W A S H I N G T O N, May 11, 2004
-- NOTED NOW
TODAY SCHEDULE (all times ET)
There are two kinds of people in America: those with a direct role to play in the prison abuse scandal and those without one.
Most Note readers are in the first group, but for the 61 of you who aren't, here's a handy guide to what we are all doing:
Gang of 500: Taking one glancing look at the new Gallup numbers and issuing a collective swoon, "THE PRISON ABUSE SCANDAL IS HURTING THE PRESIDENT'S POLL NUMBERS!!!! THE PRISON ABUSE SCANDAL IS HURTING THE PRESIDENT'S POLL NUMBERS!!!!"
Anchor bookers: Looking for the mother of all gets — the first (teary) interview with a pictured abuser, explaining the moment and pointing fingers upward.
The Kerry campaign: Trying to take maximum political advantage of the prison abuse scandal without appearing to try to take maximum political advantage of the prison abuse scandal.
White House officials: Resigning themselves to "this" — the incessant questions, the way it infects EVERYTHING, the distractions, the unexplored practical and psychological implications on the nation, the world, and the president's election-year schedule (including those foreign trips).
Investigative reporters: E-mailing DOD sources, looking to bust something open.
Congressional staffers: Wondering when their bosses will realize that being portrayed in the media as demanding to see photos that involve sexual acts is, well, sort of odd.
Pentagon officials: Saying the right things (mostly) on the record; leaking like a sieve off the record and on background.
Bush campaign staffers: Hoping for a return to issues under the president's control.
Fox News Channel executives: Dialing back the use of the abuse photos and attempting to put them in context.
White House speechwriters: Doing a lot of research.
Rush Limbaugh: Continuing to throw whatever he can up against the wall and waiting to see what sticks like a brand new Wacky Wall Crawler.
Broadcast network executives: Wondering how much more of these events should be taken live to the full network.
Tad Devine, Mike Donilon, Mark McKinnon, Russ Schriefer, and Stuart Stevens: Reminding themselves of the old adperson's adage: "All human beings were born to do three things: eat, breathe, and critically judge advertising."
Focus group mediators of all stripes: Trying to decide whether to show the photos to the groups, or just talk about them, and asking about opportunity, responsibility, and community.
Donald Rumsfeld: Secretly considering resigning, or having no plans to resign whatsoever.
The Iraqi people: Letting their hearts and minds wander every which way.
The late night comics: Having a field day.
The book publishers: Scheming at Michael's and the Four Seasons about when to pull the trigger (and with whom).
Today, Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen Cambone and others testify before a two-part Senate Armed Services Committee hearing about the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison.
President Bush begins a three-day focus on education, traveling to Van Buren, Ark., to speak about the No Child Left Behind Act.
Sen. Kerry continues his focus on health care, touring a family health center and speaking in Louisville before attending a fundraising luncheon there. Later Kerry participates in a campaign rally in Jacksonville, Fla., before flying to Orlando.
(Before you say that Kerry is not breaking through with his health care message because of the prison abuse scandal, check out the local TV and print coverage.)
Vice President Cheney undergoes a routine check-up to examine his pacemaker. Officials say the Vice President will be back to work by midday.
The Senate resumes debate of the corporate tax bill.
West Virginia voters head to the polls today for their gubernatorial primary. West Virginia's Democratic Gov. Bob Wise decided to not run for another term last fall after being caught up in a sex scandal with a state employee, and so it would seem about half of the state decided to apply for his job, including the ex-husband of the woman with whom Wise had the affair. The AP previews the race. LINK
On the Republican side, fmr. tax commissioner Rob Capehart, South Charleston Mayor Richard Robb, and two businessmen, Dan Moore and Monty Warner, lead a pack of nine candidates. On the Democratic side, Sec. of State Joe Manchin and former state Sen. Lloyd Jackson lead a field of eight candidates.
The polls are open from 6:30 am to 7:30 p.m. ET.
