Text & Subtext
"President Bush departed the White House for Camp David at 8:15 am ET. At 9:30 am and again at 2:00 pm ET, he meets with top military and civilian advisers to discuss military strategy in Iraq. On Tuesday, the sessions conclude with a joint meeting via videoconference with Bush's Cabinet and top ministers in al-Maliki's new government."By helping them succeed, we succeed, we get out," is how one senior Bush Administration official described the importance of this week's Camp David meetings, reports ABC News' Geoff Morrell. This carnival of substance will dominate cable and broadcast life today.While we wait for the white tufts of smoke, please join us in mastering the following great works of American political journalism... 1. In a Sunday must-read, the Los Angeles Times' Ron Brownstein wrote that this year's low turnout, the results in CA-50, and a recent Stan Greenberg poll which warned that Democrats are at risk of underperforming in November if the party does not provide a more compelling alternative send a clear message: "Discontent with Republicans in Washington is widespread, but it isn't yet translating into consistent support for Democrats." 2. In another Sunday must-read, the Washington Post's David Broder had Bernadete Budee, the "longtime political brains" of the Business Industry Political Action Committee, saying, independents and ticket-splitters will be "the key" in November and that the things that have "complicated" the President's agenda —Iraq, Katrina — will "inevitably" be an issue for Republicans in the midterms. 3. Twenty years after Democrats convened at West Virginia's posh Greenbrier Resort to recuperate after Reagan's landslide reelection, Dan Balz of the Washington Post reports that the party is in the same position today: still looking for a "unified product," a "frame," a "brand."