The Note

Today's Schedule (all times Eastern):

— 9:40 am: President Bush makes remarks to National Guard members and their families at Pease Air National Guard Base, Portsmouth, N.H. — 10:30 am: Senator John Edwards has breakfast with Mahaska County Democrats, Oskaloosa, Iowa — 11:45 am: Senator Edwards meets with Marion County Democrats, Knoxville, Iowa — 12:00 pm: President Bush makes remarks on the economy at the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce Luncheon, Manchester, N.H. — 12:00 pm: Governor Dean attends a campaign rally at Arizona State University, Phoenix — 1:00 pm: Senator Edwards attends a house party at the home of State Representative Mark Davitt, Indianola, Iowa — 1:15 pm: Reverend Al Sharpton speaks at the Brophy College Preparatory Academy, Phoenix — 1:30 pm: Vice President Cheney makes remarks at a fundraiser for Representative Chris Chocola, South Bend, Ind. — 3:00 pm: Reverend Sharpton addresses the Arizona Bureau of Black Leadership's luncheon, Phoenix — 6:00 pm: Senator John Kerry makes remarks to fire fighters and supporters at Cesar Chavez Plaza, Phoenix — 6:05 pm: President Bush attends an "Ernie Fletcher for Governor" reception, Lexington, Ky. — 6:30 pm: Senator Joe Lieberman attends a campaign rally at a Starbucks, Phoenix — 7:30 pm: Vice President Cheney makes remarks at a Bush-Cheney 2004 fundraiser, Oklahoma City — 8:00 pm: Democratic National Committee sponsored presidential debate hosted by Governor Janet Napolitano and the Arizona Democratic Party, Phoenix


Having a good news cycle as we start the day: Arnold and Maria, those feeling Filtered, and Don Imus.

Having a bad news cycle as we start the day: John Kerry, Wes Clark, and sources who aren't familiar with Chris Lehane's thinking.

You won't want to miss the Washington Post 's double hit jobs on Kerry and Clark today.

And, if you are one of the fortunate Americans who can afford cable or satellite TV, don't miss tonight's Democratic presidential debate from Arizona, at which Jeff Greenfield will try to remember to smile, and for which pundits are once again predicting anti-Dean, anti-Clark fireworks, and/but pointing out that the format doesn't really make that easy, and, by the way, attacking in a multi-candidate field is risky and tough.

Viewer's guide: watch closely to see which candidate makes the most shameless appeal for the endorsement of Bob Graham's daughters.

President Bush greeted the Greggs on arrival this morning and makes remarks this morning to National Guard members and their families at Pease Air National Guard Base in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Later, he will speak about the economy at a meeting of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce. Tonight, he travels to Lexington, Kentucky, to attend a campaign reception for Ernie Fletcher's gubernatorial campaign.

Vice President Cheney will speak at a fundraiser for Congressman Chris Chocola in South Bend, Ind., this afternoon. Tonight, he will make remarks at a Bush-Cheney 2004 fundraiser in Oklahoma City.

Governor Dean will attend a pre-debate rally at Arizona State University. He'll also attend a debate watch party with supporters after the debate.

General Clark will attend a debate watch party tonight after the debate before traveling home to Little Rock, Arkansas.

Senator Kerry will speak to fire fighters and supporters at a rally in Cesar Chavez Plaza before the debate today. He will attend a couple of debate watch parties later tonight.

Senator Lieberman will go to a pre-debate rally at a downtown Starbucks in Phoenix today. He will also go to a debate watch party after the debate.

Senator Edwards is in Iowa this morning wrapping up a three-day swing of the "Real Solutions Tour." He has breakfast with Mahaska County Democrats, attends a meeting with Marion County Democrats, and attends a house party at the home of State Representative Mark Davitt. He then heads to Phoenix for tonight's debate.

Congressman Kucinich will attend a post-debate party.

Reverend Sharpton will speak at the Brophy College Preparatory Academy and address the Arizona Bureau of Black Leadership in Phoenix today. He will also have dinner with prospective donors after the debate. He won't miss the debate this time.

Congressman Gephardt and Ambassador Moseley Braun have no other announced public events besides the debate.

The Note's allusion yesterday to one Todd Harris' bachelor party generated so much response that it took hours to settle down the Googling monkeys. For those of you who asked us when? what? what did you miss?, we bring you this missive from Mr. Harris himself:

"A lot has been promised me over the past few weeks, in exchange for an interview with Arnold. But big kudos to ABC News and the folks at The Note for going the extra mile and actually arranging a marriage. Whoever she is, I look forward to meeting her. But until then, I remain single … and all those kinds of things."

So, any "mention" we made of Todd's bachelor party yesterday was purely hypothetical — or, at least, premature, and Mr. Harris remains both very available and by any standard an amazing catch.

DNC debate:

Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano and the Arizona Democratic Party host tonight's debate in Phoenix. All nine candidates are scheduled to attend, and this will be the first get together since Senator Graham became the first declared candidate to drop out.

Unlike the previous debate in New York City that focused on the economy, this debate has no stated central focus. CNN's Judy Woodruff will moderate, and her CNN colleagues Candy Crowley and Jeff Greenfield also will sit on the panel.

As for the format, your guess is as good as ours on what the final version will be — apparently the DNC, CNN, and the campaigns had a lot of really constructive conversations about that.

The last we heard was that the first part will consist of "modules" where the panel will ask one question to one candidate and then Woodruff will follow up with other candidates at her discretion. The second part will consist of a series of small town hall meeting-style groups where each candidate will take questions from pre-screened members of the audience.

The AP curtain raises tonight's showdown in Phoenix. Thursday's debate "will not be confined to a specific theme" but the candidates are expected to discuss issues with a "distinctively Western flavor, including immigration reform and forest health." LINK

California recall:

In our West Coast blur, we failed to point out yesterday what a disastrous event the recall was for Terry McAuliffe's Democrat Party (We are self-consciously dropping the '-ic" to punish them … .).

In our Bernie Goldberg thought of the day, imagine the howls of outrage from the Los Angeles Times and the dominant media if Karl Rove or some other Republican spent the last 72 hours of the campaign touting — usually on the record! — "internal" campaign polling purporting to show dramatic tightening in a race that was not supported by either pre-election public polling or the election results.

Here is the harsh-but-spot-on analysis of what happened from a Brilliant Democrat:

1. Optimism trumps pessimism.

2. Referendum on hated incumbent will produce defeat no matter how flawed challenger is (see: Florio versus Whitman, 1993)

3. Democratic Party does not have moral platform to attack sexually harassing candidates (notice absence of either Clinton during the final stretch, once the charges broke)

4. Was there a real difference between our tracking polls and the Republican tracking polls the final week post-LA Times allegations? If so, pollster problems in Democratic Party (so evident in 2002) seem to persist.

When was the last time a Democrat lost 30% of the African-American vote in any race, any time? This is some achievement for Mulholland, South, Doak et al.

There are a million Arnold transition stories today. The best ones include:

The Washington Post 's sage Dan Balz makes another stab at What It All Means, complete with equally sage Matt Dowd quotes. LINK

Democrats, get out your white boards — Whit Ayres has a suggestion

"'It's hard to imagine a bitter and angry campaign message selling in a broader general election electorate,'" he said. "'That doesn't mean it will not sell well among Democratic primary activists, who remain infuriated that George W. Bush is president of the United States. But it's very important to make a bright and clear distinction between what works in a Democratic primary audience and what works in a general election electorate.'"

Bob Novak tackles the Dems for the tactics they used to … lose.

