WASHINGTON, June 7
Questions we're pondering today:
1. After the tough headlines for President Bush in the sneak peek at the new ABC News/Washington Post poll this morning on "Good Morning America," what are the real surprises in store when the full survey's released later today?
--The poll shows 52 percent of Americans disapprove of the job President Bush is doing overall, reports ABC News' Polling director Gary Langer -- the most in more than 75 ABC/Post polls since his presidency began. His approval rating is 48 percent.
--Bush's Iraq approval ratings haven't fared much better: 41 percent said they approve of the job the President is doing in Iraq, while 58 percent disapprove -- matching his career-high Iraq disapproval mark.
--Finally, 58 percent of Americans look at President Bush's second-term agenda and say he is not focused on the things that are important to them.
2. How much will the less-than-over-the-top support from President Bush for Prime Minister Tony Blair's aid for Africa plan affect not only their relationship, but the all-out lobbying effort for the aid package idea at next month's G-8 summit? LINK
3. What would it have been like to be a fly on the wall during the conversation between Karl Rove and Mark McKinnon before today's Dallas Morning News story that McKinnon has signed on to help Sen. John McCain in 2008? LINK
4. Did the Swift Boat Veterans who demanded Sen. Kerry sign the Form 180 get what they wanted, given that his military records are pretty much what was released during the campaign? Or does it just give them a little mileage out of the average-student thing? And will Kerry push back in "now show us yours" way?
5. How big a genius is Alan Ball, really? LINK (Rather monumental, we think.)
6. How many books will Ed Klein sell in his first week?
And will Sen. Clinton's comments yesterday help or hurt sales?
"[The person] described Republican leaders as messianic in their beliefs, willing to manipulate facts and even 'destroy' the Senate to gain political advantage, a reference to the recent fight that nearly stripped the Democratic minority of its filibuster powers to shelve judicial nominees. [This person] also took a shot at the House of Representatives, calling it 'a dictatorship of the Republican leadership.'" LINK
Referring to the Congressional leadership, [this person] said, "Some honestly believe they are motivated by the truth, they are motivated by a higher calling, they are motivated by, I guess, a direct line to the heavens."
You want more?
"It's very hard to stop people who have no shame about what they're doing. It is very hard to tell people that they are making decisions that will undermine our checks and balances and constitutional system of government who don't care. It is very hard to stop people who have never been acquainted with the truth."
Hope you got a good night's sleep, because there's a lot going on today.
President Bush digs deep into foreign policy today, welcoming British Prime Minister Tony Blair to the White House for a meeting that's quite high stakes for our friends across the pond. Bush and Blair meet in the Oval Office at 3:25 pm ET (stills at the top). At 4:45 pm ET, the duo hold a joint media availability in the East Room, and later meet for a working dinner. Blair returns to London after dinner.
On the Hill: