The latest from the Political Grapevine:
No Disagreement, Says Lee
As you heard earlier, 9/11 commission co-chairman Lee Hamilton, a Democrat, said today there is no disagreement between the commission and the administration over links between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. But most news organizations last night said the commission's conclusion that there was no -- "collaborative relationship" between the two ... was evidence the administration deliberately misled the public.
CBS Evening News said the commission -- "directly contradicted one of President Bush's justifications for going to war against Iraq." ABC said the report -- "unequivocally" disputed the Bush administration's claims of an Al-Qaeda-Iraq link. And NBC reported that -- "the Commission is sharply at odds with what leading members of the administration continue to claim."
A front-page headline in today's New York Times reads -- "Panel finds no Qaeda-Iraq Tie," and the Washington Post says -- "Al Qaeda-Hussein Link is Dismissed." But commission members said today there were links, just not a working relationship and no evidence of any Iraqi involvement in September 11.
Bounce for Bush
A new poll taken over a 10-day period, including the weeklong events surrounding the death of President Ronald Reagan, suggests that the national focus on the former president resulted in a boost for President Bush in the polls.
Pew Research Center Director Andrew Kohut says the survey shows President Bush's approval rating was 44 percent in interviews taken before President Reagan's death.... but rose to 50 percent in polling conducted during the following days.
The new poll also had some encouraging news on Iraq. After several appearances by leaders of the new Iraqi government, 57 percent of Americans now say that the situation in Iraq is going very or fairly well, up from 46 percent last month.
First Lady Laura Bush has announced that Denver will adopt Baghdad as a sister city. The Denver Post, however, reports that while city officials expressed interest in the program, the White House never confirmed the deal with Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper.
Lorraine Anderson, the chairwoman of the Denver Regional Council of Governments, says -- "I don't know how I can answer for the White House jumping the gun." The White House denies that there was a mix-up, saying Anderson sent them an e-mail confirming that Denver would be happy to be a part of the program.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report
With more than 35 years of journalism experience to draw from, Brit Hume currently serves as a senior political analyst for FOX News Channel (FNC) and contributes to all major political coverage. Hume also is regular panelist on FOX's weekly public affairs program, "FOX News Sunday" on Sundays at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET. Click here for more information on Brit Hume.