President Obama will travel down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Newseum -- a museum of, well, news -- Wednesday morning to speak to Senate Democrats for about 10mins at their daylong "issues conference," then he'll throw it open to about 30mins of Q&A, according to a Dem leadership aide.
Ok, so it's not exactly the same thing that the President is going to take questions live from his former Senate colleagues, but still -- we don't usually see these things on cam, so it's fairly significant.
Members, according to the aide, will be selected randomly -- they raise their hand, Obama calls on them, ala- the townhalls he's been holding of late.
And while it won't be as raucus as last week's session with House Republicans in Baltimore, there are some prickly issues that could come up.
Democrats arent exactly together on a number of topics: whether or not to try alleged terrorists in civilian court; whether a jobs bill should be paid for with unused TARP funds; whether or not a debt commission should be created by executive order; what happens to healthcare reform. The list is surprisingly long, so we'll see what comes up.
As for members of the media (in a building emblazoned w/ the 1st amendment -- ahem), we'll be allowed in for the President's portion of the daylong event, but we'll be kicked out into the cold for the rest of the conference, which is expected to last until about 4:30pm. BUT -- this is nothing unusual (just a bit ironic); Ds and Rs, alike, hold these "retreats" annually, and the 4th estate is never allowed in.