels to La Crosse, Wis. today and speaks at the Republican Party of Wisconsin's state convention.
Ralph Nader sits down with George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" for a conversation on the presidential race, the Bush Administration, and more.
In addition, Senator Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich are scheduled to join ABC's George Stephanopoulos, George Will and Linda Douglass.