"The Best Secretary of Defense":George F. Will, who has long argued for a more conservative (minus the neo) policy in Iraq, subtly and sadly tenders the facts and precedents for Secretary Rumsfeld's resignation.
This is an important piece that will be widely read in Corridors of Power.
"Testifying to Congress last week, he seemed saturated with a sadness that bespeaks his deep decency and his horror at the vast injury done to the nation by elements of the department he administers. He knows that he failed the president. And he knows that his extraordinary record of government service — few public careers, including presidential ones, can match Rumsfeld's — has been tarnished." LINK
"One question is: Are the nation's efforts in the deepening global war — the world is more menacing than it was a year ago — helped or hindered by Rumsfeld's continuation as the appointed American most conspicuously identified with the conduct of the war? This is not a simple call. But being experienced, he will know how to make the call. Being honorable, he will so do."
"He knows his Macbeth and will recognize the framing of the second question: Were he to resign, would discerning people say that nothing in his public life became him like the leaving of it?"
The New York Times' Stevenson and Hulse tag team on the president's seemingly strong support for his Defense Secretary. To all of you seeking the political prism through which to view this, go no further than these four must-read graphs: LINK
"Advisers to the White House said Mr. Bush had never seriously considered firing Mr. Rumsfeld. They said that once it was clear Mr. Bush wanted Mr. Rumsfeld to stay, it became important to show the world that he meant it, and that the event at the Pentagon had been put together with that goal in mind."
"But one adviser said White House officials were well aware that Mr. Rumsfeld's job could still be on the line, especially if there are further revelations of abuse, and that Mr. Bush's embrace of him was a calculated risk."
"'The question now is whether the drip, drip, drip will kill Rumsfeld,' the adviser said. 'That's a difficult problem.'"
More Stevenson/Hulse: "Republicans in Congress will intensify their effort to help the White House in coming days by suggesting that Democrats are politicizing the issue, the adviser said. House Republicans in particular have already sought to equate criticism from Democrats with a lack of support for fighting terrorism."
The Wall Street Journal 's Robbins and Hitt only will go so far to write that Rumsfeld's job is safe "for now."
"Still, there are signs of ferment behind those forceful words. Some White House advisers are angry that Mr. Rumsfeld didn't do more to deflect the prisoner-abuse problem or prepare the president for the storm."
The duo goes on to read tea leaves from the likes of Will and Novak and then size up replacement candidates for the Pentagon's top job — undermining all their work by fantasizing that George W. Bush would make John McCain his SecDef!!!!!
The Washington Post has good detail about the debate over how to release the new photographs.
"A White House official said some of Bush's aides have argued that the photos are certain to become public, and that it would be better to 'put it out now on our terms than wait for it to come out later.' These aides fear that holding back the photos could prolong saturation news coverage of the scandal, which is preventing the White House and Bush's reelection campaign from drawing attention to other issues." LINK
"Pentagon officials have fought to continue withholding the photos, pointing to the ongoing criminal investigations, and the possibility of lawsuits based on privacy issues."
"White House communications director Dan Bartlett said Bush wants the Pentagon to 'use its best judgment' about the release of the photos, based on criminal, legal and congressional issues. 'The president fully supports those considerations,' Bartlett said."
The Des Moines Register's David Yepsen cautions about making political conclusions from the "hurricane" of abuse allegations, preferring to wait until the storm has passed. Still, he says, it's a huge problem for President Bush. "Let's remember, too, that this election is really about how just a few undecided voters in key states will react, not the true believers on each side. Throwing Rumsfeld overboard isn't going to quiet this controversy and could make it worse if it makes Bush look shaky to these undecideds." LINK
Note to David: this election is also about turning out true believers, we would humbly submit.
Morning show wrap:Sen. John McCain said on NBC's "Today Show" that he wanted to see any and all photos released. "This is not out of curiosity. We need to get this issue completely ventilated," he said. "We need to assure the American people this won't happen again."
And although McCain defended Rumsfeld, calling him "an honest man" and saying that firing him would be "premature," McCain said he was "not pleased" with the Defense Secretary's testimony last week and suggested he needed to be "very forthcoming."
