The Note

Today's Schedule (all times Eastern):

—9:30 am: Senate Armed Services Committee has classified briefing from former U.N. weapons inspector David Kay, Capitol Hil —9:30 am: Senate convenes for legislative business —10:00 am: House convenes for a pro forma session —10:00 am: Senator John Kerry delivers remarks on Supreme Court issues to the National Council of Negro Women, D.C. —10:00 am: Senators Robert Byrd and Ted Kennedy hold a press conference to discuss Iraq, Capitol Hill —10:15 am: Women's Law Center holds press conference to call for criminal charges to be pressed against Arnold Schwarzenegger, Arcadia, Calif. —10:30 am: Governor Howard Dean, General Wesley Clark, Representative Dennis Kucinich, Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun, and Senator Kerry address the DNC fall meeting, D.C. —11:00 am: Representative Kucinich attends a campaign rally, D.C. —11:30 am: Arnold Schwarzenegger attends a campaign event at the Los Angeles Arboretum, Arcadia, Calif. —11:35 am: President Bush makes remarks on the economy, Milwaukee —12:20 pm: Vice President Cheney makes remarks at a fundraiser for Congressman Jim Gerlach, Malvern, Pa. —1:00 pm: General Clark addresses the 2nd Annual Military Reporters and Editors Convention, Crystal City, Va. —1:00 pm: Governor Dean holds a town hall meeting at Howard University, D.C. —1:05 pm: President Bush attends a Bush-Cheney 2004 fundraiser luncheon, Milwaukee —1:05 pm: Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante holds a press availability, Redding, Calif. —1:40 pm: Arnold Schwarzenegger tours Pueblo Building Materials, Santa Clarita, Calif. —2:00 pm: Representative Dick Gephardt attends a campaign rally with Governor Gray Davis, Long Beach, Calif. —3:00 pm: Maria Shriver addresses the California Women Excellence in Leadership Awards meeting, Newport Beach, Calif. —5:00 pm: Governor Dean attends a campaign rally at the College of Charleston, Charleston, S.C. —5:30 pm: Senator Bob Graham attends a campaign fundraiser, West Palm Beach, Fla. —5:45 pm: Arnold Schwarzenegger attends a campaign event at the Marketplace, Bakersfield, Calif. —6:30 pm: Lieutenant Governor Bustamante speaks to minority groups at Emanuel Baptist Church, San Jose, Calif. —7:00 pm: President and Mrs. Bush attend the 2003 National Book Festival Gala, D.C. —7:00 pm: Representative Dennis Kucinich speaks about human rights at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C. —7:30 pm: Representative Gephardt attends a private fundraiser hosted by Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, San Francisco —7:35 pm: Vice President Cheney delivers remarks at a Bush-Cheney 2004 fundraiser reception, Des Moines —9:00 pm: State Senator Tom McClintock attends a campaign event with Assemblyman Jay LaSuer, El Cajon, Calif. —11:00 pm: Lieutenant Governor Bustamante attends a get-out-the-vote rally, Fresno, Calif. —12:00 am: "California Guys for the Arnold Lifestyle" sponsor a rally at Barfly to celebrate today's republication of the 1977 Oui magazine interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Los Angeles


Another simple day:


-- While the sharpies-without-tracking-polls speculate the heck out of what effect all this last-minute Schwarzenegger stuff will have, and the sharpies-with-tracking-polls have one meaningful weekday left to figure it out.


-- as Wall Street types get (irrationally?) exuberant over today's employment numbers.


-- the Arthur 'n' Andy poll showing what the other public ones have suggested lately about the president's political health. LINK


-- on how big a star Bobby Jindal could become in the national Republican Party, starting tomorrow.


-- to see if General Clark tells the DNC meeting that he represents the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.


-- the bouncing ball of Bob Graham's status as one of the Ten Little Indians (and Note our being the first to use that!).


-- if you work in the White House for some new bylines to show up on the Wilson story perhaps quite soon.


-- happy birthday to two of the smartest political minds we have ever had the pleasure to know: Nancy Gabriner and Al Sharpton.

President Bush travels to Milwaukee today to give a speech on the economy and attend a Bush-Cheney 2004 luncheon fundraiser. He and Mrs. Bush will be back in D.C. tonight to attend the 2003 National Book Festival Gala.

