We have two announcements for you today.
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First, in this highly competitive political journalism environment, no self-respective news organization can simply sit back and not take advantage of the success of others.
So, the Walt Disney Co. is announcing that starting today, at 2PM ET, on ABC Family on cable, the ABC News Political Unit will produce a one-hour show all about American government and campaigns called "Really Inside Politics."
Because it is our first show, and there is a lot going on in politics, we are going to review all the mega-stories that are floating out there.
And to take advantage of the capacities of the World Wide Web, we are annotating our line-up with links to other places where you can read in to each topic in advance of the show.
Here's the top of our line-up for today's show:
1. Snazzy, modern, highly produced open
2. Page 2: anchor TBD briefly welcomes viewers to new show
Like most good cable news shows, we won't actually finalize the line-up until about 40 minutes before air, but here is what we plan to cover, in some order, with some combination of anchor readers, taped pieces, and live guests (seriously TBD, because two of our bookers just called in sick, and while Googling monkeys are great at Googling, their booking skills are de minimis).
We are going to lead with the economy, what with the Fed expected to cut interests rates today, and because you don't have to be stupid or smart to know that the economy is going to play a big role in President Bush's re-election prospects.
The AP's Will Lester uses the latest CNN- USA Today -Gallup poll to trigger a 43/41 economy deja-vu story. LINK Lester writes, "President Bush basks in high approval ratings, but when potential voters are pressed about giving him a second term, the numbers drop, a reflection of worries about the struggling economy and a general wait-and-see attitude so far ahead of the election."
"Bush's overall approval ratings have remained at 60 percent or higher in most polls since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks."
Lester writes that even without a clear Democratic frontrunner, the president seems to be faced with at least a little about which to be concerned.
"But now that the electorate is turning to thinking about Bush's handling of the economy and wondering who the Democrats will nominate, the president's re-elect numbers are at 50 percent or lower in several polls."
In the poll, "50 percent said they would vote for Bush and 38 percent backed the unknown Democratic candidate, with the rest undecided. Those numbers aren't very different from those garnered by Bush's father in June 1991, when the commander in chief was praised for the U.S. success in the Persian Gulf War and the Democrats were scrambling for a candidate."
And in case you forgot … .
"Bill Clinton defeated George H.W. Bush in the 1992 election."
Lester Notes: "Bush's re-elect numbers are even lower in the Ipsos-Cook Political Report tracking poll, which showed a drop for the president from April to June, a time when the nation's focus shifted from the U.S.-led war against Iraq to the economy, Medicare and tax cuts."