Counselor to the President Dan Bartlett appeared on morning television, commenting on topics the President will discuss in tonight's State of the Union address. In response to a question on troop levels in Iraq, Bartlett said the American people, "want troops to come home, but they don't want them to come back without victory." Bartlett also commented on the Medicare prescription drug benefit, saying that, although there are problems with the program, the vast majority of America's seniors are better off under the plan and receiving the prescription drugs they need at lower prices.
Bartlett also said that "this will be a leadership speech," with an optimistic tone, and that the President will talk at length about the war in Iraq and the challenges that we face there.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Fred Barnes sees the President "going incremental," ditching the ownership society in favor of more modest measures.
"President Bush will renew a call for the development of alternative fuel for automobiles and promote the construction of new nuclear power plants in his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, White House officials said Monday," reports the New York Times. LINK
The Washington Times' Bill Sammon writes that President Bush's call for both Hamas and Iran to disarm its weapons yesterday foreshadows his speech tonight. LINK
The New York Daily News' Jordan Lite writes Bush's body language will say it all tonight. LINK
George F. Will mocks Sen. Barack Obama's (D-IL) "Garbage Collection Theory of History," Rep. Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) pledge to guarantee affordable access to broadband within five years, and the President's flight from sobriety on everything from the Middle East to the Medicare prescription drug benefit. LINK
The Washington Post ed board urges the President not to crow about the economy given the "alarming trade deficit" and the "wage problem." LINK
Gov. Kaine is expected to talk about his work as a Jesuit missionary in Honduras during his SOTU response this evening, per the Boston Globe's Rick Klein who takes a look at the Democratic response in the context of the party's overall desire to regain its footing with American Catholics. LINK
Stephanie Simon of the Los Angeles Times looks at the evolving politics of evangelicals through the lens of tonight's SOTU watch parties. LINK
Michael Hardy of the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Gov. Kaine's 10-15 minute response to the State of the Union address will emphasize bipartisanship and will mention issues such as energy, immigration, health care, education, homeland security, and national defense. LINK
The New York Daily News reports that 9/11 widow, Monica Gabrielle, will be Sen. Clinton's SOTU guest tonight. LINK
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) released a new web video today highlighting what it claims is the gap between what President Bush said about the Medicare prescription drug program in last year's State of the Union and its implementation this year. LINK
Samuel Alito for Associate Justice:
The Washington Post's Charles Babington has Sen. Kennedy roaring but Sen. Frist getting "the last word." LINK
"'The sword of the filibuster has been sheathed,' (Frist) told his colleagues moments before the roll call began."
The New York Times' Kirkpatrick also Notes Sen. Frist's pleasure in how the Alito nomination/confirmation process has played out. LINK