WASHINGTON, June 19
President Bush delivers his final commencement address of the season at 10:40 am ET when he speaks to graduates of the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY. As always when there are potential or actual American hostages being held anywhere in the world, the White House will try to balance public concern with private concern (that talking about hostages doesn't help the situation.)
Later tonight, Mr. Bush attends the "President's Dinner" fundraiser for the NRCC and NRSC at 6:30 pm ET. The President is expected to make remarks at 8:10 pm ET to the more than 5,000 attendees who will help the Republican committees raise $23 million at the Washington Convention Center.
The questions that those at the Convention Center will be asking each other -- and themselves:
How does the electorate feel about North Korea as a political issue for November?
How does Howard Dean feel about this must-read/must-understand line from Paul Krugman's expensive New York Times column: ". . . tough talk on national security and affirmations of personal faith won't help: the other side will smear you anyway"?
How does Laura Bush feel about all the Superman-here-to-save-the-day coverage that Josh Bolten is getting (for himself), and is she close to saying that Bolten isn't as influential as the Chattering Class believes and that his role is definitely overstated, but he probably loves it and that he's very happy to have his role overstated?
How does the Wall Street Journal's John McKinnon feel about the "first interview" with Bolten that Sheryl Gay Stolberg of the New York Times has in the paper today?
How does David Sanger feel about the words "David E. Sanger contributed reporting for this article" appearing on the New York Times lede story about North Korea?
How does The Note feel about that line failing to say from what city Sanger contributed? How does Al Gore feel about Joe Lieberman? (See below.)
How does Ed Reilly feel about the amount of prep Senator Kerry does before an Imus appearance?
(How do Note readers feel about the following clunky transition?)
Kerry's Senate colleague, Vice President Cheney, delivers remarks at 1:30 pm ET at the Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prize Luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.
Per ABC News never-lax Karen Travers, the remarks will be largely a tribute to the former President, whom he served as chief of staff. The Vice President will take participate in a Q&A session after his remarks. The audience will be comprised of Ford Foundation trustees and members of the National Press Club.
President Ford's former chief of staff continues his day of appreciation of his former boss when he delivers 9:00 pm ET remarks at the Gerald R. Ford Foundation Awards Ceremony at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC.
Secretary Rice talked to cameras this morning to announce the resignation of her deputy Robert Zoellick. "His resignation was widely rumored for the past several weeks, so this is not a complete surprise," writes ABC News' Kirit Radia. "Zoellick's most recent high-profile work was as the US representative at the negotiations resulting in the Darfur Peace Agreement, announced in Abuja, Nigeria on May 5," adds Radia.
The Senate reconvenes at 2:00 pm ET and resumes consideration of S. 2766 -- Defense Authorization.