The president stopped to talk about a variety of matters on departure, and we were shocked to see he didn't hit harder on the economy, given this …

ABC News' Schindelheim reports:

-- The economy added 57,000 jobs last month, according to a report this morning by the Labor Department. This is the FIRST gain after SEVEN months of losses.

-- On the downside, manufacturing shed 29,000 jobs.

-- The unemployment rate remains at 6.1%.

Democratic candidates ware sure to talk about all this at the DNC cattle call over the next two days, but can Fournier cover it all alone while other national reporters focus more on Golden stuff?

It's day two of the DNC's fall meeting in D.C. today. (And doesn't it seem like so long ago when the candidates got together for that Children's Defense Fund candidate forum at the Wardman?)

This morning, The Macker, Senator Daschle, Congresswoman Pelosi, and Congressman Menendez will address the general session of the meeting.

After they speak, the first block of presidential hopefuls will address the meeting individually beginning at 10:30 am ET. The order is: Dean, Lieberman, Clark, Kucinich, Moseley Braun, and Kerry. On Saturday, the order is: Sharpton, Edwards, Graham, and Gephardt.

Senator Graham has a fundraiser scheduled for tonight in West Palm Beach, Fla. He's supposed to be in D.C. tomorrow to address the DNC.

We find the political press' obsession with asking candidates who MIGHT drop out of the race nothing BUT "when are you dropping out?" to be depressing and unnecessary — but the death watch is on big time.

The Senator seems to have told some people who was getting out of the race — or at least some people say that. Perhaps he changed his mind.

But, Senator, if we run into you, will ask about your ideas for health care and the economy, and if you have something to tell us about the "future" of your campaign, you'll let us know.

Governor Dean kicks off his "Generation Dean" tour today in D.C. He'll hold a rally, address the DNC, speak at Howard University, and then travel to Charleston, S.C., for a rally, town hall meeting, and reception. He's in Oklahoma on Saturday and Seattle on Sunday.

General Clark will speak to the DNC and also will address the 2nd Annual Military Reporters and Editors Convention with a speech on national security in Crystal City, Va. He'll be in Arizona tomorrow.

Congressman Gephardt is in California today to campaign with Governor Davis and attend a fundraiser hosted by Congresswoman Pelosi. He heads back to D.C. to address the DNC on Saturday.

Senator Kerry addresses the National Council of Negro Women before addressing the DNC today.

Senator Lieberman addresses the DNC today. He's in New Hampshire on Sunday.

Senator Edwards addresses the DNC on Saturday and will be in New Hampshire on Sunday.

Congressman Kucinich will speak about human rights at the University of South Carolina in Columbia tonight. He campaigns in South Carolina, California, and Washington state this weekend.

Reverend Sharpton is in New York City today with no public events. He addresses the DNC on Saturday and preaches at a D.C. church on Sunday.

Ambassador Moseley Braun addresses the DNC this morning.

Vice President Cheney will deliver remarks today at a fundraiser for Congressman Jim Gerlach in Malvern, Pa. He will then travel to Des Moines, Iowa, to deliver remarks at a Bush-Cheney 2004 fundraiser reception.

Louisiana voters will go the polls on Saturday for the gubernatorial open primary election (as well as elections for other statewide and local offices). Republican Bobby Jindal and either Democratic Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Blanco or Democratic Attorney General Richard Ieyoub are expected to move on to the November 15 run-off.

In the recall:

As mentioned above, Governor Davis will attend a campaign rally with Congressman Gephardt today in Long Beach, Calif.

Arnold Schwarzenegger campaigns today in Arcadia, Santa Clarita, and Bakersfield, Calif.

Maria Shriver speaks at the California Women Excellence in Leadership Awards meeting today in Newport Beach, Calif.

Lieutenant Governor Bustamante holds a media availability in Redding this morning. Later, he campaigns and speaks to minority groups at Emanuel Baptist Church in San Jose. He attends a get-out-the-vote rally at the Machinists' Union Hall in Fresno tonight.

State Senator McClintock will appear on the Lee Rodgers and Melanie Morgan radio show, The O'Reilly Factor on FNC, San Diego KGTV, The Big Story on FNC, and the Alan Colmes radio show. He also has a campaign event with Assemblyman Jay LaSuer in El Cajon, Calif.


