The Note: Decisions to Be Made

WASHINGTON, Apr. 19

In case you were wondering, here is the Gang of 500 CW (solid through 11 am ET on 4/19/2006): Portman is good with the Hill but not enough; McClellan, Snow, a prominent Cabinet member TBA, and (eventually) Rumsfeld are all goners; when Republicans return from the congressional recess, they are going to be freaked out; Rahm still doesn't have enough seats in play; Russert hit the Duke story out of the park on Imus; and it's all about facts on the ground.

Speaking of which: Having just returned from Iraq and Afghanistan, Govs. Bush (R-FL), Daniels (R-IN), Vilsack (D-IA), and Manchin (D-WV) met and breakfasted with President Bush this morning to brief him on their trip. Gov. Vilsack also intended on using his face time with the President to ask for federal assistance for the tornado affected regions of Eastern Iowa. The governors were expected to stand with the President in the Rose Garden for his post-meeting remarks on the GWOT at approximately 9:05 am ET.

President Bush travels to Tuskegee, AL today to tour the Tuskegee Center for Advanced Materials and deliver remarks at 12:55 pm ET on his competitiveness initiative for the second time in as many days.

Vice President Cheney attends and makes remarks at the 2005 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award ceremony at 3:00 pm ET in Washington, DC. From the NIST Web site: "The Baldrige Award is given by the President of the United States to businesses -- manufacturing and service, small and large -- and to education and health care organizations that apply and are judged to be outstanding in seven areas: leadership; strategic planning; customer and market focus; measurement, analysis, and knowledge management; human resource focus; process management; and results." LINK

(The White House announced this morning that President Bush has asked Vice President Cheney to travel to Lithuania, Kazakhstan, and Croatia at the beginning of May to "advance the President's Freedom Agenda.")

The grand jury investigating the CIA leak is scheduled to meet at 9:30 am ET. Secretary of State Rice delivers remarks on Iraq to the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations at 1:15 pm ET.

The World Congress holds its World Health Care Congress event in Washington, DC featuring a 2:30 pm ET conversation between Secretary John Snow and the Wall Street Journal's Gerald Seib on the impact of health care costs to the American economy.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) are expected to join the Campaign for America's Future on a news conference call with reporters at noon ET to launch a national campaign to extend the deadline to enroll in Medicare's prescription drug plan.

Leader of the immigrant rights movement hold a press briefing in Washington, DC at 1:30 pm ET. "The briefing will clarify several issues swirling among the media including the origin of the movement, organizations involved in the coordination of various events and next steps," according to the press release.

Dr./Sen./Leader Frist (R-TN) is in the Sunshine State today. Sen. Frist is scheduled to meet with Sen. Martinez about immigration reform in Orlando and then travel to Tampa later in the day.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) holds a town hall meeting at 10:30 am ET in Tempe, AZ. At 9:00 pm ET in Sun Lakes, AZ, Sen. McCain holds his second town hall meeting of the day. (The first is an official event on his Senate schedule, the second is a Straight Talk America PAC event.)

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