Tales from the Trail

First draft: Ghost town

OBAMA/It’s Friday morning. Do you know where your leaders are?

They’re certainly not in Washington. President Obama leaves Mexico City for Trinidad and Tobago, where he will participate in the Summit of the Americas.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in the Dominican Republic, on her way to the summit as well.

Vice President Joe Biden is in Missouri to discuss making college more affordable.

And Congress is still out of town.

But that doesn’t mean nothing’s cooking in our nation’s capital.

Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum and other Republican heavyweights address the Republican National Lawyers Association, starting at 8:45 a.m.

The First Draft: South of the Border

MEXICO/President Obama heads south to meet with Mexico President Felipe Calderon, to discuss drug-related violence, energy and trade. He leaves Andrews Air Force Base at around 10 a.m.

Before that, he announced plans to promote high-speed rail network.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is also headed south, visiting Haiti before meeting up with Obama in Trinidad and Tobago for the Summit of the Americas.

Yes, Congress is still out of town.

The Log Cabin Republicans, a group of gay GOPers, open their convention tonight with a dinner and drinks at a gay-friendly sports bar. Cindy and Meghan McCain host a reception for big-money sponsors tomorrow, but no current Republican officeholders are scheduled to address the group.

Inside the Tent: What the Log Cabin Republicans think of Palin

Jimmy LaSalvia, director of programs and policy for the Log Cabin Republicans, talks about what Sarah Palin’s presence on the Republican ticket will mean for gay rights and where she stands on issues like same-sex partnership benefits.

Palin’s stance on same-sex partnerships is not entirely clear. The New York Times reported this weekend:

Ms. Palin said she supported Alaska’s decision to amend its Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. But she used her first veto as governor to block a bill that would have prohibited the state from granting health benefits to same-sex partners of public employees. Ms. Palin said she vetoed the bill because it was unconstitutional, but raised the possibility of amending the state Constitution so the ban could pass muster.