(Note to the admirably loyal Graham daughters: we led with daddy when he got in the race, too, you will recall … .)

Senator Graham is "weighing the future" of his campaign as he "struggles with finances and ranks near the bottom in polls," writes the AP's Nedra Pickler. LINK

Graham Political Director Tommy Thompson stresses that the Senator will not drop out today, ABC News' Graham campaign reporter Tarana Harris reports.

The Senator is also not expected to make any announcements on strategy; it's campaign as usual today, when he is in Miami Lakes. He is scheduled to speak to the Democratic National Committee's fall meeting on Saturday, though as of this writing, that's up in the air, according to the campaign.

Nick Anderson of the Los Angeles Times tick-tocks the events in Florida yesterday concerning the future of Graham's candidacy for the nomination. LINK

We would love to see the Senator's Notebook entries from yesterday if he'd like to make them available.

The New York Times ' Diane Cardwell reviews yesterday's back-and-forth: LINK

Peter Wallsten adds that high-level staff changes are planned and that other candidates are positioning to get a piece of Florida. LINK

"Senator Bob Graham canceled a fund-raising event and met with strategists Thursday to discuss his flagging campaign, but a spokesman said the Florida Democrat would remain in the 2004 race for the White House."

The Washington Post explores reports that Graham's deciding whether or not to focus on Iowa or throw his energy toward the South: LINK

More from ABC News' Tarana Harris:

"Lights were out at the Graham for President headquarters last night after a day of conflicting reports on the status of Graham's campaign."

"Late yesterday, campaign communications director Mo Elleithee, suffering from laryngitis, said no press conference is planned. "

"Graham's daughter, Gwen, said, 'There have been meetings to decide the direction of the campaign.' She has been heavily involved with Graham's efforts in Iowa, but said she doesn't have concrete plans to return there."

"The flurry of speculation began when Graham's spokesman, Jamal Simmons, announced he was resigning. Simmons said that he's removed himself from campaign operations in recent days because he knew this was coming. 'Just as Senator Graham will choose the best direction for his campaign, I will choose what's best for my life,' he said. Simmons said Graham understands this and that they are parting on good terms."

"ABC News' Clark campaign reporter Deborah Apton has learned that Wesley Clark's campaign will make a move to hire Simmons."

"Graham didn't attend a scheduled fundraiser in Fort Lauderdale yesterday. The campaign says Graham will attend a fundraiser tonight in West Palm Beach."

"On Tuesday Graham insisted his campaign was going forward. After his speech at an event at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables he left the microphone, but then returned as if on second thought to say, 'On to victory.'"

The AP's Coralie Carlson Notes that Graham's "tone" on Thursday "was a change from the optimism he has been showing." LINK reports that Graham has been missing in action in the Granite State since August 19. LINK

ABC 2004: The Invisible Primary: The Boston Globe has a brief on the meeting at the Wardman today. LINK

The Boston Phoenix's Adam Reilly writes about a new documentary in which a 53-year-old New Hampshire man with a "history of psychiatric problems" meets all of the Democratic candidates for president. LINK

David Lightman of the Hartford Courant found something interesting and rare in Congress the other day: presidential candidates. LINK

Al Sharpton and Carol Moseley Braun will be the only Democratic presidential candidates attending the South Carolina NAACP's annual convention on October 10, the day after all 10 will be in Phoenix for a debate. Naturally, the NAACP's not happy about the absences, saying they give a clear message, "of a campaign's lack of interest in their concerns." LINK

The AP writes up the Democratic nomination calendar. LINK

House of Labor

The Wall Street Journal 's Jackie Calmes reports Wes Clark is busting in on the other nine's push for union backing.

We'd Note that we've learned Clark and SEIU Chieftain Andy Stern spoke by phone this week and that Clark and AFSCME's McEntee sat down together not far from the Caribou Coffee on 17th & L.

Stern pressed Clark to talk to his local SEIU'ers and come up with a health care plan soon.

In the world of The Three Digits That Make Dems Happy:

Look for Monday's National Press Club gathering of "labor officials, political leaders and community groups" to officially announce the formation of Voices for Working Families.

This "nonprofit, nonpartisan" 527 (*not to be confused with any of the other sprouting 527s with the words "working" or "families" in them) is designed to "perform aggressive Election 2004 activities in 16 Battleground states" and aims to concentrate on minority and female outreach.