McCain told ABC News' Linda Douglass that he wants to know "what role did any Pentagon officials play" in the abuse of Iraqi prisoners. McCain called into "Imus" and said the lesson of Washington is to "get all the information out" so that the U.S. can "find out who is accountable, hold them responsible and move on." McCain added: "I don't think it would be unreasonable to call Secretary Rumsfeld back as many times as necessary."
On "Good Morning America," ABC News' George Stephanopoulos reported that concerns over command influence may prevent the additional photos from being released. The unreleased photos, Stephanopoulos said, fall into three categories: (1) abuse, (2) pornography, (3) and "gothic" photos of U.S. prison guards posing with cadavers.
ABC News Vote 2004: Bush v. Kerry:USA Today's Jill Lawrence writes up the new USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll that finds President Bush with the lowest approval rating of his presidency, 46 percent. However, Bush's drop did not mean big number gains for Sen. John Kerry, who in a hypothetical matchup, fell 2 points since last week — from 49 percent to 47 percent — and remained neck-in-neck with the president who was at 48 percent. LINK
"'For an incumbent to be at 46% job approval at this point in an election year has historically always spelled defeat' for presidents since 1950, says Frank Newport, editor in chief of the Gallup Poll. But he says it's a small sample; only eight presidents have sought re-election, five successfully."
Link to Gallup Poll results: LINK
Tom DeFrank of New York City's second best tabloid looks at the CNN/USA Today/Gallup numbers and leads thusly: "President Bush's job approval rating has sagged to its lowest point, a clear sign that the furor over the abuse of Iraqi prisoners has taken a political toll on the commander-in-chief."LINK
On ABC's "Good Morning America," Stephanopoulos discussed Bush's 46 percent approval rating in the latest Gallup poll and noted that the "magic number" of incumbents is 50 percent and that when you drop below it, "you're in trouble."
The New York Times' Rick Lyman recently attended a Bush rally and a Kerry rally to see (to borrow the President's words) how the grassroots get fertilized. Lyman found some interesting similarities between these very Red and very Blue crowds. LINK
"Each side focuses on themes of war and prosperity, each praises American troops and each pledges allegiance to the flag. And each has an almost unshakable certainty that its cause is the nation's only hope, that its party is the party of optimism, so unlike the other side."
Very few Americans have seen both Bush and Kerry political rallies in person, so Lyman is performing public service here, but we just bet that some on the right will see pro-Kerry bias in the interstices of this piece.
The Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman has a must-read look at something that White House politicos are well aware of: war spending — some of it is battleground states — is helping create many, many jobs. LINK
Hannah Rosin finds a (gasp) gaggle of undecided Central Floridians who sat for a Democracy Corps focus group. LINK
Zen master Charlie Cook on the latest polls. LINK
Republican pollsters Ayres, McHenry and Associates looks at the Red State-Blue State divide in a new survey to be released this morning at the National Press Club. The Note offers a preview.
The poll, which surveyed 1,000 voters May 3-6 and has a margin of error of +/- 3 percent, shows cultural issues such as religion, guns, civil rights and gay marriage make a difference in the 17 battleground states, and the advantage on them belongs to President Bush.
--Two-thirds of swing state voters, added to three-fourths of Red state voters, say religion is "very important" in their lives, compared to half of those surveyed in Blue states.
--Swing state voters are more likely to join those in Red states in supporting the NRA
--Swing and Red state voters oppose civil unions and support a constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriage
There are also some interesting tidbits on Iraq:
--Overall, 36 percent of likely voters in swing states said they are satisfied with the direction the country is going, compared with 56 percent who said they are dissatisfied. The number ticks up to 42 percent satisfaction in Red states, and down to 31 percent in Blue states.
--The economy topped the list of concerns for voters, regardless of where they live, followed by the war in Iraq and the global war on terror.
--Nearly half of those surveyed overall said they are proud of what the U.S. has done in Iraq (but of course the prison scandal might be driving that down).
ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect:
As the president heads to Arkansas to talk education … LINK
… .Vice President Cheney arrived this morning at George Washington Medical Center for a "routine check" on his pacemaker. Spokesman Kevin Kellems said that the VP would undergo a physical exam, an electrocardiogram, an echocardiogram and a stress test and he planned to be back at work "by midday."LINK
Cheney hit the road on the campaign trail yesterday, making a quick visit to New Hampshire and Maine for a speech and a rally.
In New Hampshire, the Vice President delivered a 12-minute speech at a manufacturing plant, keeping his remarks focused on the economy and tax relief. LINK
With no mention of the ticket's Democratic opponent by name, the Boston Globe's Pat Healy Notes that "Republican officials said Cheney's remarks yesterday — which were brief, sweeping, and relatively gentle in tone — were intended to paint a positive outlook on the economy for a crucial swing state, not to attack Kerry in his own backyard." LINK
Mark Peters of the Portland Press Herald talked to people at the rally who "said that the message Cheney brought appeals to Maine voters." LINK
Cheney (a very busy man this week) will deliver an address Israel policy this Friday in south Palm Beach County, the Sun-Sentinel's Anthony Man reports. LINK
AP's Sharon Theimer looks at fundraising and Medicare drug card providers and reports that "a few weeks after the Bush administration named Medco to be one of the first Medicare drug card providers, a company executive helped throw a $100,000 fund-raiser for the president that was headlined by Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson. LINK
A funny thing happened on the way to the stakeout yesterday. EPA Administrator Leavitt ran from the Oval to the microphones to share the news. "The Bush administration announced new regulations on Monday that will significantly reduce emissions from tractors, bulldozers, locomotives, barges and other nonroad vehicles propelled by diesel fuel that altogether spew more soot than the nation's entire fleet of cars, trucks and buses," reports the New York Times' Janofsky. LINK
This is big, big, big, and even anti-Bush enviros are praising the administration's efforts — some hailing at as 43's signature environmental achievement.
ABC News Vote 2004: Sen. John Kerry:
The Washington Post 's Tom "Kamen Is My Hero" Edsall reports that Bloomberg/Sanchez/etc. adman Bill Knapp has officially upped with the Kerry campaign, added to the team of S-D-D. LINK
Vice President Gore spent little time in and around Jacksonville, the most Republican large city in Florida in 2000 and lost by 44,000 votes. Democrats have been urging the Kerry campaign to campaign there, arguing that a reservoir of votes — particularly from voters concerned with health care costs and educational quality — exist.
Sen. Kerry is in Kentucky and then Jacksonville today and Orlando tomorrow. LINK
Jodi Wilgoren of the New York Times almost makes you long for the days of the Invisible Primary when a candidate a day would announce his or her health care plan and the Gephardt campaign would explain why it was insufficient. Wilgoren writes up the Kerry plan and Notices the candidate's rhetorical shift toward the Gephardtian view that providing affordable health care is part of the overall economic plan and not separate from it. LINK
"Instead of talking about universal access and the estimated 43 million uninsured Americans, a rallying cry for liberals concerned about the poor, Mr. Kerry emphasized costs, a hot-button issue for both middle-class voters and businesses. He stood in front of a banner emblazoned with the slogan, 'Affordable health care means a stronger America.'"
Small business and the costs of health care coverage are Topic A today, too. Per a campaign aide, Kerry will elaborate on his plan to "give tax credits of up to 50 percent to help them provide coverage for their low- and moderate-income employees. This credit will cover up to 50 percent of the cost of employees' premiums," per paper provided by the campaign.
Jim VandeiHei has some wonky detail: "Under the Kerry approach, the federal government would pay for the most expensive health expenses, known as catastrophic costs. The plan would also provide tax credits and other benefits to businesses to provide lower-cost coverage to employees and would permit the reimportation of prescription drugs from Canada, among other things. The idea is to push prices down by easing pressure in several areas, from business to bureaucracy, simultaneously." LINK
Coverage-wise, the Philadelphia papers went with Mike Glover's AP write-thru.
