Today's Schedule (all times Eastern):
—9:15 am: General Wesley Clark holds a "Conversations with Clark" town hall forum with first responders, Lebanon, N.H. —9:30 am: Senate convenes for legislative business —9:45 am: Off-camera White House press gaggle with Scott McClellan —10:45 am: President Bush has a photo op with EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt, White House —10:45 am: General Clark holds a roundtable discussion with residents at a retirement facility, Hanover, N.H. —11:50 am: President Bush participates in a medal ceremony for NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson, White House —12:00 pm: Senator John Kerry goes on a nature hike with environmental leaders, Manchester, N.H. —12:30 pm: General Clark holds a "Conversations with Clark" town hall forum at Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H. —1:00 pm: On-camera White House press briefing with Scott McClellan —1:00 pm: AFSCME and SEIU hold a joint press conference to announce their endorsement of Governor Howard Dean's presidential campaign, D.C. —2:00 pm: House convenes for a pro forma session —4:00 pm: Senator Kerry appears on the Dan Pierce radio show, Manchester, N.H. —5:00 pm: President and Mrs. Bush participate in the presentation of the National Medal of Arts Awards, White House —5:15 pm: Senator Kerry attends a meet-and-greet with supporters, Manchester, N.H. —6:00 pm: Senate begins 30 hours of continuous debate on judicial nominees —7:30 pm: Vice President Cheney delivers remarks at the 2003 George C. Marshall Foundation Award Dinner honoring Secretary of State Colin Powell, D.C.
We sure could make Iraq and national security our lead most every day for the next year.
Today on that, read the props-earning Anne Kornblut in the Boston Globe with her reporting out of last month's Ed Gillespie memo fleshing out the aggressive "pre-emption" politics the White House is expected to practice.
Then read the Philadelphia Inquirer's exclusive report on the CIA's view that change in Iraq policy is needed pronto, or bad(der) things might happen, and try to figure out if it is connected in any way to all those high-energy Bremer meetings and stories about said meetings. LINK
The president plans on doing some Brit interviews today, including with a Mr./Sir David Frost.
On the Democratic side there are three main areas to watch today:
First and foremost is — surprise — Howard Dean.
Today's we-can't-wait SEIU/AFSCME endorsement gets Big History treatment from Dan Balz, Ron Brownstein, and Steve Greenhouse, with Balz getting off the best of three strong efforts because he gets interviews with both Stern and McEntee, and because he gets the bagels and lox color. LINK and LINK and LINK
But there's more.
As the Wall Street Journal 's John Harwood uses his column to join the "maybe nobody can stop this guy from getting the nomination" chorus, USA Today 's Jill Lawrence (with a must-read) and the Chicago Tribune's Tim Jones both write up Dean's temperament, Jones in an excellent profile. LINK and LINK
Bill Safire fills out the other side of the Dean equation (the notion about which Safire is gleeful and many Democrats fearful — that Dean will lose more than 40 states to President Bush), with a classic column looking at how the "Kennedy left" and the "Clinton middle" are "frantic at the prospect of losing control of their party to Howard Dean," thus the alleged "Kennedyization" of Camp Kerry. LINK