The Note: Oh, Somewhere in This Favored Land the Sun Is Shining Bright

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams attends the Friends of Sinn Fein St. Patrick's Day Breakfast at 8:00 am ET. The sisters and fiancée of Robert McCartney also attend.

McCartney's family also attends the National Press Club event on Northern Ireland where Adams delivers remarks at 3:00 pm ET, and they all meet with the Ad Hoc Committee on Irish Affairs on Capitol Hill at 5:30 pm ET.

More on Adams' schedule -- which pointedly doesn't include meetings with President Bush or Sen. Kennedy. LINK

More on the sisters and fiancée of Robert McCartney: LINK

Social Security: the President speaks:

Having talked up a blue streak about his chief domestic priority, the President certainly left a lot of possible interpretations of his possible meanings.

The New York Times leads its Bush presser coverage with Tom DeLay, natch, but Notes that the President "said more explicitly than in the past that his plan to create individual investment accounts would not solve the long-term problems of Social Security, but that the accounts were worthwhile nonetheless." LINK

Which is exactly the opposite of what many conservatives have been urging him to say.

The Wall Street Journal's Jackie Calmes Noticed that Bush spoke highly of "progressive indexing" (presumably of the Bennett flavor) yesterday.

And she obtained this: "A White House official suggested it could 'jump-start' the Social Security debate when 'everyone is trying to write the obituary.'"

The Washington Post put foreign policy up top, Noting in the eighth paragraph that "Bush spent most of the time promoting his plan to restructure the 70-year-old Social Security program." It was the first time, Jim VandeHei writes, that talked about progressive indexing, and didn't demand that the final deal include personal accounts. LINK

(He also seemed to be in no hurry to get all this done . . . )

The Los Angeles Times' Peter Wallsten said Bush radiated confidence and serenity, and writes that on Social Security, the President "offered his familiar defense, waving off surveys showing that public support has slipped for his plan to let younger workers invest a portion of their payroll taxes in individual investment accounts." LINK

USA Today's Judy Keen focused on the President's confidence in the face of polls showing a lukewarm response to and questions about the efficacy of his plan, Noting that he acknowledged the personal accounts idea doesn't fix the solvency issue. LINK

The Chicago Tribune's Mark Silva and Jill Zuckman lead with President Bush urging members of Congress to convince their constituents to support the overhaul. LINK

Writes David Wessel in the Wall Street Journal: "If bickering between Democrats and Republicans blocks a Social Security compromise this year, will it be another 10 years before any politician tries again? That would be an unwelcome result. There are good reasons to act now."

Social Security: the politics:

USA Today's Andrea Stone -- in a must-read that Democrats will love and Republicans will surely try to walk back -- reports that the House Republican leadership is urging members to keep their Social Security "town hall" events over the recess lower key to avoid the protests they encountered during the last break. LINK

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