We are told ticketholders should expect to see:

AFSCME's Gerald McEntee, Chairman of Voices for Working Families

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Vice President of Voices for Working Families and head of his own 527, Moving America Forward

AFL-CIO's John Sweeney

NAACP's Myrlie Evers

AFL-CIO's Linda Chavez Thompson


In remarks prepared for delivery Friday to a group of military reporters and editors, Clark will say that the administration's handling of foreign policy has "put Americans in danger and may be criminal," the AP's Nedra Pickler reports. LINK

The AP reports that Clark's lack of a party affiliation is typical in Arkansas. LINK

"But Clark is no longer a typical voter. He is one of 10 Democrats seeking the party's presidential nomination and his lack of political affiliation is proving somewhat embarrassing as he fends off rivals who question his Democratic credentials."

The Macker on CNN yesterday said he and The General would fix this matter together.

Business Week's Gleckman and Magnusson report Clark's advisers are "scurrying to create an economic agenda" and Note this agenda looks a whole lot like Bill Clinton's. Perhaps because of personnel?

Write the two, Clark "has been getting much of his advice from Clinton Administration veterans, including former Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin, ex-National Economic Council head Gene Sperling, and former Council of Economic Advisers Chair Laura D'Andrea Tyson."

The Wall Street Journal 's Carla Anne Robbins writes an interesting narrative of The General's political canniness as seen through the prism of his tenure as NATO commander in Kosovo.

"As Gen. Clark makes a bid for the presidency based in good part on his dazzling military credentials, those two events provide intriguing clues about the man. He can be a forceful, even brilliant leader. But his brashness and overt ambition also have made him a lot of powerful enemies, as well as powerful friends."

Not that we haven't read that before. But after going through all the quotes about Clark's brilliance as a commander, it also reiterates how Clark views Iraq as compared with Kosovo.


Minnesota DFL leaders met at the State Capitol on Thursday to endorse Dean. LINK

The Norman Transcript reports that Dean's "Raise the Roots" tour is coming to Oklahoma. LINK

The AP has a photo of Dean looking over Lake Champlain as he talks with CBS' Dan Rather. LINK


The AP's Libby Quaid profiles Gephardt's long march from his days as a "Young Turk" to his second run for the White House. LINK


The Boston Globe 's Raja Mishra writes, "[Lieberman] casts himself as the candidate representing America's vast political center, resting his presidential hopes beyond Iowa and New Hampshire, and on Feb. 3 primaries in seven other states that the Connecticut senator insists will warm to his moderate positions." LINK

"But reaction to his prowar, pro-free trade, and socially moderate views in South Carolina, Arizona, Delaware, and four other states has been frosty at best. Fame from his 2000 vice presidential bid put Lieberman out front in early national polls, but that edge apparently has since evaporated, leaving him stuck in the Democratic pack or sinking in the very localities and precincts on which he has staked his candidacy."


Next week is "Work week" on the Edwards campaign, a celebration … um … attempt to highlight the very painful loss of millions of jobs lost under the Bush Administration. Every day Edwards will discuss "a different facet of the Bush recession," kind of like Hanukkah. As his gift to the people, Edwards has pledged to create five million jobs in his first two years in office. LINK


From ABC News' Sharpton campaign reporter Beth Loyd:

"Today, Reverend Al Sharpton turns 49."

"But if his mood last night at his birthday celebration at Bethany Baptist church is any indication, it won't be a 'happy' birthday because last night Sharpton was mad — really, really mad."

"He delivered a short speech, with a little politicking and a minute of preaching — but the majority of rather harsh words were directed at the media. The most shocking statement of the night came right at the top when Sharpton addressed his campaign shake-up and said he 'smells a rat.' He says there has been 'sabotage from the inside and lie[s] on the outside.'"

"'I know when I'm being set-up, sabotaged, they ain't got to say it. But y'all gonna see in the next few days why I did what I did, 'cause I can smell a rat before I can find it. I grew up in the projects."'

"It didn't stop there. As Sharpton was preparing to ask for donations — which he made very clear was his 'birthday money,' not campaign funds, he went at it again. (Presumably, Sharpton knows of some "dirt" that is about to come out — and most likely from one of the recently departed campaign staffers.)"