"Without California, chances of defeating George W. Bush next year are nil. Short of that transforming development, the tawdry performance by Democrats in the brief recall campaign creates anxiety among thoughtful party loyalists outside California who looked askance at tactics used in the country's most populous state." LINK

Mr. Schwarzenegger begins the transition. (We like the use of the phrase "unbridled optimism" and we'd like to see how long it lasts!) LINK

Todd Harris calls Maria Shriver "the secret weapon of the press office." Reading the piece we ask our readers, are ribbon cuttings the new "baking cookies?" LINK

Analyzing Arnold, The New York Times ' LeDuff gets hopeful bachelor Harris to talk media strategy:

"'A lot of thought was given to the idea that we had the ability to expand upon the traditional outlets that tend to cover politics and take our message directly to a segment of the population that frankly isn't the 'Meet the Press' crowd.'" LINK

The New York Post 's Deborah Orin writes that Arnie & Rudy now represent the growing "Terminator wing of the Republican Party." LINK

43 meets T3:

The New York Times says the President will see the new Governor when in the Golden State, throwing in a bit about last eve's $14 million RNC fundraiser at the end. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: The Invisible Primary: With Graham out of the race, Democrats running for president have set their sights on Florida. LINK


It's black, it's white, it's red all over. The Washington Post 's Paul Farhi opens his profile of the Kerry campaign with a fight between opposite factions over The Nomination Speech. LINK

We just had to quote the whole nut graph:

"The tale of the two speeches says much about the internal dynamics of Kerry's run for the nomination. Kerry is surrounded by an all-star team of political professionals, including Jordan and Shrum, a top consultant to Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign. But it's also a campaign of uneasy factions and overlapping assignments. Kerry, for example, is advised by two pollsters, two media and advertising experts, and two speechwriting consultants. He also has two inner circles: one composed of hired hands in Washington; the other of old friends, family members and longtime loyalists in Boston."

Welcome to the beat, Mr. Farhi, and good job, but … .

You will quickly learn what Ed Walsh already knows: that Maralee is a stickler for facts and nuance.

Insomuch as that is true, you probably want to know that:

1. Some people, at least, deployed the phrase "The Shrum Primary" with a hint of irony.

2. The DSCC does more than raise money (although we can see how you got that impression).

3. The proper response when a campaign official tells you his or her candidate has gotten "tighter" on the stump is to laugh — not to put it in the paper.

4. For true insiders, the punch line to the Noah's Ark joke is "and ONE spouse."

5. To the knowledge of us, your polling partners, there is no such thing as a "CNN-ABC News poll."

6. John Kerry has no legislative record.

And Note to the (now-fixed) photo of Jim Jordan on the site with a caption only referencing Chris Lehane had the Googling monkeys thinking they were hallucinating.

The Boston Globe 's Tatsha Robertson reports that three documentaries about Senator Kerry are in the works. LINK

" … the documentary filmmaker George Butler, a close friend of Kerry, is making a film about the Democratic presidential campaign."

Yes, this would be the same George Butler of "Pumping Iron" and infamous Schwarzenegger book proposal fame — another Kerry timebomb waiting to explode (and we won't even broach the Brinkley issue — yet … .)

The Tri-Valley Herald reports from San Francisco that Kerry "lit a fire under 1,000 firefighters Wednesday by daring President Bush to live up to promises he made after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks." LINK

Kerry also rallied Tucson firefighters. LINK

Kerry accused Dean of liking the Yankees again — and this time he wants to put some chowder on the line. LINK


The Washington Post 's VandeHei with an Iowa dateline on The General's "unorthodox" effort to position himself as El Candidato Nacional. Key words here: Oklahoma and New Mexico, Florida and February. LINK

Diamond Jim shows a bit more credulity here than we normally see from him.

The Concord Monitor takes a whack at The General's Granite State efforts. LINK

"Wesley Clark left New Hampshire last month in a blur of standing ovations and good press."