The campaign will LOVE this paragraph — the second from the top in a story about Kerry's day in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
"Kerry and Teresa Heinz Kerry took communion and greeted parishioners at St. Scholastica Catholic Church. The couple have a home in nearby Fox Chapel, and they often worship at St. Scholastica when they're in town." LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: the battlegrounds:Wisconsin's gas prices hit a record high yesterday. LINK
Nationwide, ice cream prices are headed for record highs. LINK
Florida educational test scores continue to rise. LINK
"U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler's federal lawsuit over touch-screen voting machines is helping foster doubts about the upcoming election and is shaking people's faith in the new voting machines, attorneys for Florida elections officials told a judge Monday." LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: Bush v. Kerry: from the outsideThe conservative outside group Citizens United is going on the air Wednesday with a new ad touting the president's record on homeland security — with the key phrase that on Sept. 11 "George Bush became a leader, a war President." Note this is one of the only GOP-leaning outside groups on the air at this moment. The buy is small — over $100,000" on cable in battleground states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington, D.C.
The Washington Monthly's Nick Confessore tackles a question we've been chewing over — where did all that GOP soft money go? Some say that state parties are suddenly flush with cash … . Some say that GOP outside groups like Americans for Job Security or external adjuncts loosely associated with PhRMA are the beneficiaries. Others say that GOP donors have been told to donate directly to down-ballot candidates.
Confessore provides few answers but a great (partisan) look at the landscape. LINK
"According to an investigation by The Washington Monthly, just three of the pro-GOP groups--Americans for Job Security (AJS), the United Seniors Association (USA), and the American Taxpayer Alliance--spent close to $40 million during 2002."
He Notes that 501c3 groups don't have to disclose much until the first part of 2005.
Confessore asks why these groups aren't getting the same scrutiny as Democratic groups, although we do remember numerous articles and some television reports discussing, in particular, AJS and the USA's activities in 2002.
The Washington Post's Thomas Edsall observes that "strategists in the network of independent political organizations known as the "shadow Democratic Party" are shifting money and resources from television advertising to voter mobilization programs." LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: Nader's ballot challenges:
Per the AP: "Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader today sued to get on the Texas election ballot in November. Nader claims a petition signature requirement is unconstitutional. Nader said Texas was an important state because it is President Bush's home state. He said the lack of competition by the Democrats in Texas gives Bush a larger support level. LINK
"His Texas bid is probably more important for its symbolism than any practical political effect; Texas is President Bush's home state, and he should carry it easily. Still, the ballot setback was Nader's second in recent weeks and raised questions about the depth of his grass-roots support," writes the Los Angeles Times ' Nick Anderson. LINK
Politics:Mayor Michael Bloomberg stood with First Lady Laura Bush at a 9/11 tribute dedication yesterday which "gave the mayor a chance to burnish his own Republican credentials with the national party, which have at times been strained," reports the New York Times' Slackman. LINK
The New York Times writes up Newark Archbishop Myers' Fox News appearance: " … in his first public statements about the controversy, the archbishop nonetheless indicated that he was pleased that his comments had brought attention to the church's unwavering opposition to the "festering" issue of abortion." LINK
On the Hill:Sen. Daschle bemoaned Washington's intensely partisan culture in remarks at Kansas State University. LINK
The Washington Post's Charles Babington Notes that the "House's lean schedule is no accident. GOP leaders who set the agenda and floor schedule say they achieved most of their top priorities last year — including enactment of a Medicare prescription drug bill and the third round of President Bush's tax cuts — and are content to rest on their laurels through the election." LINK
The Hill reports the DSCC is getting ready to collect general election money for its yet to be named candidates in Florida and Georgia. LINK
