The Note: The Turtle Is Back on the Fence Post

WASHINGTON, Apr. 21

Covering the news and becoming part of the story (in a very post-modern sort of way), Jim Rutenberg and Elisabeth Bumiller of the New York Times report/allege that Josh Bolten is considering moving Harriet Miers out of her White House counsel job. LINK

Nut graph: "It was not clear whether Mr. Bolten was floating a trial balloon to gauge White House reaction to the idea, or whether he might have been intending to send a signal to Ms. Miers that he would like her to think about leaving on her own."

ABC's Jessica Yellin reports, "In the senior staff meeting this morning we're told Josh Bolten told staff that the Harriet Miers story is not true."

The biggest mistake political reporters make is to assume that everything that happens in the White House or a campaign is by design, rather than by chaos, accident, and Jack-Tripper-style misunderstanding.

Still ask yourself, as you consider the Era of Josh Bolten (smart, never has failed at anything, has as his deputy a guy who was both a Scalia clerk AND a Marine), if these things are happening by design or accident and, if the former, what the reasoning behind the veil is:

-- Today's Harriett Miers story.

-- The McClellan and Rove announcements being made on the same day.

-- The too-public Tony Snow deliberations.

-- The decisive Rummy-is-our-guy statement.

-- President Bush walking to Marine One with a copy of The Note tucked ostentatiously under his arm.

-- The balance between "we get it -- we are changing" and "when will the turmoil end?"

While his staff and the Gang of 500 mull all of this over, President Bush heads West today for the longest Golden State visit of his presidency thus far. Mr. Bush's first stop will be at Cisco Systems in San Jose, CA where he will participate in a panel on his "American Competitiveness Initiative" at 5:10 pm ET. At 6:50 pm ET he attends a closed meeting at the Hoover Institution in Stanford, CA with Hoover Fellows followed by a closed dinner.

Gov. Schwarzenegger (R-CA) is expected to be on hand with President Bush in San Jose. The San Jose Mercury News provides a nice primer on the meeting between the two "embattled Republicans" and Schwarzenegger's recent efforts to distance himself from and criticize the Bush Administration's assessment and response to California's waterlogged levees. LINK

Also nicely timed to the President's trip, USA Today's Barbara Hagenbaugh writes of the record-breaking California gas prices, Noting that California "became the first state in the continental USA to see average gasoline prices go above $3 a gallon in 2006." LINK

Tomorrow the President will discuss transportation technology and attend a RNC fundraising event in Indian Wells, CA. On Sunday he will attend church services and visit with Marine Corps and Navy families in Twentynine Palms, CA. President Bush will address his plan for comprehensive immigration reform on Monday in Irvine, CA before dropping in on a Las Vegas, NV fundraiser for Jon Porter's congressional campaign on his way back to Washington, DC.

Vice President Cheney hits the campaign trail today. He will first travel to Indianapolis, IN for a RNC fundraiser (with 100 attendees and expected to bring in $100,000) and then he is scheduled to head to Morgantown, WV to help raise some funds for Republican congressional candidate Chris Wakim, who is looking to unseat Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV). LINK and LINK

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