Q -- expecting the benediction in Shanksville? Did you know that was going to happen?Excuse me? You don't know the president's schedule? I find that hard to swallow or is Tony lying?
MR. SNOW: You know what, I did not study the schedule.
I have a better question: Is it good for the President to be "wordless" until the specification to come this evening?
Q Can you give us any hints of what's to come in the speech tonight, and whether or not the President will say anything at the Pentagon, or will we have sort of a wordless day from the President until the speech?Is anything that a politician to say going to be apolitical? I think, quite the contrary. If it was not to be a political event, then why give a speech in the first place? Wordless may have been the way to go altogether if they were honest to their espoused motive of remaining apolitical today.
MR. SNOW: You will have, effectively, to use your phrase, a wordless day until the speech. A wreath-laying -- the President will be meeting with the Defense Secretary and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. There will be some family members also and he will meet with them at the Pentagon. But there will be no formal remarks until the Oval Office tonight.
As I said before, really it's a reflective speech, what we have learned since September 11th, where we're going. But it is, as I've been at some pains to say in the last few days, it's not a political speech, it's not trying to draw political distinctions or issue calls to action. I think this is a time to try to talk in a way that unifies the American people.
Let's see. If it wasn't political, then why the planned "spontaneous" changes in schedule?
Q Can you talk about the unscripted stop, the unscheduled stop last night to the firehouse and the memorial site? When was it planned, and just tell us a little about the specifics behind that?Oh, "zest;" it's just what we need from the Whitehouse today.
MR. SNOW: Honestly, I don't know. I mean, I knew it had been in the works. This is a site that formally opened today and had just been previewed yesterday morning by some of the family members. This had been organized in part by family members of September 11th.
Q Why was it not on the schedule? Why was it a surprise?
MR. SNOW: Because we wanted to add some spice and zest to your life.