New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly estimates the cost for convention security at $76 million, (roughly the same cost as a certain mayoral campaign) "$29 million more than Bloomberg administration officials had previously estimated," reports the New York Post's Edozien. LINK
The New York Times' edit board urges Michael Bloomberg to find another Manhattan location for a large protest rally during the convention if he is worried about divots in the Great Lawn. LINK
City officials in Boston announced yesterday that the I-93 closures are going to be much more disruptive than previously thought, the Boston Globe reports.LINK
The politics of same-sex marriage:In preparation for the commencement of legalized gay marriage in Massachusetts next week, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 103, a largish Boston area labor union, has rewritten its benefits plan to exclude gay married couples from receiving health and pension benefits, the Boston Globe reports. LINK
The Boston Globe reports also that in anticipation of the big day, several conservative groups have filed a suit in federal court arguing that the Massachusetts Supreme Court violated "the federal constitutional guarantee to the citizens of Massachusetts to a republican form of government." These groups are hoping the federal judge will issue and emergency order banning state officials from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. This is unlikely to happen as the federal courts historically let state courts interpret state law. LINK
The conservative Washington-based Declaration Alliance, led by Alan Keyes, started running $40,000 worth of ads on local Boston talk radio stations urging Gov. Mitt Romney to replace the four state Supreme Court justices who voted in favor of legalizing gay marriage, according to the Boston Globe. LINK
The AP reports that local officials in Cape Cod have voted to ignore Gov. Romney's orders and will allow out-of-town gay couples to marry in their town, and, yes, this could open the door to more legal battles. LINK
Ed O'Keefe's Kerry campaign report:EDINBORO, Pa., May 10 — Sen. John Kerry, fresh from a Mother's Day respite on the 90-acre Heinz estate outside Pittsburgh, hopped over to Erie, Pennsylvania, to kick off a four-day health care campaign swing.
But before the Senator departed the $3.9 million Heinz home, Kerry may have held his most significant event of the day: a field meeting with campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill and Jim Johnson, head of his vice presidential search team.
Campaign spokesperson Stephanie Cutter calmed the stirring tea leaves by Noting, "John Kerry meets with his chief of staff and head of vice presidential selection team fairly frequently. At the end of the day, John Kerry will pick the strongest running mate possible, and these meetings are an important part of that process."
Cahill and Johnson flew to Pittsburgh early on Monday, spending a few hours at the Heinz residence, and then hitching a ride back to the airport in the Senator's motorcade.
By 3:00 pm ET, the candidate held his only public event of the day, delivering 31 minutes on health care to students, nurses, and other health professionals at Edinboro University.
As Miles Lackey, formerly Sen. John Edwards' campaign chief of staff and now Kerry's deputy campaign manager for policy and speechwriting looked on, the often long-winded Senator spared many details, referring those interested in the minutia to the campaign website, and instead used numerous examples to personalize the U.S. health care system's shortcomings.
And the Senator, who rarely makes self-deprecating remarks, joked, "My wife begged me not to bore you with the details of the plan." But Kerry did omit the next line which in the prepared text read, "But since I have a reputation to uphold, I'm going to talk a little bit about (the details) today, too."
Thankfully, Kerry remembered that the 82-year-old woman whom he met during a town hall meeting in Council Bluffs, Iowa, was Marilyn — and not "Myrtle" — Walck, as the name read in the text.
Kerry used Walck's story of not being able to afford prescription drugs on Social Security repeatedly on the nomination campaign trail, eventually making the Hawkeye native a dedicated part of his "Real Deal" stump speech.
Sen. Kerry travels to Kentucky, Florida, and Arkansas, mixing health care events and fundraisers for the remainder of his campaign week.
On Friday, Kerry spends a day in Washington, where an ever-expanding staff will greet him. The Kerry camp's latest addition: Harkin press aide Allison Dobson, who temporarily departs the Senate for 15th Street and takes on the duties of a national spokesperson.
Any pressgal who can make the national press stop complaining about the mud at a steak fry is going to shine in presidential politics.
