WASHINGTON, July 14
President and Mrs. Bush arrived in Russia this morning after the President made some phone calls to Middle East leaders aboard Air Force One. All of your morning papers and cable nets have lots and lots of stuff on the President's diplomatic full plate for you, but since all this appears unlikely to have a measurable impact on November 2006, we quickly bring you to the must-read poll story of the day.
The AP's Donna Cassata writes up the latest AP/Ipsos poll which shows an 11 point advantage for Democrats (51 - 40 percent) in the generic ballot question. (However, please raise your hand if you really believe 24 percent of self-identified conservatives are planning to vote for the Democratic candidate in their congressional district in November.) LINK
And/but in the world where good press begets money which begets better press, this AP headline is one to bring smiles to Democratic faces across the country: "Most Americans Plan to Vote for Democrats"
Upon arrival in Russia, the President visited the Monument to the Heroic Defenders of Leningrad and participated in a roundtable discussion with "Civil Society" leaders. The First Couple concludes the day with a dinner with President and Mrs. Putin at the Kostantinovsky Palace Complex at 11:30 am ET. Would you like to know what it is like to travel with the President overseas? ABC News' Jessica Yellin brings you vivid color and sobering substance at "The World Newser" blog. LINK
Back here at home, Vice President Cheney headlines a reception for congressional candidate Ray Meier (R-NY) at the Hotel Utica in Utica, NY at 6:00 pm ET. State Senator Meier is contending for an open seat vacated by the retiring Rep. Sherwood Boehlert.
Former CIA operative Valerie Plame and her husband Joe Wilson hold a 10:00 am ET news conference on their civil lawsuit against Vice President Cheney, Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, and others. Here's a primer for today's press conference: LINK, LINK
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) joins the Iowa-bound parade of unofficial presidential hopefuls. He travels to Cedar Falls, where he attends a reception for Republican congressional candidate Mike Whalen. Whalen, who prevailed in the primary in large part due to his deeply conservative stance on illegal immigration, is competing for the open seat in Iowa's competitive first congressional district. The festivities, which will be held in a private home, begin at 6:30 pm ET with a closed press shindig for big donors, followed by a general reception at 7:00 pm ET.
Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) is expected to sign legislation at 9:30 am ET giving him the authority to oversee inspections of the "Big Dig" tunnel system.
Sen. George Allen (R-VA) hosts a noon ET fundraiser at the Richmond, VA Marriott.
Gov. Vilsack (D-IA) holds a 9:30 am ET press conference on the Iowa legislative special session in Des Moines, IA.
All parties must file remedial proposals, including briefs and proposed maps, in the Texas redistricting case that came down from the Supreme Court last month.
Happy 93rd birthday, President Ford! LINK