"'In these devious times, with the kind of back-stabbing and the kind of pain you have to bare, it means a lot when you can come home and just friends say happy birthday. I'll be more clear in the next day or two on some of the stuff. Now, I'll let everybody say what they got to say and then I'm gonna talk.'"

"Sharpton then criticized the media for blaming him for the campaign's lack of structure saying, 'Well maybe that's why I switched [campaign staffers]. They didn't build no structure.'"

"The church-goers who came last night anticipating one of Sharpton's fireball sermons, left disappointed (and probably quite surprised). Nearly 300 people had packed into the Brooklyn church where Reverend Sharpton was ordained as a minister at age 9. People were lined up around the corner an hour and a half before it started."

"And by the way, the performance by Chicago gospel singer Angela Spivey was fabulous."

New Hampshire:

Sam Youngman of writes up New Hampshire TV spending under the header: "Edwards still spending the most on T.V., Dean takes September off air." LINK


The AP writes up the "perks" Democrats who raise $100,000 for their party will receive at next year's national convention. LINK


Ralph Nader said Thursday he will "wait until the end of the year to decide on another run for the White House." First, he wants to see how Democrats and Republicans respond to his agenda: universal health insurance, a more progressive wage policy and a crackdown on corporate fraud and abuse. LINK


Ho-hummish day in the papers today, but brace for some weekend stuff, wethinks.

"Democrats want Ashroft Out" — the New York Times ' Hulse and Stevenson report. LINK

But our favorite quote comes from the ole other side of the aisle:

"One senior Republican aide said that if the uproar did not abate, some Republicans were considering proposing that the White House allow the F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III, to appoint a prosecutor."

"'The problem with Mr. Ashcroft is that he is not seen as an independent figure,' the aide said."

Crafty and legendary veteran New York Times man David Rosenbaum Notes that no one has matched the Washington Post 's 2/6 sentence in a fantastic bit of Washington anthropology, nearly totally undermined by his confusing "off the record" with "deep background," setting us back yet again with our intern training. LINK

Washington Post : Susan Schmidt and Mike Allen write daily. LINK

The Washington Post 's Dan Eggen does the leaky thing. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Reynolds and Schmitt write up Scott McClellan's distinction between leaking information and further disseminating already leaked information. LINK

"McClellan accused critics of 'moving the goal posts' in the scandal, saying the allegations should focus only on whether classified information was leaked — and not on whether White House officials spoke to reporters about it later in an effort to capitalize on the leak."

"'The subject of this investigation is whether someone leaked classified information,' McClellan said with unusual testiness. 'Yesterday some of the questions began to move the goal post and focus on other issues that are not the subject of this investigation.'"

USA Today 's Judy Keen asks herself a bunch of questions about the leak, and thankfully she gives us her answers too. LINK

USA Today 's Richard Benedetto and Kevin Johnson report on the Justice Department's decision to "cast a wide net" to find the source of the leak. LINK

National treasure Howard Fineman writes on the Web: "the now infamous outing … isn't primarily an issue of law. It's about a lot of other things, like: the ongoing war between the CIA and the vice president's office; the long, complex relationship between George Tenet and the Bush family; the tinge of arrogance among some (as yet unidentified) members of Bush's team; and, ominously for the president, a breakdown in discipline among his spin doctors, who, in the old days, always wrote the same prescription." LINK

(Please see entry under "Hughes, Karen")

Paul Krugman channels the Democratic Party. LINK

ABC 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect:

The latest New York Times /CBS News poll finds that for the first time in his Administration, Americans are "more critical than not of Mr. Bush's ability to handle both foreign and domestic problems" and "a solid majority of Americans say the country is seriously on the wrong track, a classic danger sign for incumbents." LINK

AP's Ron Fournier looks at the Democrats' optimism for President Bush's recent polling numbers but as DNC members gather in Washington today, that "optimism was tempered by concerns."LINK

Despite the public's dwindling support for the military operation in Iraq, New York Governor George Pataki remains one of President Bush's staunchest advocates on Iraq and the war on terrorism, and one of his biggest fund-raisers. While aides say that Pataki's support stems from the experience of 9/11, critics dismiss his allegiance as an "attempt to curry favor and win a position in the next Bush administration."LINK

Who is more obsessed with the notion of Pataki getting a job in the Bush Administration: Pataki or the New York Times ?

