The Note

Today's Schedule (all times Eastern):

—9:30 am: Senate convenes for legislative business —9:45 am: Off-camera White House press gaggle with Scott McClellan —10:00 am: House convenes for morning business —10:40 am: President Bush meets with the president of Colombia, White House —10:45 am: Senator Joe Lieberman holds a media availability at Vanderbilt Caterers, Plainview, N.Y. —11:25 am: President Bush meets with the prime minister of Pakistan, White House —11:30 am: Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun participates in Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit, Scottsdale, Ariz. —12:15 pm: On-camera White House press briefing with Scott McClellan —1:30 pm: Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks at the Memorial Auditorium about his plans for the first 100 days of a Schwarzenegger administration, Sacramento —2:10 pm: President Bush signs the appropriations act for the Department of Homeland Security, D.C. —2:30 pm: Senate Intelligence Committee holds a closed meeting on pending intelligence matters, Capitol Hill —2:45 pm: Maria Shriver speaks to female business leaders, Eureka, Calif. —2:45 pm: Senator John Kerry holds an environmental press event, West Dallas, Texas —3:00 pm: Governor Gray Davis campaigns with General Wesley Clark at the Los Angeles Fire Department Museum, Los Angeles —3:25 pm: President Bush has a photo op with members of the International Space Station Expedition Crew Six, White House —5:30 pm: Governor Davis is joined by Arianna Huffington to announce California's acquisition of the 2,960-acre Ahmanson Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains, Calabasas, Calif. —5:30 pm: Senator Bob Graham attends a private campaign fundraiser, Coral Gables, Fla. —6:00 pm: State Senator Tom McClintock holds a press conference about power contracts, Pasadena, Calif. —7:00 pm: Democratic campaign strategists participate in "What it Takes to Win NH" forum at St. Anslem College, Manchester, N.H. —7:30 pm: Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante campaigns with General Clark at the Century Plaza Hotel, Century City, Calif.


Step off of Wilson Lane for long enough to:

-- Read the latest Los Angeles Times poll on the recall, which validates the Gallup trajectory, if not velocity. LINK

We like to let the voters decide, unaffected by end-game media coverage being dominated by the results of polling, but The Note can't hide from the reality that widely disseminated polling creates a reality of its own, and the Democrats better figure out how to deal with that.

Mike Finnegan's aggressive/understated lead: "A solid majority of likely voters favors removing Gov. Gray Davis from office in the recall election Tuesday, and Arnold Schwarzenegger has surged ahead of his rivals in the race to succeed him, according to a new Los Angeles Times poll."

-- Recognize that Howard Dean's fundraising is going to give him, at a minimum, a lot more flexibility than any other Democrat running (and, yes, we meant the double entendre there).

As USA Today points out (and at least one Web-based political tip sheet has been saying for months), the fact that all the other Democrats running believe that one of them will emerge as the Dean Alternative, and the fact that none of them is setting the world on fire in raising money, mean that none of them really "has to" get out of the race because of weak third-quarter numbers. LINK

Now: given Bob Novak's curious self-placement as absolving judge and jury; given Joe Wilson's Beersian ties to the Kerry campaign; given that Capitol Hill Republicans have great faith in John Ashcroft (there's that double entendre again); given the Gang of 500 CW that leak investigations never go anywhere; and given the president's commitment to get to the bottom of this, your view of where the Wilson story is going (and should go … ) is (or, at least, should be) based on your view of this passage from Sunday's Washington Post :

" … (A) senior administration official said that before Novak's column ran, two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and disclosed the identity and occupation of Wilson's wife."

Do you think the Post 's official was credible and knew what he/she was talking about?

If so, this story has legs, and the Justice Department investigation is going to make the search for some measly billing records look like patty cake.

If not — if you have a Brooklyn or National Review skepticism of anything that appears in the Washington Post — well, then it appears to be perhaps much ado about nothing.

It's pretty easy to put a pox on both major party houses — with Democrats relying on unconfirmed press reports to make the kind of over-heated claims they derided when made against President Clinton, and Republicans trotting out the Ed Gillespies and Cliff Mays of the world to throw everything including the kitchen sink out there to obscure the national security issue (and to get the Sean Hannitys of the world to term this a non-story).

We aren't going to get into all the minutiae of this one today — there is some other political news to deal with too — but we would like someone to explain to us, May, Novak, and anyone else who would care:

Given the CIA's request to news organizations not to repeat Wilson's wife's name; given the language of the e-mail from the White House counsel's office about her status; and given Wilson's concern, shouldn't we be able to put to rest the question of whether her current job assignment or her having been "widely" known to be in the CIA means that a government official putting out her name would be at least a potential crime?

Today's Wilson must-reads are:

Novak himself refines his position on who leaked to him and why, incurring the wrath of Democrats and head scratching from some colleagues. LINK

Author Todd Purdum and Timesman David Sanger Note the bad timing of the investigation for the White House given: LINK

1) The president's drooping/dropping approval numbers.

2) The throttle-up in criticism from Democratic rivals.

3) The president would rather be sewing up support for post-war Iraq than sewing up the loose lips of his staff.

One paragraph of the piece features the words: "Peter King," "White House" and "floundering."

Added King, "Something is missing. Maybe they miss Karen Hughes there, or they just weren't ready for something that started off below their radar screens and grew."

(It's nice to see that Karen Hughes is such a major figure that 43rd Street doesn't think she requires the normal New York Times appositional, such as: " … .Sting, a musician and composer who rose to fame with the band The Police" or "Bobby Orr, a mainstay defenseman of the Boston Bruins hockey team in the last century … ")

As for the investigation itself, let's say, hypothetically, that a certain senior White House official met with or talked to a certain columnist/CNN commentator during the period in which Novak was leaked the information, but that the certain senior official wasn't the one who leaked, but that there IS some sort of phone or visit record of their meeting(s).

THAT'S going to be an interesting situation, for investigators and reporters and the public.

President Bush meets separately with the president of Colombia and the prime minister of Pakistan, signs the appropriations act for the Department of Homeland Security, and meets with astronauts at the White House today.

General Clark campaigns separately with Governor Davis and Lieutenant Governor Bustamante today in Los Angeles. Clark will also attend at least one (at Norman Lear's house) and maybe two fundraisers in L.A. today.

Senator Kerry holds an environmental press event in West Dallas, Texas. He will also attend a private campaign fundraiser in Austin.

Governor Dean is in Burlington, Vermont, today with no public events scheduled, resting up from his star turn with Jay Leno.

Congressman Gephardt has private fundraisers in New York City and New Jersey today.

Senator Lieberman holds a media availability today in Plainview, New York.

Senator Graham attends a private campaign fundraiser tonight in Coral Gables, Florida.

Senator Edwards has no public events scheduled for today.

Congressman Kucinich has no public events scheduled for today.

Ambassador Moseley Braun is in Scottsdale, Arizona, where she will participate in Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit.

Reverend Sharpton is in New York City with no public events scheduled.

In the recall:

Governor Davis will meet with General Clark today at the Los Angeles Fire Department Museum. Davis will also join Arianna Huffington, Rob Reiner, Chris Albrecht, state officials, and environmental leaders to announce California's acquisition of the 2,960-acre Ahmanson Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Arnold Schwarzenegger will call into a block of radio shows today: Rick Roberts, Roger Hedgecock, John and Ken, and Stacy Taylor.

He'll also speak at the Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento about his plans for the first hundred days of a Schwarzenegger administration.

Maria Shriver speaks to female business leaders in Eureka today.

Lieutenant Governor Bustamante meets with General Clark in Century City at the Century Plaza Hotel today.

State Senator Tom McClintock holds a press conference today in Pasadena to discuss power contracts.

Secretary of State Kevin Shelley demonstrates early voting procedures with the Los Angeles County registrar of voters at Los Angeles Central Library.

Wilson, newsless daily stories:

Milbank and Schmidt of the Washington Post continue to back off the two-officials-six-reporters language in their daily story. LINK

The New York Times ' Lichtblau and Stevenson with the latest, most Notable for this near-kicker quote: LINK

"'The general view inside the White House among senior staff is that this is going to create a few rocky political days, that it's mainly the Democrats pushing it and that if all the Republicans stay on board, the story goes away,' a Republican worker with close ties to the White House said."

USA Today 's Benedetto, Keen, and Locy. LINK

Wilson, the Prince of Darkness profiled:

Howie Kurtz on Novak and Wilsongate. LINK

Wilson, Wilson profiled:

USA Today 's Bill Nichols and John Diamond profile Mr. and (sort of) Mrs. Wilson, with this interesting section: LINK

"Vice President Cheney and his chief of staff, Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, met with officials at the Non-Proliferation Center before the invasion of Iraq to discuss reports that Iraq was seeking to buy uranium in Africa. A U.S. official with knowledge of those meetings said [Wilson's wife] did not attend. But the former U.S. intelligence official said she was involved in preparing materials for those meetings."

The Washington Post 's Richard Leiby on Joe Wilson. LINK

The Wall Street Journal 's Hamburger, Hitt, and Fields focus on how Wilson is operating in the midst of the controversy. Wilson continues his media blitz as the FBI investigation into the leak launches, insisting that his criticism of the war in Iraq isn't partisan and taking some hits to his own credibility for pointing a finger at Karl Rove.

Wilson, thumb-sucking:

The Washington Post 's lead editorial makes a nod to its hypocrisy over suddenly being for a leak investigation, and pays homage to the paper's own reporting. LINK

The Philly Inquirer's Strobel sees a potential "chink in Bush's moral armor." LINK

Walter Shapiro thinks "there is a danger of losing sight of the real scandal amid the search for the administration leakers." LINK

The Wall Street Journal editorial board says the leak about exposing a CIA agent is only a story because Karl Rove is purported to be a target of the investigation, and that the real scandal is that Wilson ("an open opponent of the war on terror") ended up investigating intelligence on Iraq and weapons of mass destruction.

And they also say that the only reason Senator Lieberman is talking up a new independent counsel law is because he has no chance of winning the presidency.

Honor, integrity and the White House: With scandal in the wind, Bush's credibility is at issue as never before, says Michael Tackett of the Chicago Tribune. LINK

The Sun-Times, while feeling it is the responsibility of journalists to print awkward facts, hopes to avoid an all-consuming Watergate-style firestorm. LINK

The Miami Herald gives its opinion: Impartial probe needed, White House compromised. LINK

The Washington Post 's Montgomery plays catch-up on the frog march story. LINK

ABC 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect:

The Bush-Cheney re-election campaign is not likely to officially announce their massive third quarter fundraising figures until closer to the October 15 FEC filing deadline. But according to the campaign, they are still indicating $48 to $50 million for this quarter and a total of between $82 and $84 million.

The Washington Post 's Mike Allen reports on the president's trip to the Midwest, where he "broke his own one-day record for fundraising with a two-stop, 12-hour visit." LINK

President Bush raised $5.3 million yesterday, surpassing the $5.2 million total raised in California back in June.

"Bush's strategists had planned for his message this week to focus on his efforts to create jobs, and separated two fundraisers by staging a roundtable meeting with corporate leaders at the University of Chicago business school. The roundtable included Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley (D) and "16 business leaders" — all of them male and all of them presidents or chairmen."

The Los Angeles Times puts the third-quarter fundraising in perspective for the Democratic challengers: "After the final tallying, it may prove Bush's most lucrative fund-raising day. And it may prove a day in which he collected more than the Democratic candidates — other than Dean — raised for the entire quarter." LINK

The Chicago Tribune's Pearson and Kemper follow the money for President Bush yesterday and note the significance of campaigning and fundraising in Illinois, a state that Bush lost by 12 percentage points in 2000. LINK

President Bush also traveled to Cincinnati, an area that has been extremely generous to his re-election bid, and brought in $1.7 million. LINK

The Boston Globe 's Brian Mooney reports that the president "is planning next week to make an official visit to New Hampshire" where he will "deliver an economic address to about 600 business leaders on Oct. 9 at The Armory in the Center of New Hampshire Holiday Inn." LINK

President Bush to name supporter Brett Doster as campaign manager for Florida. LINK

The Bush administration told the Supreme Court yesterday that the records of Vice President Cheney's energy task force should remain confidential, in a 25-page filing, Solicitor General Ted Olsen. LINK

The economy:

USA Today 's Sue Kirchoff and Barbara Hagenbaugh write, "The economy is rebounding. The job market isn't. The pace of job creation during this recovery has been the worst since World War II." LINK

The New York Times ' David Leonhardt examines the causes of the slumping American economy and a lack of job creation: LINK

The news of flagging consumer confidence and job creation yesterday depressed Wall Street, reports the Wall Street Journal 's Patrick Barta. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 105.18 points, or 1.1%, to close at 9275.06. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 37.62 points, or 2.1%, to close at 1786.94. Still, Barta Notes, consumer spending has remained strong in recent months, and economists warn against paying too much attention to consumer confidence as an indicator, even though it highlights ongoing nervousness about the economy's ability to improve.

Big Casino budget politics:

Don't dare look for that budget before, say, hmmm, 2004?LINK

Deconstructing reconstructing:

Congressional Republican leaders gear up for a tough fight on President Bush's request for $87 billion for Iraq, with some followers not following the leaders, and the administration struggling to avoid a pre-donors-conference problem. LINK

President Bush's $87 billion request for post-war Iraq and Afghanistan has cleared the hurdle of the Senate Appropriations Committee, the Wall Street Journal 's David Rogers reports, though a Democrat-sponsored amendment is pushing for Iraqi oil revenue to supply the $20.3 billion in reconstruction costs. The floor debate, scheduled to begin Wednesday, is shaping up as a fiercely partisan fight — at least over the $20.3 billion — and Vice President Cheney talked it up as an "us versus them" issue at a Republican luncheon yesterday, Rogers Notes.

The Los Angeles Times also looks at the fight brewing over loan versus grant. LINK

So does the Boston Globe . LINK

ABC 2004: The Invisible Primary: 3rd quarter fundraising:

The quarter is over and the cash is in — so where is everyone on the Twister board?

ABC News' Dean campaign reporter Marc Ambinder reports:

"Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean raised more than $14,727,000 as of midnight ET on September 30, slashing the fundraising record set by Bill Clinton in 1995 and at least doubling, in some cases tripling, the total collected by each of his opponents."

Well, we'd say that if Howard Dean is flush with cash on his side with $14.7 million, the president's camp is downright fire engine red, with more than $50 million for the period. We'd also Note that the president raised more in one afternoon than all but one of the Democratic contenders raised in the quarter. (In other words, most every news report compares the record-breaking Dean number to the record-SMASHING Bush figure.) LINK and LINK and LINK

The Wall Street Journal 's Cummings Notes that Dean's fundraising success raises "expectations he will forgo federal matching money and try to compete head-on with President Bush's formidable re-election money machine," and Dean's comments today about how many donors he expects to give how much money suggests he is thinking along these lines.

USA Today finds that while Dean's breaking records, he "hasn't dominated fundraising the way Bush did four years ago" and thus "even the financial stragglers among Democrats are likely to stay" in the race for a while.

Some hometown coverage:

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Karen Branch Brisco and Deirdre Shesgreen focus on their hometown guy's fundraising figures, finding one fundraiser who'd say the campaign "would bank between $3 million and $5 million" for the quarter. LINK

Edwards remains back with the pack as Dean surges ahead with $15 million writes Jim Morrill of the Charlotte Observer. LINK

Graham finds support in Florida, but admits he may miss money mark reports the Herald's Peter Wallsten. LINK

The AP writes up the final fundraising push. LINK

ABC 2004: The Invisible Primary: Tonight is the night! Look for one Mr. James Pindell's hosting of a forum at St. Anselm College with all the state directors of presidential campaigns in New Hampshire. And do look for it on C-SPAN! (Although we can't say exactly when … )

The where: St. Anselm's Institute of Politics in Goffstown

The when: 7:00 pm ET

The who includes:

Lieberman — Peter Greenberger, state director Edwards — Carolina McCarley, state director Dean — Mike King, state campaign chair Clark — George Bruno, Clark adviser Gephardt — Jim Demers, state campaign chair Kerry — Ken Robinson, state director (We are told the Graham and Kucinich campaigns were invited, but did not confirm as of our press time.)

The AP's Ron Fournier reports that Dean's fund-raising success and Clark's momentum are forcing some Democratic presidential rivals to "overhaul their strategies or face defeat." LINK

Graham "has rented an apartment in Iowa for a single-state stand." Lieberman is "being told to abandon" Iowa. Edwards is "sharpening criticism of his rivals … ."

"Even John Kerry and Dick Gephardt … are reassessing their primary strategies … ."

The AP's Sharon Theimer writes up the Dean and Edwards "reversal in fortune." LINK

The House of Labor:

The AFL-CIO's Tuesday decision not to step into the Democratic nominating process and instead to let all the individual unions stake out their own endorsement turf was a bitter defeat for the unions backing Gephardt. Going into Tuesday's vote, some of these pro-Gephardt unions were optimistic that an October vote would indeed be called and their candidate would end up with the AFL's nod.

But despite the day's decision, the candidate and his campaign say all is far from lost.

"I'm not going to tell you it's a good thing that they decided not to endorse but we're pleased that about 60 international affiliate unions are now freed up to endorse the candidate they choose," said Gephardt spokesman Erik Smith. "We're moving ahead. We're going to nail down as many unions as possible and plan to keep building winning organizations in Iowa, New Hampshire and beyond."

Unions backing Gephardt tell ABC News they plan to put together a "Labor for Gephardt" group that will mobilize on the congressman's behalf. Stay tuned to The Note for more on this effort.

Per the AP, the AFL-CIO is delaying an endorsement decision making it "less likely" that Gephardt "will boost his flagging campaign" with labor's "most coveted prize." LINK

Meanwhile, AFSCME's Gerry McEntee met with The General in Washington yesterday. No word from AFSCME on an endorsement but it is duly Noted that the union was the first to back Bill Clinton in 1991.

The New York Times writes up the story with comment from the candidate himself.

"I've got 14 and we're going to get many more," Mr. Gephardt said in a telephone interview from Philadelphia. "It's like anything in politics. You go at it a day at a time. I think we're really in a great spot. Whether or not we get to the two-thirds, we're going to have the lion's share of union support." LINK

And reaction from Howard Dean in the same Times story:

"I think it's good for the labor movement, good for the Democrats," Dr. Dean said in Los Angeles, while his campaign manager, Joe Trippi, said, "This gives us another month or two to go out and continue to build our support."

Jeff Zeleny writes up the story with this from Steve Elmendorf.

"We've always thought that it was hard to do," said Steve Elmendorf, the Gephardt campaign chief of staff. "We're running against nine other candidates who are trying to stop us." LINK

The Washington Post 's Dan Balz writes the AFL-CIO's Sweeney said "labor could revisit the endorsement issue, although Democratic sources said that is not likely." LINK


Kerry and Joe Biden plan to offer an amendment that would "repeal tax cuts for individuals making more than $300,000 a year," the AP reports. LINK

In a bit of sound used on CNN's "American Morning," Kerry went after President Bush on the Wilson matter: "'President Bush's father called those who expose the names of national security sources 'traitors,''' Kerry said. 'And this President Bush needs to start going after any traitors in his midst — and that means more than an inside once-over from his friend — and Karl Rove's client — John Ashcroft.'" LINK

Senator Kerry has an editorial in the Des Moines Register today about Iraq. LINK

Slate's Saletan covered Kerry's speech at Brookings Tuesday and came away thinking:

-- No candidate does "loose and funny" worse than Kerry — and this includes Gore and Dean.

-- Kerry's speeches are "invariably pointlessly ornate."

-- A "defensive mentality" now consumes Kerry. LINK

Kerry's got Hart. LINK


But will he get a star on the Walk of Fame? The New York Times on the Hollywood Phenom that is Wesley Clark.

(Note to Fabiani: We gotta ask, does The General still have time for weekly cell phone chats with Hollywood producers?) LINK

The New York Post reports that Clark "remains a registered Washington lobbyist." LINK

"Clark's continuing registration as a hired gun for Acxiom, a Little Rock information-storage firm that hired him for $150,000 per year, was ripped by one good-government expert who said it 'doesn't smell particularly good.'"

"Asked by a Post reporter why he's still a registered lobbyist, Clark responded, 'Uh' and then ducked the question on his way in to a meeting on Capitol Hill with congressional supporters."

"A campaign spokeswoman said Clark would soon terminate his lobbying license if he hasn't already started the process."

In the write-up of General Clark Goes to Washington, the New York Times ' Seelye offers this:

"The Capitol Democrats said Mr. Gephardt's supporters had tried to safeguard their support among members after General Clark announced his candidacy on Sept. 17. But a spokesman for Mr. Gephardt's campaign, Erik Smith, said the two men were not competing for the same members." LINK

The Washington Post 's Juliet Eilperin reports on The General's visit to the Hill, where, "[before] the meeting, Clark said [he] was 'getting ideas and talking about issues' with fellow Democrats. After the session, however, he sounded more like a candidate looking for converts." LINK

Clark had a private meeting Tuesday with "at least 65 uncommitted Democratic House members," the AP reports. LINK

Considered by many the Democrats' only hope, Clark ascends Capitol Hill to a swarm of support. LINK

The General's fund-raising is "getting a boost" from Skip Rutherford, head of the Clinton presidential library, and New York venture capitalist Alan Patricoff, who helped raise millions" for former President Bill Clinton, the AP reports. LINK

The Washington Times looks at how Clark is being helped by the Army jargon reporters have used when writing up his candidacy. LINK


The Washington Post 's Laura Blumenfeld has a must-read about how Dean is, to paraphrase the Governor, empowering people. LINK

Blumenfeld suggests, "Perhaps one reason Dean connects so well with supporters is that on a gut level, he feels the way they do — frustrated."

The New York Times ' Toner on Howard Dean's struggle with his own Medicare position. LINK

Dean has raised $7.5 million on the Web but "there remains no substitute in New Hampshire for face-to-face, retail politics," reports John DiStaso. LINK

The Atlanta Journal Constitution writes that Dean's fundraising has left his competitors "further in the dust." LINK

According to Dean's Web site, as of midnight Tuesday the campaign had raised $14,786,510. LINK

Dean promised "jobs, health care and a dialogue on race" while speaking in the inner city of Los Angeles, the AP reports. LINK

The Doctor did Leno last night. LINK

"In a film clip, Dean was shown playing a guitar on a street next to signs reading, 'Your change for real change' and 'Will strum for presidency.' People were shown placing money in an open guitar case."

From ABC News' Dean campaign reporter Marc Ambinder:

"With the lens of Governor Dean's traveling press corps and the campaign focused on the fundraising number, the day's most interesting exchange occurred at a small community center in South Los Angeles around noon."

"Dean was there to answer questions from a select group of business and community leaders in south Los Angeles, and sketched out some ideas on job creation and community development: 'We've got to make capital available for small businesses,' he said. Dean said he would also double the money available for community block grants."

"Dean opened the floor to questions, asking the group to 'Tell me what part of this agenda you'd like me to change.'"

"So someone did, producing the sort of unvarnished, unscripted moment that makes some campaigns blanch."

"'Good afternoon Mr. Presidential Potential,' began the questioner, Malik Spellman."

"Spellman, a self-described activist and a reporter for a community publication, spoke for several minutes about his relatives in jail, his experiences with poverty and incarnation and the bleak outlook for his daughter."

"Then he said, 'I want to know this: what are you going to do to include the black media in your campaign? You can see what America consists of when you see whites on one side and blacks on another,' referring to the event's unusual press seating arrangement, were the local south L.A. media, consisting mainly of black publications, were separated from the Dean's traveling media, who were all white."

"And, then, referring to help for poor, black communities, Spellman asked, 'Will they ever see the check?'"

"Dean began to answer programmatically, citing his desire to every child get health insurance and his record in Vermont."

"Spellman interrupted. 'When you have a household with the father locked up, what do you need child prevention [for]?'"

"'Mr. President,' he continued. 'Let this be a let this be a sting to your chest … . If you want to make it to the hereafter, do something for the people, please.'"

"'Thank you,' was all Dean said."

"Later, Dean hit The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He did not consult with a professional comedian, as politicians going on these shows are wont to do, but picked up plenty of advice from his staff, who, at various points, wanted him to play the harmonica, wanted him to jokingly announce he was running for governor of California, and wanted him to mention the next national MeetUp."

"The campaign, we're sure, liked Leno's first Dean joke:"

"'You know, it's interesting,' Leno said. 'We wanted to keep it a secret … but somebody in the Bush White House leaked it.'"


