WASHINGTON, May 25
A week is a lifetime in politics blah blah blah.
Some things, however, can get baked into the electoral cake. The White House and congressional Republicans will not give up until Election Day on making Iraq less of an albatross and on getting more credit for positive economic news. But there are other factors that are immutably fixed in place from now through November:
-- House Republicans will be worried about a tsunami.
-- House Republicans will be certain that the tsunami will grow in size exponentially if they pass a bill that Laura Ingraham terms "amnesty."
-- House Republicans will not be as disciplined or loyal to the Bush Administration as they were 2001-2004.
-- The Senate will be less likely to flip than the House.
-- The Justice Department Abramoff prosecutors and Patrick Fitzgerald will be the wildest of wild cards, who believe that October is just another month.
-- A majority of the minority will be in their hearts for higher taxes, universal health care, a heightened emphasis on civiil liberties, and a dramatic and swift reduction of troops from Iraq. They know it, the RNC, NRCC, NRSC, and The Note all know it -- the Democrats just have to hope that the American people don't find out until February.
-- Democrats know who they will blame if they don't take back Congress; Republicans are still deciding who they will blame if they lose.
-- 484 members of the Gang of 500 think Tony Blair is smarter, more articulate, more principled, and more visionary than Geroge W. Bush; their Brit counterparts think those Gang members are plonkers and muppets.
All of this will be on display when toothpaste buddies Bush and Blair ruin everyone's evening by holding a plush joint newser after or on Old Media deadlines.
A whole lotta thumbsuckin' going on as everyone vamps for the post-East Coast network news full press conference at 7:30 pm ET.
"This will be the President's 25th full press conference since taking office in 2001. His last press conference was on April 28 in the Rose Garden and was originally billed as just a statement on the economy. That day the President took questions from 15 different reporters," reports ABC News' Karen Travers, rattling off those stats as if they were sports scores.
Do not expect any announcements on troop withdrawals. The White House said Wednesday that such talk is "premature" and that those decisions will still turn on conditions on the ground. But watch closely the nuance, the body language, the bonhomie, and the sheer homo-eroticism (We are sort of kidding about that last one, Mr. President.).
For the impatient, the place holding, and the cables, we'll get to see the President first at 11:00 am ET when he makes remarks at the "Change of Command" ceremony for the Commandant of the United States Coast Guard.
Minority Leader Pelosi (D-CA) will have an opportunity to provide her on-camera reaction to ABC News' Brian Ross' exclusive report on Speaker Hastert's alleged connection to the Abramoff affair (LINK) at her 10:45 am ET press conference.
Majority Leader Boehner (R-OH) will get his chance fifteen minutes earlier at his 10:30 am ET on camera briefing.
Per The Hotline's Notey Jonathan Martin, "House GOPers will take to the floor this morning to 'Rally Behind Our Speaker,' as one staffer for Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) put it in an email circulated to fellow GOP aides. LINK