Good morning from WWR...the President takes his healthcare pitch on the road today, this time to the key swing state of Missouri. The trip is also combined with two fundraisers for Sen. Claire McCaskill. McCaskill isn't up for re-election until 2012, but her thin 2006 victory over then-incumbent Jim Talent - with just 49.6% of the vote - has Democrats more than nervous.
Before leaving for the Show Me State, Obama has his usual intelligence and economic briefings in the Oval Office. He'll also meet Haitian President Preval; their first visit since that devastating earthquake leveled much of the Caribbean nation. In attendance will be Members of Congress; representatives of non-governmental organizations and foundations involved in the relief effort; Haitian-American community leaders; U.S. government personnel who served in Haiti in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, including from the USNS Comfort, International Medical Surgical Response, and Disaster Assistance Response Teams; and members of Urban Search and Rescue teams from Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Fairfax, and Virginia Beach.
9:45AM THE PRESIDENT receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
10:15AM THE PRESIDENT receives the Economic Daily Briefin
10:45AM THE PRESIDENT meets with senior advisors
11:20AM THE PRESIDENT meets with PresidentPréval of Haiti
11:55AM THE PRESIDENT and President Prévalmake statements to the press
3:50PM THE PRESIDENT delivers remarks on health insurance reform
St. Charles High School
7:00PM THE PRESIDENT delivers remarks at fundraising dinner for Senator McCaskill, Renaissance Grand Hotel
7:25PM THE PRESIDENT delivers remarks at grassroots fundraising reception for Senator McCaskill, Renaissance Grand Hotel
...the President then returns to the White House.
Vice-President Biden, meantime, continues his 5-day Mideast swing. Here's the pool report:
He began the day meeting with Quartet representative Tony Blair at his hotel. He said good morning to the press but would not answer any questions. He then visited staff at the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem. He then took the long, round-about, bypass road to Ramallah, traditionally taken by U.S. officials and met with Prime Minister Salam Fayyad at his office. Fayyad was asked about Israel’s housing announcement in east Jerusalem yesterday. “It's damaging for sure,” Fayyad said. “This is a moment of great challenge to the effort led by the United States to get the political process going again. We definitely appreciate the strong statement of condemnation by the administration vis-a-vis this action which definitely undermines confidence in the prospects of the political process.’’ Biden made no comment except to acknowledge that he had climbed four flights of stairs to get to the meeting room.
Latest Presidential Approval Polls
Gallup: 49% approve, 43% don't (month ago: 51%-41%)
Rasmussen: 44% approve, 54% don't (month ago: 48%-51%)
Latest Health Care Approval Polls
RealClearPolitics.com average: 40.3% approve of Obama & Democratic plan, 50.3% don't
On This Day
1864...President Lincoln signed Ulysses S. Grant's commission to command the U.S. Army. Grant, a Major General, was promoted to lieutenant general, and given the task of leading all Union troops against the Confederate Army. The rank of lieutenant general had not officially been used since 1798; at that time, President John Adams assigned the post to former President George Washington, in anticipation of a possible French invasion of the United States. Grant, of course, went on to became the 17th President of the United States himself in 1869.
"Popularity, I have always thought, may aptly be compared to a coquette—the more you woo her, the more apt is she to elude your embrace." - John Tyler