The Note: It's The Stupid Economy

WASHINGTON, July 7

With us today:

President Bush trying to get credit for strength in the economy; Dr./Sen./Leader Frist hot out of the gate (by press release) celebrating weaker-than-expected job numbers; Tom DeLay fighting with Texas Democrats and the judiciary; Joe Lieberman coming more in sadness than in anger (ok: we saw a little anger); Paul Krugman as Cassandra; Hillary Clinton making a key, "secret" political trip; Pat Fitzgerald putting Chicago wrongdoers in the can; Joe Biden's brain-mouth coordination being called into question; John McCain's temperament being called into question; terror tapes, terror plots, terror anniversaries; Dan Bartlett explaining the White House's media strategy to the New York Times; Bill Clinton and Colin Powell in Aspen; no one knowing what the Chinese or North Koreans are thinking, or what they will do; Robert Pear writing on Medicare; and people still not knowing what Ron Fournier's new job is.

In other words, a business-as-usual Friday. Nothing new. Same old same old.

Here, on the other hand, are two new things:

1. President Bush holds a road-show press conference in the Windy City today. At the Museum of Science and Industry, the President is expected to make a 10:50 am ET opening statement (probably trumpeting the mixed jobs numbers released this morning -- see more below) before opening up to questions from a local and national press corps.

ABC News' Karen Travers reports, "The White House said that the press conference is part of an effort to listen to people in other parts of the country and put the President in new venues before the public."

"One White House official described this as a chance for the President to 'sink his teeth into the community' and an 'opportunity to cover many subjects in one area.' This official said that the President enjoys having time in one city or area where he can meet with people and 'dive into issues and see different venues.' The White House has been thinking of doing this for some time and will try to do more of these types of trips throughout the summer," adds Travers.

More Travers: "This is President Bush's 28th full press conference and only the second one held away from the White House." (The other away game was at the G8 summit at Sea Island GA on June 10, 2004.)

The AP's Jennifer Loven has more on the road show strategy with the goals of improving his own ratings and Republican candidates' chances in the upcoming midterm elections. LINK

2. The Note (finally) becomes a seven day/week franchise this weekend. Beginning tomorrow, The Weekend Note will keep you fully informed on all the political goings on and make sure you don't miss a beat. So get ready, Time and Newsweek publicists, Hamptons hostesses, boaters, tennis players, golfers, parents of small children, BlackBerry possessors, weekend assignment editors and anchors, and David Remnick: your worlds are about to change, forever. Or, at least, until the Internet goes out of business.

As for the non-North Korea political news that will dominate the day: ABC News' Dan Arnall reports, "The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that employers added 121,000 new workers to their payrolls during June. This was lower than the expected monthly jobs growth of 168,000."

"The nation's unemployment rate remains unchanged at 4.6% - a relatively low level by historic standards."

(Enough there to spin to your partisan hearts' desire.)

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