The Note: Hailing the Chief



President Bush holds a 10:15 am ET press conference in the Brady Press room, which is where Scott McClellan normally rules the roost.

So everything that comes before that event in Noteland is null and void. Per a senior administration official via ABC News' Jessica Yellin: "At the top of the press conference the President will give a brief opening statement previewing the State of the Union, that will touch on the issue of 'the times we live in and the key issues facing our country in the year ahead: war on terror, economy.' He'll also mention Judge Alito."

On the undercard:

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) deliver their prebuttal to the President's State of the Union address at a 1:00 pm ET National Press Club luncheon. And the pair will presumably respond to the presser too.

On "Politics Live" at 1:35 pm ET, Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack talks about his views of the state of the Union. LINK

The Senate continues debate today on the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito to replace Sandra Day O'Connor as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court.

The Congressional Budget Office releases its deficit projection at 10:00 am ET and holds a briefing an hour later. Reaction to the new numbers will come from Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Rep. John Spratt (D-SC), the Ranking Democrats on the Senate and House Budget panels, at 2:00 pm ET.

Vice President Cheney raises coin for Sen. Mike DeWine (D-OH) in Washington, DC at 5:00 pm ET.

Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA), the chairman of the Republican Governors Association and a potential Republican '08er, has a full schedule in Washington, DC today. He testifies on health care reform before the President's Medicaid Commission at 10:30 am ET at the Holiday Inn in Chevy Chase, MD. He does a by invitation only Monitor luncheon at 12:30 pm ET. And he delivers a presentation on health care reform to the Heritage Foundation at 2:00 pm ET.

Sens. Joe Lieberman (D-CT), Russ Feingold (D-WI), and Barack Obama (D-IL) hold a 12:30 pm ET presser in the Senate Radio and Television Gallery to call for immediate action on the Democrats' "Honest Leadership Act."

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO) call on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to appoint a Special Counsel to investigate the Abramoff scandal at 2:30 pm ET in the Senate Radio and Television Gallery.

Sens. Harry Reid (D-NV), Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) hold a 10:45 am ET press conference on "problems" with the Medicare drug benefit in Dirksen 406. (Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) was also talking about the drug benefit today at her 8:30 am ET event in Cohoes, NY).

Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), who recently stepped down as chairman of the House Administration Committee, announces his formal bid for re-election in Dover, OH at 5:30 pm ET. Ney told The Hill last week that he will run for re-election even if he is indicted for his connections to disgraced Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff. LINK

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