Walking in Privileged

WASHINGTON, Apr. 26

On the big whiteboard easel in Josh Bolten's office, there is a "to do" list.

(We know this because Tony Snow -- who, as a 41 Administration veteran and working journalist, believes in leaking, but only when it would further his own interests, embarrass the president, or make him look cool -- left Josh's offices the first time he saw the board and called The Note immediately to let us know.)

(Note to Tony: We kid because we love.  Congratulations.  We know you won't leak any more than, say, Marlin did.  But more than Scott, please.)

Anyway, on the "to do" list (titled "PAGE TURNING") the following items have big check marks next to them (or not):

1. Send Haigian signal: "I am in charge." [CHECK]

2. Get public to see POTUS plan on energy costs. [CHECK]

3. Issue high-profile veto threat on spending. [CHECK]

4. Step up POTUS involvement on immigration talks. [CHECK]

5. Change briefer and use the briefings to score points. [CHECK]

6. End the war with the CIA.

7. Make this a year of significant progress in Iraq.

8. Hold the R congresssional majorities.

9. Spokesperson-in-Chief on the economy.

10. Reid-Pelosi-Dean.

This morning, the White House got that 5th check mark, when the Tony Snow Era began!

With olive branches and pre-canned jokes galore, President Bush announced that Tony Snow, a Fox News commentator, radio host and former Bush 41 speechwriter, will be his third White House press secretary at 9:10 am ET.

The White House press corps was all atwitter this morning about a Town Hall article attributed to Tony Snow slamming the President for ordering inquiries into possible gouging. Town Hall has since taken down Tony Snow's byline and photo from today's column and now credits Tony Blankley with the work. LINK

"One of the things that always made me feel good in the morning was waking up and realizing I did not belong to the same political party as Chuck Schumer," writes Blankley. "It made me feel clean -- even before I took a shower. But now, with my Republican president pulling a 'full Schumer,' even a series showers will not help. " "He sometimes has disagreed with me," President Bush told the White House press corps while ushering in the Snow Era before adding that Snow told him: "You should have heard what I said about the other guy."

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice are in Iraq today, having been dispatched by President Bush on separate, surprise missions calculated to demonstrate a strong show of support for the country's emerging new government.

Asked by a reporter whether his 12th visit to Iraq would be his last as Pentagon chief, the embattled Rumsfeld "replied with one word, and no smile: 'No.'" LINK

Democrats will continue their drumbeat on gas prices today.

DSCC Chairman Schumer (D-NY) and DCCC Chairman Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) hold a 12:00 pm ET press conference at DNC headquarters to release a list of "the ten worst votes on oil and gas that Republicans have cast in the House and Senate" and to "detail the impact of rising gas prices" on GOPers running for Congress this year.

One hour earlier, the DGA is holding a conference call on gas prices and the Bush Administration's "failure" to address America's energy challenges in a "meaningful way." The governors plan to take questions from reporters.

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