"Since that trip, Clark's efforts here haven't maintained that momentum. His advisers have yet to hire a state director or open a campaign headquarters. He hasn't delivered the kinds of policy specifics he said would be out by now. And some campaign staffers complain of a rift between national and local supporters."

Mark Fabiani issued a statement Wednesday saying Clark's paid speeches were "appropriate" but The General will nevertheless return the money. LINK


It's not exactly "Morning in America," now is it?

Howard Dean lunches with the New York Times , telling the paper "what the president is doing is setting the stage for the failure of America."

Notes the Times , Dean "spent most of the interview answering questions about foreign policy, attacking President Bush on Iraq and North Korea and promising to send former President Bill Clinton to the Middle East as a peace broker." LINK

The New York Post 's Deborah Orin picks up on Dean's flip-flop over the meaning of Arnold's victory. LINK

"Howard Dean claimed Arnold's victory was really a rebellion against 'George Bush's massive tax cuts.' Oh really? That sure was a quick flip-flop."

"On election eve, Dean e-mailed his California fans to oppose Arnold, telling them that a Terminator win 'would make it significantly more difficult for the Democrats to win California in the 2004 presidential election.'"

The Boston Globe 's Sarah Schweitzer writes about how Dean's official papers as governor landed in the vault for 10 years instead of the usual six years for his predecessors (many of whom did not run for president). LINK

From ABC News' Dean campaign reporter Marc Ambinder:

"The Service Employees International Union will next consider making a possible presidential endorsement on November 6, and it's hard to find a Dean staffer who is not giddy about the prospect of getting it. That's not to say that Dean has it in the bag, and SEIU sources say that the board will put off making a final decision until several waves of internal polling are crunched later this month."

"But Dean's wooing and successful courtship of SEIU leaders in Los Angeles and San Francisco and New York City, his focus on health care, his explicitly pro-union rhetoric, his anti-Bush, anti-establishment message, his fundraising and his standing in the polls make him undeniably attractive to a union seeking to broaden its influence within the labor movement and ensure that its core issues get addressed."

So there could be Purple People-Powered Howard in our futures.


Gephardt picked up his 16th labor endorsement Wednesday. LINK

"The Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, which represents 120,000 workers, said it would back the Missouri congressman because of his commitment to American workers."

Chrissy Gephardt toured Granite State schools. LINK


Lieberman went after Clark's squishiness on the Iraq war in what may be a preview of more attacks to come in tonight's Phoenix debate. LINK

Hadassah Lieberman told Harvard students to "vote your future." LINK


The Miami Herald reports Bob Graham continues to weigh his options when it comes to a reelection run. Complicating the decision: "Graham's growing interest in a Cabinet post should a Democrat win the White House next year, perhaps heading the Department of Homeland Security." LINK

Graham spokesman Paul Anderson says the Senator has been "deluged with phone calls" from colleagues, candidates and Democratic party leaders especially keen to see the Senator go for Term No. 3. Note the blind quote on Graham's veep chances in a run-vs.-no-run scenario. LINK

Moseley Braun:

Braun told Birmingham students: "Your vote really is your voice." LINK

From ABC News' Moseley Braun campaign reporter Monica Ackerman:

"Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun headed down south, stopping Wednesday at the predominantly African-American Parker High School in Birmingham, Alabama. Moseley Braun has a farm in Union Springs, Alabama. After her time was up in New Zealand, she planned on returning there to grow peonies."

"Juniors and seniors listened to Moseley Braun talk about her previous elected positions and what she hopes her generation will give theirs. 'I'm running because I want to make sure that this stays the land of opportunity … … . when you get out of school there ought to be a good job waiting for you … … … I want to see to it that the national government helps pay for your education,' she said."

"Only 20 students out of the 100 or so in the auditorium raised their hands when asked if they were old enough to vote. By this point, the kids were growing restless. 'Settle down for a minute if you don't mind cause this is very serious,' Moseley Braun said, trying to get their attention. She then lectured them on the importance of voting and handed out voter registration forms."