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the "highest-priced political fund-raiser in the state's history," a $2,000-per-person fundraiser at the Italian Community Center in downtown Milwaukee is expected to bring in around $800,000 for the re-election campaign. President Bush lost Wisconsin to Al Gore by fewer than 6,000 votes in 2000. LINK

Vice President Cheney heads to a campaign event for first-term Republican Congressman Jim Gerlach in Malvern, Pennsylvania, and then is off to Des Moines, Iowa, for a $1,000-per-person fundraiser at the Wakonda Club, a private golf club. LINK

Following the lead of other cash-strapped cities like Portland, Lexington, Kentucky officials might consider asking Republican organizers to foot the bill for the costs of presidential fund-raising trips to the city. LINK

Republicans in Nevada are excited about a possible upcoming visit from President Bush, his first to the Silver State. The AP reports that "Democrats contend Bush has hesitated to come here because of possible protests by foes of nuclear waste storage at Yucca Mountain, 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas." LINK

Deconstructing reconstruction:

New York Times ' David Sanger turns in a must-read on the political implications of David Kay's WMD report yesterday.

"[I]n private, Mr. Bush's political aides concede that it does matter, and it may matter more as the politics of running for president collide with the realities of containing the chaos in occupied Iraq. LINK

The Washington Post 's Jonathan Weisman looks at the partisan fight yesterday in the Senate, where the Democrats' plan to pay for the president's $87 billion Iraq-Afghanistan request went down in flames. LINK

Republicans are still fighting the proposal to treat some of the $20.3 billion requested for reconstruction as a loan.

California recall, the numbers:

Supporting the recall: 57%

Opposed to the recall: 39%

Schwarzenegger: 36% Bustamante: 26%

McClintock: 15%

The latest Field Poll numbers released today don't show much movement on Question 1 since the last Field Poll in early September, but tons of movement on Question 2 with Arnold Schwarzenegger surging past Cruz Bustamante as the replacement candidate of choice among likely California voters.

The poll was conducted prior to recent stories about Schwarzenegger's alleged groping of women and admiring words concerning Adolf Hitler. The impact the stories will have on the outcome of the race is very much in question.

California recall, Arnold:

On Los Angeles talk radio last night, pro-Arnold hosts were actually defending the notion of calling Hitler "awesome" or "great," because of the literal meaning of those words.

Nicholas, Hall, and Finnegan of the Los Angeles Times on Arnold Schwarzenegger's apology: LINK

"Sexual misconduct allegations against Arnold Schwarzenegger roiled California's gubernatorial recall race Thursday as the Republican apologized for having 'behaved badly' toward women while insisting he would champion their cause."

"Responding to a Los Angeles Times story on accusations by six women that he touched them in a sexual manner without their consent, Schwarzenegger dismissed the report as "trash politics," but went on to acknowledge unspecified wrongdoing."

More from the Los Angeles Times must-read: "Schwarzenegger's strategists had designed the closing part of the campaign — a four-day bus tour of the state — as a 'triumphal march.' Instead, the candidate began the day apologizing for sexual misconduct. By nightfall he was sitting with his wife, responding not only to that issue, but to allegations in the New York Times and on ABC's "World News Tonight" that he had expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler during the 1970s."

"The Austrian-born actor denied the accusation and called Hitler a 'disgusting villain.'"

"'I always despised everything Hitler stood for,' said Schwarzenegger, whose father was a Nazi. 'I hate the regime, the Third Reich and all of those whole Nazi philosophy, have always fought against that.'"

The L.A. Times was sure to include Davis' handling of the story: "Davis was careful not to gloat over Schwarzenegger's situation. He called the allegations of groping and lewd language directed at women 'a matter between the voters and their conscience.'"

"'I would just rather leave this matter to the voters of this state,' Davis said at the bill-signing ceremony. 'They will digest it. They will decide what importance to attach to it.'"

The New York Times ' Adam Nagourney and David Kirkpatrick also had the story regarding praiseworthy alleged statements Schwarzenegger made regarding Hitler. LINK

"A film producer who chronicled Arnold Schwarzenegger's rise to fame as a champion bodybuilder in the 1970's circulated a book proposal six years ago that quoted the young Mr. Schwarzenegger expressing admiration for Adolf Hitler."

