The Note

Greg Lucas and Lynda Gledhill of the San Francisco Chronicle highlight the tough task ahead as Governor Schwarzenegger prepares to solve California's budget woes. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Peter Nicholas reports that Schwarzenegger plans to repeal the vehicle license fee today and to set a quick pace in the coming weeks. LINK

Newsweek's Karen Breslau reports on Schwarzenegger's efforts to turn himself into a great communicator. LINK

Breslau also sits down with former Governor Gray Davis. LINK

Jenifer Warren and Gregg Jones of the Los Angeles Times write up Gray Davis' return to private life after 21 years in public service. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Michael Finnegan on the Democrats' bracing for the dawn of the Schwarzenegger era. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: The Invisible Primary:

In a New York Times piece yesterday, Glen Justice Notes that the Post -Watergate public financing system may be on its way out. LINK

"The question is whether the primary financing system can be reshaped to attract candidates capable of raising $200 million or more or give their opponents the resources to compete."

The Boston Globe editorial board argues the campaign finance system should be overhauled before 2008. LINK

An Eagles fundraiser notwithstanding, the Hollywood elite are sitting on their hands instead of writing checks for the Democratic presidential candidates, writes the Los Angeles Times' Rachel Abramowitz. They're waiting and seeing. LINK

The Times also provides a handy list of Hollywood's donations:LINK

The powerhouse Los Angeles Times duo of Brownstein and Mark Z. Barabak produce a Dean (guns) vs. Gephardt (butter) worldview of the nomination contest in Iowa and beyond. LINK

The AP writes up UNH's latest poll, which shows Dean's lead increasing to 22 points over Kerry, whose numbers remain virtually unchanged. LINK

Chris Taylor and Karen Tumulty profile MoveOn.org LINK

The Washington Post 's Brian Faler writes up the impact of those new-fangled blog thingamijigs. LINK

David Rosenbaum Notes that the Democratic candidates support free trade in principle but abandon that support when they run into those who would be harmed by it. LINK

Raja Misha reports that a Brandeis University professor thinks Dean and Clark are "leading in the facial primary among Democrats." LINK

The New York Times ' Jennifer 8. Lee looks at the life of campaign operatives in Iowa — the air mattresses, the cold pizza, the romances — and the candidates who inspire it all.LINK

Clark:

From ABC News' Clark campaign reporter Deborah Apton:

It was a good day for the Clark campaign yesterday.

The General seemed to emerge unscathed from his hour-long interview with Tim Russert; the Boston Globe wrote a shining part 1 biography on him; more details on Clark's first television ad were released; and, at the bottom of the second graph in the Washington Post , Lois Romano wrote of the Clark campaign officials:

"They expect the campaign to raise at least $12 million this quarter, in all likelihood more than any other candidate except Howard Dean."

So now we do a brief look back at the numbers we've seen thrown out from the Clark campaign for fourth quarter earnings:

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