The Boston Globe 's Patrick Healy reports that to many elderly Iowans (who make up a significant chunk of caucus voters) "the leading Democrats like Kerry and Dean have so far been speaking in abstractions: Save Medicare. Preserve Social Security. Create a prescription drug benefit for the elderly." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect:

Even with the victory of Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, California will still be a challenge for the Bush re-election campaign in 2004, the Los Angeles Times' Ron Brownstein reports. "Republicans believe Schwarzenegger's win — the biggest victory for the GOP in the state since 1994 — could energize the party and improve its image in ways that can benefit Bush in 2004."

More Brownstein: "Still, the hurdles for Bush in California remain formidable. Neither party has found holding the governorship of major states a guarantee of victory in presidential elections. Popular Republican governors in Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York couldn't deliver their states to Bush in 2000. Nor could Democratic governors in North Carolina and Georgia prevent Al Gore from losing those states." LINK

GOP strategists see the recall vote as a "huge boost going into the 2004 elections" the Washington Times reports. LINK

The AP's Sharon Theimer reports that "there wasn't a sirloin in sight" but well-heeled donors still gave $14 million to join President Bush at this year's Republican National Committee gala. LINK

"In the days prior to President Bush's Thursday visit to New Hampshire, Democratic candidates and protesters have been organizing to make Bush's visit an unwelcome one," reports. LINK

President Bush travels to the Granite State today to rally troops from the New Hampshire Air National Guard and the Army National Guard. Bush will emphasize "signs of progress in Iraq, what Bush calls 'the central front in the war on terrorism,' and what the events mean for 'the safety and security of the American people,'" the White House said.

In a poll released yesterday by the University of New Hampshire, Bush came out ahead in matchups against the top three Democratic candidates, Howard Dean, John Kerry and The General.

New Hampshire is the only Northeastern state to vote for Bush in 2000 and this is his fourth trip there as president. LINK

Vice President Cheney is the guest of honor at a fundraising luncheon for Rep. Chris Chocola at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana today. LINK

The New York Daily News' rapidly improving Lloyd Grove gives some details on First Lady Laura Bush's trip to the Big Apple today. Fresh off his appearance at the RNC presidential gala last night, New York Gov. George Pataki will host the $1,000-a-head private event at the Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Plaza for the BC04 campaign. Former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani is expected to attend. LINK

From ABC News' Bush-Cheney campaign reporter Karen Travers:

"The RNC raised $14 million for the BC04 re-election campaign at the gala in Washington Wednesday night, well past its goal of $10 million, but far short of the $33 million raised at last year's event, which was held before new campaign finance laws went into effect."

"Often interrupted by thunderous applause, President Bush spoke of the lessons of September 11 and the new doctrine for American foreign policy. "One of the important lessons of September the 11th, 2001 is that our country must deal with gathering threats before they materialize, before they come back to haunt us. And that's what we did in Iraq," he said. 'This nation will not be intimidated. We will continue our war on terror until this threat to civilization is removed.'"

"The theme of the night was the Big Apple, as about 2,000 donors and loyal supporters ate hot dogs, pizza, and popcorn served by vendors walking around the ballroom and took in the scenery of all the New York landmarks --Yankee Stadium, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and Times Square."

The economy:

The Wall Street Journal 's John McKinnon writes, "The strengthening economy is helping to hold the federal budget deficit a bit narrower than the soaring level officials projected during the summer."

More from McKinnon: "It is also the first bit of good news the Bush administration has had on the budget front in some time. Democrats dismissed the difference as a drop in the bucket, but some economists said that if the trend continues, it could point the way to more decent budget news in mid to late 2004, just as voters are beginning to focus on the election and President Bush's track record on the economy."

In a separate article, the Journal also reports, "The number of workers filing first-time applications for unemployment benefits dropped to an eight-month low last week, offering hope that the labor market is indeed stabilizing."

