Illinois Republican Mark Kirk has scheduled a press conference in suburban Chicago on Tuesday where he'll "discuss the U.S. Senate race,” according to his campaign, which sent out two releases for the event.

It's only his second meeting with reporters since a scandal erupted at the end of May over discrepancies in accounts of his military service. In fact, Kirk had literally been running from the press: He left a speech to the Metropolitan Planning Council in Chicago via the kitchen last week. Some observers dubbed it his "Peter Cottontail moment."

Kirk’s dodging also gave his Democratic rival, Alexi Giannoulias, ammunition. The Democrat's campaign released a Web video (see below) last week making light of Kirk's lack of availability.

There will be a lot riding on this performance — Kirk has seen his poll numbers start to dip since the story began dominating the news.