The Note: Follow The Money

WASHINGTON, March 9 --

NEWS SUMMARY

The highlight of the political day on Tuesday occurred at around 12:07 pm ET, when Rush Limbaugh suggested that Bill Clinton had released details about his Thursday surgery right after President Bush's historic speech about peace and democracy in order to have the former step on the latter.

This analysis gives rise to two thoughts:

1. Right-leaning talk radio hosts owe Bill Clinton a LOT of money.

2. At some point some very smart subset of the Gang of 500 is going to have to figure out if the 41/42 buddyfest is, in the end, going to do more to help 43's legislative agenda or Sen. Clinton's presidential aspirations.

(Check out how big the cable coverage is of the 41/42 10:30ish pre-golf presser today.)

So with 42's heart news canceling out 43's speech (that's a cosmic media calculation we found scrawled in monkey handwriting on the back of an envelope when we walked in today), let's move to Wednesday's agenda:

There's Republican attempts to fit the 10,000-pound square sack of budgetary flour into the round hole of the President's budget wishes on Capitol Hill; there's the need to see if Los Angeles Mayor Hahn will make it into a run-off rematch with Antonio Villaraigosa (We should know for sure within the next few hours . . .); there's the Democrats growing realization that the President's agenda (minus -- so far -- Social Security) is moving fast; and a day of seminal Social Security events.

President Bush meets the President of Romania at 10:55 am ET, choppers to Columbus, OH, where he tours the Battelle Memorial Institute at 1:20 pm ET, motorcades to the Franklin County Veterans Memorial, where he is slated to speak on the need for energy policy legislation at 1:50 pm ET.

At 10:40 am ET, First Lady Laura Bush delivers remarks on the "Helping America's Youth" initiative in Atlanta

At 10:30 am ET, the House Ways and Committee holds its first formal hearing on Social Security reform, hearing from two Social Security trustees and the GAO's David Walker.

The Senate continues to consider the soon-to-be-passed bankruptcy restructuring bill. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice appears before the House Appropriations subcommittee at 2:30 pm ET.

Sen. Hillary Clinton keynotes a speech on media and kids at mid-morning at Kaiser Family Foundation health care conference in Washington. At 3:00 pm ET, Sens. Clinton, Brownback, Santorum, and Lieberman will reintroduce the Children and Media Research Advancement Act (CAMRA), a bill that would "authorize funding for research into the effects of all forms of media on children's (toddlers through adolescents) cognitive, social, emotional, physical and behavioral development," according to a news release.

Sen. John Kerry holds a press conference at noon today in the Senate, where an aide says he'll unveil supporters of his KidsFirst Health Care legislation.

Kyoto protocaller and former Vice President Al Gore speaks today at an environmental conference in Knoxville, TN. We hear he will use his nifty Power Point presentation.

Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush play golf with Greg Norman and raise $$$ for tsunami relief in the process in Hope Sound, FL.

President Clinton:

The Palm Beach Post article on the Bush/Clinton/Norman extravaganza is perfunctory . . . it's not as if the region doesn't get it share of presidents, candidates and motorcades. LINK

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