The Note: The Note

WASHINGTON, Jan. 31

NEWS SUMMARY

President and Mrs. Bush are scheduled to depart the White House at approximately 8:35 pm ET to make their way to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. Shortly after 9:01 pm ET, the President will be announced and enter the House Chamber. Per White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, the speech has been running about 36 minutes in length without applause. (ABC's Karen Travers reminds us that last year's speech ran 53 minutes with applause.)

Somewhere between two and five minutes after President Bush departs the House Chamber, Gov. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Mayor Antonia Villaraigosa (D-Los Angeles) will deliver their live Democratic responses in English and Spanish, respectively. Gov. Kaine will deliver his address from the Executive Mansion in Richmond, VA. Mayor Villaraigosa will offer his live rebuttal from the mayor's residence in Los Angeles, CA.

ABC will carry President Bush's State of the Union Address live. Coverage will begin at 9:00 pm ET and will also include the Democratic response.

Elizabeth Vargas, Charles Gibson, and Diane Sawyer will anchor ABC's coverage -- Vargas will anchor from ABC News' studio overlooking the White House, Gibson will anchor from Capitol Hill, and Sawyer will anchor from ABC News Headquarters in New York. They will be joined by Chief Washington Correspondent and "This Week" anchor George Stephanopoulos, Senior White House Correspondent Martha Raddatz, and Medical Editor Dr. Timothy Johnson. Jake Tapper will monitor national reaction to the speech, including "The People's Response," a digital conversation with Americans on their views of the State of the Union, sponsored by ABCNEWS.com and AOL.com. News commentators George Will, Fareed Zakaria, and Mellody Hobson will also contribute to ABC's live coverage.

Gov. Kaine will join Democratic Leaders Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi at a 2:00 pm ET photo opportunity at the Capitol before heading back to Virginia later in the day.

At 3:00 pm ET, Leaders Reid and Pelosi are scheduled to hold a pen and pad briefing with reporters.

Democratic and Republican state parties as well as interest groups across the ideological spectrum plan to use the State of the Union to galvanize their supporters with SOTU house/watch parties across the country.

The President will begin his post-SOTU road show in Nashville, TN tomorrow. Mr. Bush will be in Maplewood, MN on Thursday and Albuquerque, NM and Dallas, TX on Friday.

The Senate reconvened at 9:45 am ET. The time leading up to the 11:00 am ET vote on Samuel Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court will likely be taken up with some final thoughts on the nomination from Sens. Frist, Reid, Specter, and Leahy.

Republican Senators are scheduled to take to the press gallery following the vote at approximately 11:30 am ET. Democratic Senators will follow suit shortly thereafter.

Both party conferences will hold their weekly policy luncheons at 12:30 pm ET with stakeouts to follow.

As of this writing, there have been no announced plans for a likely Alito swearing-in ceremony nor no official word on whether or not Justice Alito will be in attendance for the President's speech this evening.

At 3:00 pm ET, Sen. Warner (R-VA) meets with Technical Sergeant Jamie Dana, handler of military working dog, "Rex."

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