The Note: Decisions to Be Made

Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) attends a closed press fundraiser for the Michigan House Republican Fund in Novi, MI at 6:00 pm ET.

At 10:00 am ET, Gov. Pataki is expected to make a "major environmental announcement" with Donald Trump in Jefferson Valley, NY.

In some international 2008 travel news, Sens. John McCain and John Edwards (D-NC) are each expected to address the German Marshall Fund's "Brussels Forum." The topic for the forum is "Transatlantic Challenges in a Global Era." McCain is expected to speak on Friday April 28 and Edwards is slated to deliver his remarks on Sunday April 30. LINK

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) holds a 5:30 pm ET press conference in Sacramento, CA. Senate candidate Tom Kean Jr. (R-NJ) visits with small business owners to discuss the effects of Gov. Corzine's proposed tax increases at 11:00 am ET in Bloomfield, NJ.

Senate candidates Bob Casey, Jr., Alan Sandals, and Chuck Pennacchio square off in a Democratic primary debate at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA at 7:00 pm ET. LINK

Bolten's free hand:

The Washington Post's Diamond Jim VandeHei reports that even as he suggested that additional "high-level staff changes are coming, a defiant Bush said he will not be bullied into firing trusted advisers such as Rumsfeld." LINK

"White House officials, who guard internal discussions over staff changes like state secrets, said the next round of resignations and appointments could come as early as next week. Among those said to be contemplating leaving, Republican officials believe, are Treasury Secretary John W. Snow, White House spokesman Scott McClellan and several mid-level officials."

VandeHei has Ari Fleischer saying that staff changes are by and large "a Washington game" while adding that "you have to play that game if you are going to win."

The New York Times' Jim Rutenberg and Edmund Andrews folo CNN's reporting yesterday that Fox's Tony Snow may be in the mix to replace Scott McClellan, saying that two sources confirm Snow has spoken with White House officials about the job. LINK

The Washington Times Notes Jim Towey's photographic evidence that his departure from the Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives is not part of a White House "shake-up." Says Towey: "The reality is, this has been in the works for months." LINK

Rumsfeld rumblings:

Per the New York Daily News' Thomas DeFrank, in "moments of quiet candor, Bush has vented to confidants that much of the advice he got from Rumsfeld about how Iraq would play out after the 2003 invasion was wrong." LINK

Adds DeFrank: "Presidential friends say that if after a decent interval Rumsfeld expressed a willingness to retire to his New Mexico ranch and Eastern Shore estate, Bush would smother him in heartfelt accolades, award him another Presidential Medal of Freedom and breathe a titanic sigh of relief."

"The first question at yesterday's Pentagon briefing, of course, was about the torrent of criticism from retired generals," reports ABC's Jonathan Karl.

"Rumsfeld's answer was 1,174 words long, but included only one glancing reference to Iraq. Essentially, Rumsfeld chalked up the criticism to his efforts to transform the military from a 20th century force into a 21st century force," adds Karl. (The New York Times' Maureen Dowd writes that Rumsfeld "flailed and floundered" in his response. LINK)

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