To: Interested Parties
From: John King
Re: Monday Memo
President Obama and his family arrive at Cape Cod, Massachusetts, on Sunday en route to a vacation on Martha's Vineyard.
(CNN) "No Public Events," is the headline of the White House in the week ahead, as President Obama and the first family look to enjoy a summer break on Martha's Vineyard.
Presidential vacations, however, rarely are as peaceful and "news-free" as the commander in chief would like, so one thing to look for in the week ahead is how often we see Obama in a setting other than, say, the ice cream shop or enjoying the spectacular sunset off Menemsha.
And with the president and Congress on break, Washington should -- emphasis "should" -- have a week of relative calm.
Not that the health care debate won't continue to ripple here and in events members of Congress are holding back home.
Two other big things to watch:
"Serious and deteriorating," was the assessment Admiral Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, offered us Sunday in a sober conversation about Afghanistan. Watch Mullen's assessment of the situation in Afghanistan »
Dell, Burger King, Staples, Micros Systems and Tiffany & Co. are among the companies due to release earnings reports in the days ahead -- and Wall Street will be looking for signs that consumers feel more confident about spending.
Another closely watched report will be the Wednesday data on new home sales from the Commerce Department. And, on Friday, the University of Michigan releases its latest report on consumer confidence.
Two anniversaries as the week comes to a close: