WASHINGTON, May 5
ABC News's George Stephanopoulos reported on "Good Morning America" that Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) understands he has more explaining to do and that he will sit down for press interviews up in Rhode Island this afternoon to continue to try to clear this story up.
ABC News' Dean Norland reports Rep. Kennedy's chief of staff, Sean Richardson, says the congressman has no public schedule today. Kennedy has called the Capitol Police and offered to meet with them, but he does not know if any meeting will take place. And he'll have those one-on-one interviews with the Rhode Island press this afternoon up in the Ocean State.
ABC News' Zach Wolf, staking out Rep. Kennedy's home this morning, reports that a man looking a lot like Rep. Kennedy had on a hat and a long sleeve shirt when he left his house at 7:40 am ET to go for a run. He waved and smiled to the journalists gathered outside his home.
Cable and then the broadcast evening shows will be all over the Kennedy story today, but, in the end (within 72 hours, we mean), it will be pretty simple. If Congressman Kennedy's unambiguously described version of events is accurate, he will be fine. If his version is not the whole truth in some meaningful way, he will be significantly less than fine.
To that end: Despite his statement that he consumed no alcohol prior to the incident, a waitress at a popular Capitol Hill watering hole claims she saw the congressman drinking "a little bit" reports Dave Wedge of the Boston Herald. LINK
(As for the Democratic Party, if they take control of all or part of Congress in the fall, they will have to address this SAT answer: Bush Administration is to the CIA as congressional Democrats are to the Capitol Police.)
As for the question of co-equal branch control, the Associated Press' ultra-balanced Ron Fournier, armed with the latest company polling data, tips his hand and practically headlines his story "Speaker-to-be-Pelosi Should Measure for New Drapes."
The trends and highlights are familiar, but the details that will spoil Ken Mehlman's day are worth summarizing:
Fournier writes that "angry conservatives" are hurting GOP approval ratings and Democratic voters are currently more motivated than their Republican counterparts. LINK
The presidential approval rating at 33 percent and the largest Democratic advantage on the generic congressional ballot question since President Bush took office will no doubt get Mr. Mehlman's attention as well.
However, the White House plans to tout some economic news all day, starting with the President.
ABC's Dan Arnall reports, "The government says U.S. companies added some 138,000 jobs during April – less than economists were expecting. March's number was revised downward by 11,000 jobs. The nation's unemployment rate remained steady at 4.7%."
"Dow futures ticked up significantly on the news, as traders believe slowing jobs growth likely means an end to the Fed's two-year rate tightening run. It could give us enough fuel to get to that new record Dow level (11,722.98)."
President Bush crowed about the numbers before television cameras this morning.
And well before our press time, MOCs Frist, Hastert, and Boehner had all expressed their glee over the unemployment numbers to the world via digital press releases.
(Note acknowledgement that Bonjean pulled the trigger first.)
But ABC News' Betsy Stark says there are "two schools of thought emerging about today's report: