The Note: Who's in Charge Here?

WASHINGTON, Jan. 19

NEWS SUMMARY

Ten Things to Know Before You Get on the Delta Shuttle in Either Direction:

1. In charge of good copping on the economy today and forever: President Bush.

2. In charge of bad copping on Hillary Clinton: the RNC and the First Lady (and Senator McCain on Imus!!!).

3. In charge of bad copping on civil liberties fetishizers in a time of war: the Vice President and the Wall Street Journal ed board.

4. In charge of bad copping on Harry Reid's ethics: everyone!!!!

5. In charge of making sure that Democrats have their ethical house in order before they throw stones: no one!!!

6. In charge of making sure that Virginia Governor Tim Kaine watches a video of his inaugural address and is told how he must improve in time for his nationally televised State of the Union Democratic response: ????.

7. In charge of wishing Ann Compton and Jon Karl "happy birthday": The Note.

8. In charge of making sure everyone at the Republican National Committee meeting has a good time: Gucci-loafered corporate lobbyists (just kidding(?)).

9. In charge of assigning Mark Leibovich to write the hyper-inevitable "Fred Wertheimer's Fourth Renaissance" piece for Style: Deb Heard. LINK

10. In charge of the Democrats' message for the Alito confirmation aftermath: (see #6 above).

The Bush Administration continues its pre-State of the Union out-of-town tryouts. President Bush heads to a small business in Sterling, VA for 10:10 am ET remarks.

ABC's Karen Travers reports, "The President will focus on small businesses and cite his Administration's policies as major factors for economic growth. He will address the outlook for job creation and talk about the role small businesses play in supporting the economy."

"'Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the number one job creator in the United States,' White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said in advance of the boss' remarks. 'Many of these small businesses pay taxes at the top rate, so it's important that we make the tax cuts permanent. Otherwise, we're going to hurt job growth and hurt our economy.'"

"Expect the President to push for making his tax cuts permanent, reduce health care costs, and have Congress continue to push for spending restraint."

At 12:30 pm ET, Vice President Cheney will take to the stage at a Manhattan Institute gathering at the Grand Hyatt to deliver remarks on Iraq and the "War on Terror." ABC's Travers reports Vice President Cheney will likely discuss the NSA warrantless domestic spying controversy and the Patriot Act. Cheney is also expected to take some questions at the event.

First Lady Laura Bush is also back stateside and will join President Bush at a 1:15 pm ET meeting with foundations on Gulf Coast recovery in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

The Republican National Committee's winter meeting gets underway this morning. The Ken Mehlman and Karl Rove speeches are scheduled for tomorrow.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) leads a panel discussion with House Democrats and former Clinton Administration officials on the Democrats' "New Innovation Agenda."

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, announces his decision on the Alito nomination in remarks at the Georgetown University Law Center today. His 11:00 am ET remarks are entitled, "The Alito Nomination, The Supreme Court, and Presidential Power."

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