TODAY'S SCHEDULE (all times ET):
—8:00 am: Laura Bush delivers remarks at the annual Governor's Prayer Breakfast at the Convention Center, Albany, N.Y.—9:30 am: Sen. Joe Lieberman and president of the Electronic Industries Alliance Rep. Dave McCurdy deliver remarks at a forum for the New America Foundation and the Electronic Industries Alliance at the New America Foundation, Washington, D.C.—9:30 am: Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba testifies before a two-part hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee about the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison—9:45 am: Sen. John Kerry tours a family health center, Louisville, Ky.—9:45 am: The Senate meets for morning business—10:00 am: Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Judd Gregg hold a news conference to discuss health care costs and the uninsured at the Capitol—10:00 am: Secretary of State Colin Powell meets with El Salvador Foreign Minister Maria Eugenia Brizuela at the State Department—10:00 am: Maj. Gen. Martin Dempsey, 1st Armored Division Commander, briefs reporters via teleconference from Baghdad, the Pentagon—10:45 am: Sen. Kerry speaks about healthcare at Louisville Stoneware, Louisville, Ky.—10:45 am: Sen. John Edwards and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Barack Obama hold a roundtable discussion with union workers at the UAW local 2488, Bloomington, Ill.—11:00 am: Secretary Powell meets with German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer at the State Department—11:30 am: Sen. Bob Dole, the honorable Anthony Principi, Rep. Sam Johnson, U.S. Air Force (Ret.) and other lawmakers who are veterans announce the Bush-Cheney '04 National Veterans Team at A La Carte Pavilion, Tampa, Fla. —11:55 am: House Majority Leader Rep. Tom DeLay holds a pen and pad briefing at the Capitol—12:00 pm: The Senate is expected to invoke cloture on the corporate tax cut bill—12:30 pm: The Democratic Policy Committee holds a closed meeting at the Capitol—12:30 pm: The Republican Policy Committee holds a closed meeting at the Capitol—12:30 pm: The House of Representatives meets for morning business—12:45 pm: President Bush makes remarks on the No Child Left Behind Act at Butterfield Trail Junior High School, Van Buren, Ark.—1:00 pm: Politics Live on ABC News Live and AOL—1:00 pm: Sen. Kerry attends a fundraising luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Louisville, Ky.—1:00 pm: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld holds a town hall meeting with Pentagon employees, Washington, D.C.—2:00 pm: Former Vice President Al Gore, Executive Director of MoveOn.org Peter Schurman, and Harvard climate scientist Dan Schrag host a conference call to discuss global warming and the film "The Day After Tomorrow"—2:30 pm: Undersecretary of Defense Stephen Cambone and others testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee's hearing on the abuse of Iraqi prisoners—2:30 pm: The Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee holds a hearing with MPAA Chairman Jack Valenti on smoking in the movies—3:45 pm: Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, Attorney General John Ashcroft, European Commissioner of Justice and Home Affairs Antonio Vitorino and ministers from Group of 8 countries speak about hold a news conference to speak about anti-terrorism measures at the Decatur House, Washington, D.C. —4:30 pm: President Bush returns to the White House—4:30 pm: Retired Gen. Wesley Clark and former Georgia Sen. Max Cleland hold a press conference to talk about John Kerry's military record, Birmingham, Ala.—4:30 pm: Secretary Powell meets with Mauritius Prime Minister Paul Berenger at the State Department—5:30 pm: The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee celebrates its 90th anniversary with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at Gracie Mansion, New York, N.Y.—6:10 pm: Sen. Kerry attends a campaign rally at Jacksonville Landing, Jacksonville, Fla.—6:30 pm: Lynne Cheney delivers the 33rd annual Lincoln Day Dinner address at the Northwest Arkansas Convention Center, Springdale, Ark.—8:00 pm: Former President Bill Clinton, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, AFL-CIO President J. Sweeney, MoveOn.org Voter Fund President Wes Boyd, and others speak at a fundraiser to increase minority voter registration and voter mobilization at the Apollo Theater, Harlem, N.Y.—8:00 pm: Gen. Clark and Sen. Cleland speak at the Alabama Democratic Party's "A Salute to Service" annual spring dinner, Birmingham, Ala.