The Note

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

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