The Rundown, 8/13

Joe Biden returns! The vice president is back today from his vacation in South Carolina to rescue us from the August doldrums with (we hope) an infusion of off-the-cuff charm and good-natured affinity for news microphones...we hope he says something amusing or newsworthy--either one will do.

We'll also get an update on economic indicators as the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its total of unemployment insurance claims for the week and its import and export price indices for July. If the unemployment claims drop, it's good news for the White House, which is riding high on the recent drop in unemployment rate...see, we told you the economy is getting better, they will say. Viva la stimulus.

Hillary Clinton is still and Africa, and President Obama will hold meetings at the White health care town-halls for the president today.

But, speaking of health care, have we mentioned that Howard Dean has a book out on it? Washington, DC bookstore Politics and Prose will hold a book discussion on "Howard Dean's Prescription for Real Healthcare Reform" ($10.15 on Amazon), with the author and former DNC chairman.