The Washington Post 's Dan Balz looks at how yesterday's stories about Schwarzenegger's past behavior with women, and how he handled those stories, could — or could not — affect the outcome of next Tuesday's recall election in California. LINK

"Coming at such a late hour, the accusations against the action-film star could easily be dismissed by many voters here as political dirty tricks. But the charges, detailed in today's Los Angeles Times, were serious enough and credible enough to prompt a partial confirmation and startling apology from the candidate."

"The question now is how much it will hurt his campaign. On that issue, the reactions of political analysts were decidedly mixed, partly because of the complex nature of the recall ballot, in which voters must first decide whether to knock the governor out of office and then decide who should replace him. What may hurt Schwarzenegger, in other words, may not directly help Davis — at least not enough to save his job. The actor's advisers believe he can lose some ground and still defeat Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz M. Bustamante and win the second vote on the ballot."

The San Francisco Chronicle's Carla Marinucci on the bus-tour rollout that was marred by the allegations appearing in recent press accounts. LINK

The Wall Street Journal 's Jackie Calmes reports that most people don't expect that the Schwarzenegger stories about women will affect votes. Haven't seen a Kam Kuwata quote in a while:

"Democratic consultant Kam Kuwata, who has no role in the recall campaign, agreed: 'That's already out there. If you're offended by this, I think you were offended already.'"

And Calmes throws this in for good measure:

"Professionals in both parties have privately expressed wonder that Mr. Schwarzenegger hasn't faced questions for his hiring of media strategist Don Sipple, who was dropped from President Bush's 2000 campaign team amid reports of spousal abuse in his divorce."

ABC News' Linda Douglass reports: "ABC News obtained a copy of a new ad that will hit the airwaves tomorrow, paid for by the liberal web organization Moveon.Org. A spokesman for the group would not say how big the buy is but said it will get 'big play.' Below is an excerpt from the ad." The ad will be unveiled at a press conference this morning where two women who claim to have been groped by Arnold will be present.

"If you're a woman, or your mother is a woman, or your wife, or your sister, or your daughter, or there's a woman where you work … you cannot vote for this man … because Arnold Schwarzenegger has a serious problem with women."

The Washington Post 's Rene Sanchez and William Booth on Schwarzenegger's mea culpa: LINK

USA Today 's Jill Lawrence examines the timing of the Los Angeles Times' story. LINK

The New York Post 's Deborah Orin writes that Schwarzenegger did yesterday "what lots of analysts say Bill Clinton should have done about Monica — he 'fessed up fast."

All Walter Shaprio wanted was a real election. LINK

It won't be pretty, the New York Times ' Broder writes of the transition that might be if the recall wins the day. Note: The Times says Sean Walsh says "there has been no formal transition planning." LINK

A victory for Schwarzenegger as a judge refuses to block him from using $4 million in loans for his campaign. LINK

California recall, the Democrat:

Taking a page out of the Republican playbook with McClintock, some Democrats are urging Cruz Bustamante to abandon his bid in an effort to help the governor. LINK

The Los Angeles Times explores perceptions of Cruz Bustamante. Is he both condescending and flat-footed? LINK

California recall, the vote count:

It could take up to 39 days post election day for all the votes to be counted and the results to be certified therefore allowing for some period of transition if Governor Davis is recalled from office. LINK

Political activists are planning to scrutinize punch-card ballot results in California's recall election, raising the likelihood of a re-count if the outcome is close. LINK

Politics: Ads featuring former Senators Sam Nunn and Warren Rudman urging politicians to keep nuclear, biological and chemical weapons out of the hands of terrorists began airing Thursday in Iowa and New Hampshire, the AP reports. LINK

The New Orleans Times-Picayune gets everybody ready for tomorrow's gubernatorial open primary in Louisiana. LINK

Missouri Republican Senator Kit Bond on Thursday fired his communications director, Ernie Blazar, for "running a political Web site named for the tail number of a plane that crashed in 2000, killing the state's Democratic governor," the AP's Libby Quaid reports. LINK

Per the AP, former UN Ambassador Andrew Young announced Friday that he will not run for the Georgia Senate seat being vacated by Zell Miller. LINK