WASHINGTON, Dec. 6
Today's Note lede is
A. Predicated on the always-important distinction between "what is" and "what ought to be."
B. Based 1/3 on content and "look-and-feel" analysis of the Old Media; 1/3 on expert table hopping in the last 24 hours at the Palm, the Oval Room, and the Regency; and 1/3 on trained gut(s).
C. Guaranteed to be read aloud on "The Rush Limbaugh Show" today at around 12:20 pm ET.
D. All of the above.
(The correct answer, as always, is "D.")
Leaving aside for today the debate about whether the Old Media is liberally biased -- and leaving aside for today the debate over what James Carville would call "the President's record of failure and corruption" -- all of the Republican Party's problems boil down to this:
Between now and the State of the Union speech at the end of next month (both an eternity and an eye blink), the Old Media is rooting for certain things.
Let's be clear: not every journalist in every case is rooting for these things. But the dominant sweep of the tone of the coverage now and through January (and quite possibly beyond that) is based on press desires:
1. The President should cave in and bring the troops home from Iraq.
2. The moderate Republicans in the House should get to be more powerful than a locomotive, and pretty much dictate what goes in every bill.
3. Meaning: there should be no drilling in ANWR.
4. Senators Snowe and Collins should announce their opposition to Judge Alito's nomination.
5. Filibustering Supreme Court nominees is fine; the nuclear option is not.
6. The Fitzgerald investigation should widen to include more Bush Administration officials, but not other reporters.
7. Jack Abramoff should sing like Whitney Houston did early in her career -- loud, strong, and long.
8. Republican civil war should break out over immigration.
9. The Frist probe should widen.
10. Tom DeLay should be convicted and lose his leadership post forever.
11. Despite all this, the President should be super nice to us during the photo receiving line at the media White House holiday parties.
How would Don Evans, Don Fierce, Don Sipple, Mary Matalin, Ken Duberstein, Ed Gillespie, Bill Kristol, Karen Hughes, Sig Rogich, and Mark McKinnon suggest the White House and its Hill allies solve this problem?
Perhaps we are about to find out.
But first: President Bush meets with the Director-General of the World Health Organization in the Oval Office at 10:45 am ET before headlining a RNC fundraiser expected to raise $1 million from donors who have given $25,000 this year at Evermay at noon ET. Later in the day, President Bush meets with Jewish leaders and attends a White House Hannukah ceremony.
Vice President Cheney will deliver remarks on the war on terror at Ft. Drum, NY at 11:45 am ET.
Per ABC News' Karen "Notey" Travers: "An Administration official says that the Vice President's remarks today, as part of the effort to talk to the American people about the strategy for victory in Iraq, will detail the advancements being made there (such as training of Iraqi forces and political successes)."
"The Vice President will address the challenges the U.S. faces in the 'dynamic situation on the ground.'"
"This official Noted that Cheney will spend time with the 42nd Infantry Division returning home from Iraq and will participate in a re-enlistment ceremony with the 10th Mountain Division."