The Note

"Schwarzenegger's press conferences are rarely long and almost never filled with substance, but yesterday's was, shall we say, more Hollywood than normal. Schwarzenegger had not taken questions from the press since last Thursday, so yesterday an overeager group of 25 (including a good contingent of very serious British reporters) scrunched into a small ballroom in San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel for a Q&A that was sandwiched between two fundraisers. About 15 minutes and 5 questions in, after campaign spokesman Rob Stutzman had called out 'last question,' and just after Schwarzenegger responded to a question, actor/comedian Dana Carvey breathlessly bounced into the room and up to the microphone to a smiling Schwarzenegger."

"'Hello press corps, you can smile! You won't get fired!' Carvey said in his proto-Arnold accent to a shocked group of suddenly silenced reporters. Carvey is one of the funnier human beings on the planet, or at least was during his Saturday Night Live heyday, which included his skit about the bodybuilders Hanz and Franz — who worshipped Schwarzenegger. But yesterday, Carvey was not funny. 'You better be careful up there in Sacramento. You know, Bustamante's gonna busta-move,' Carvey said, adjusting the pronunciation of Bustamante's name just to drive the point home. 'And Desperate Davis … I wish I had an SAT test to take so I could use his neck as a number two pencil.'"

"Carvey left what was probably one of his worst-received stand-up acts of his career — Schwarzenegger's campaign later confirmed that the appearance was planned — and Schwarzenegger fielded a question about Arianna Huffington, who had just announced she would leave the race. 'Interesting,' he said after a long pause. 'Interesting." Pause again. 'It's too bad she's dropping out,' he said with a slight smile. 'She brought a lot of color, a lot of excitement to the whole process. [Press corps groans.] But I wish her good luck. I really wish her good luck.'"

A New York Times reporter's notebook on Schwarzenegger's penchant for Cuban cigars — and the Teflon coating the "Collectinator" is growing. LINK

California recall:

The Los Angeles Times' Michael Finnegan walks through today's poll, which shows voters favor recalling Governor Davis by 56% to 42%. LINK

Finnegan Notes that Davis has slipped among women, liberals and moderates since the last Times poll early in September, and that Arnold Schwarzenegger has made strides "among Republicans, independents, whites, senior citizens, women and other major voting blocs," with 40% to Lieutenant Governor Bustamante's 32%.

Read Finnegan's take all the way to the bottom — he includes great stuff about lingering doubts about Schwarzenegger and the depths of voter disgust.

The Chronicle reports on the new Times' poll. LINK

USA Today 's Dennis Cauchon reminds everyone that California's budget will still be a mess no matter who wins the recall. LINK

USA Today bullet points the different budget fix proposals. LINK

The Mercury News' Jesse Mangaliman reports on the role of immigration as an issue and in voter turnout for the recall. LINK

California recall, the counting:

USA Today 's Martin Kasindorf and John Ritter bring up the touchy subject (for the national press and anyone trying to run for president) of overtime in the recall. LINK

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