For the president's traveling press corps, the story Monday was supposed to be the complex U.S.-Russia relations with the visit of President Vladimir Putin to the Bush family compound.
But a news jolt snapped me back to the Libby case.
When the president learned that a court refused to let former
Cheney advisor, Lewis "Scooter" Libby remain free during his appeal, Mr. Bush was with Putin.
I was among the reporters on the lawn waiting to hear from the two presidents.
President Bush knew he had a huge headline coming but did not show his hand.
He took Air Force One back to the White House before word got out. His senior staff was with him.
Most reporters were still working on stories back in the carriage house of a quaint hotel that served as the Kennebunkport offices for media.
When I found out about the commutation, I raced to the folding tables that were occupied by young White House staffers. They knew why I was frantic.
One young aide said "It's coming out of the printer!"
As we waited with that slow-motion feeling, the machine kicked out the crucial two page statement. A rented copy machine churned out more for huddled reporters.
I grabbed the pages and started to run out a service-area back door, up a hill to the hotel's lovely putting green where we were set up to do live reports. A flurry of e-mails to sources filled out the picture of the president's decision, at least some of it.
So with sea air and the beautiful Maine coast as the unlikely setting, the Libby story swept away nearly all the Putin news.