"Initial jobless claims fell by 23,000 to 382,000 in the week that ended Saturday, the Labor Department said Thursday. That marked the best showing since Feb. 8 and the second time in the last month that weekly claims have been below 400,000. Economists say readings below that threshold signify a stable labor market."

The politics of national security:

The Los Angeles Times looks at the administration's new message offensive on Iraq and quotes "one Republican observer" as stating "the White House was foolish to draw attention to the new effort … 'They need to do what they are doing, but it was dumb to announce it. They should have just done it.'" LINK

National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice spoke to the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations yesterday, in what White House officials said is "the beginning of a public-relations campaign to counter growing doubts about Bush's rationale for the war and his handling of postwar Iraq."

Rice said that Bush was right to go to war against Iraq: "Saddam Hussein is gone. He will never again use weapons of mass destruction for mass murder … The war on terror was greatly served." LINK

The Washington Post 's Dana Milbank looks at the PR campaign, which comes "at a time of slipping public enthusiasm for the operation and a controversy over the administration's leaking of an undercover CIA agent's name after her husband criticized Bush's Iraq policy."LINK

The Washington Post 's Jonathan Weisman and Anitha Reddy look at the impending debate over President Bush's $87 billion request for Iraq and Afghanistan, and the fight over who should get the money. LINK

Big Casino budget politics:

The OMB's Bolten talks lower deficits at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast:

"Our 2003 [deficit] number is going to come in lower than $455 billion. We are not going to announce an actual number until toward the end of the month, some time when all the calculations are in. But my expectation is that we will go below $400 billion as a result of both slower expenditures than were anticipated in July … and some modest good news in revenue collections, which seem to be firming." LINK

Politics: "Recall fever does not appear to be spreading, judging by the progress of an effort to remove Republican Gov. Kenny Guinn from office," the AP reports. LINK

The Philadelphia Inquirer has the latest on the bug, the feds, the contracts, the airport, and the Mayor in Philly. LINK

The AP reports that redistricting rancor in Texas may finally be over, thanks to a compromise brokered in part by Congressman DeLay. LINK

Per the AP, "Two men suspected of kidnapping and robbing Kathleen Gregg, wife of Senator Judd Gregg, R-N.H., and forcing her at knifepoint to withdraw money from a bank were arrested in New Jersey early Thursday after a short chase, police said." LINK

Web site of the day:

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle launched his official campaign Web site yesterday. Nathan Daschle kindly sent The Note an e-mail guided tour — issues, younger voters, bio (complete with blog), voter registration, and of course, contributions:

"I'm Nathan Daschle. My dad, Tom Daschle invented the Internet. Okay, maybe he didn't 'invent' it, but he has launched one heckuva campaign website and as his only son, I thought I would offer Note readers my review of the site. Log onto You'll notice a few important things. First, two of the issues my Dad cares deeply about are expanding the agricultural economy for American farmers and improving health care. Visitors to his site can become Citizen Co-Sponsors of the Daschle Ethanol bill and take an on-line survey to share their health care concerns."

"Second, he is particularly interested in reaching out to younger voters whose futures are most affected by what happens inside the beltway. There's a special section devoted to younger voters called The Next Generation, Third, launch the photo gallery and you'll notice that he is wearing a red, plaid flannel shirt that should really be 'recalled.'"

"The site also gives you a sense of my Dad's populist roots. Click on my father's bio and read about his upbringing and sense of responsibility to his community and his country. Or read from my father's blog about his solo drives around the state. Visitors can also register to vote. And there is a special section for Howard Dean supporters called "Contribute." They can go directly to"

"My one complaint? There is not one picture of Grandma Daschle. Note readers may not know Betty, but South Dakotans know her as the heart and soul of Aberdeen. Fortunately, the web site also provides ways for supporters to get involved in Dad's campaign. If nothing else, contact him and demand more photos of Betty!"

"So check it out, get involved, and get others to do the same."