The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Deirdre Shesgreen writes, "In the wake of Sweeney's decision, Gephardt allies within the AFL-CIO moved quickly to form their own separate group — dubbed Labor for Gephardt — to work for his election." LINK

"They didn't quite make the Guinness Book of World Records" but Gephardt supporters "joined en masse around the country and at 12 places in New Hampshire Tuesday night to watch a message from Gephardt, raise funds and, well, party," reports Sam Youngman of LINK


From ABC News' Lieberman campaign reporter Talesha Reynolds:

"About 10 protesters, members of Jews Against the Occupation, staked out a Lieberman fundraiser in Manhattan Tuesday evening. The group opposes Israel's construction of what they call the 'apartheid wall.' Those present held up a large tarp 'wall' with anti-settlement graffiti and passed out flyers to passersby, calling the wall 'a theft of Palestinian land' that 'isolates and displaces Palestinian people.'"

"Protester Jonathan Kirshbaum said he wanted to send Senator Lieberman the message that as a Democratic candidate, he should take a more liberal position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Even President Bush, Kirshbaum said, has been critical of the wall."

"Kirshbaum said the Jews Against the Occupation was also at Bryant Park in August to protest Howard Dean's claim that his views were close to AIPAC's."


From ABC News' Graham campaign reporter Tarana Harris:

"At a lunch yesterday with 50 business leaders at a luncheon hosted by the Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group at the San Jose Mercury News, Senator Graham seemed happy to discuss something other than how much money he's raised. He was upbeat, making jokes about the Marlin-Giants game and the recall, which drew laughter."

"His speech wasn't so light. He asked, 'How does America maintain its standard of living in a globalized world economy, which kneels at the alter of the lowest unit cost of production?'"

"Graham said the answer includes supporting innovation, engaging in trade partnerships, and investing in infrastructure. He spoke about the 'intoxicating smell of subsidized agriculture,' and said that H-1 visas are a "safety valve" and should not permanently displace American workers."

"The Senator reiterated his support for an independent investigation of the CIA leak, saying: 'The question is, will a Justice Department investigation have credibility with the American people? Here you've got an attorney general appointed by the president who is supposed to be investigating the president and the operation of the White House. I think it was unfortunate that the independent counsel law wasn't reauthorized a couple of years ago, and what we need to do is come as close to that as possible through the appointment of a special counsel who will have the responsibility of doing a full, thorough investigation and making his finding and recommendations fully available to the American people.'"

The San Jose Mercury News recaps Graham's visit: LINK

Bill Maxwell of the St. Petersburg Times calls for Graham to drop his presidential campaign: LINK


Edwards leads a new South Carolina poll with "42 percent of those surveyed undecided," reports the Boston Globe 's Brian Mooney. LINK

Edwards beginning to show some life, gaining in South Carolina, Iowa polls reports Eric Dyer of the News & Record. LINK

From ABC News' Edwards campaign reporter Gloria Riviera:

"On Tuesday morning, the dawn of the final hour of third-quarter fundraising, Senator Edwards started his day with a jog around Central Park in New York City. It was Edwards' first jump back to the East after a three-day fundraising blitz through the South that included South Carolina, Texas and Louisiana. A final third-quarter figure has not been released, but campaign officials have indicated the number will be significantly closer to $3 million rather than $4 million. They say this expected low quarter is in keeping with the overall budget strategy: $15 million at the end of the third while targeting a total campaign budget of $20 million. The campaign's online contribution effort, 'Boot Bush,' had raised $522,508 of the targeted $595,000 as of Tuesday. "

"Campaign Chairman Ed Turlington said: 'The campaign had a concentrated strategy in the third quarter to primarily on politics. If you think about the two bus tours, the various debates, you think about the announcement — it was a calculated decision to spend a majority of the quarter on politics in addition to John's time in the Senate. It is my understanding we have had a good quarter in raising money and are still on track to our year-end goal of $20 million.'"

"Turlington went on to say, 'Senator Edwards has had the discipline all throughout the campaign to focus on his message, and his hard work along with staff to raise money. Are we going to have the money to compete successfully throughout the spring? The answer is yes. I watch their numbers, I watch how they are spending money. But it is not something I lose sleep over because what we can control is what we are doing on a daily basis.'"

Moseley Braun:

From ABC News' Moseley Braun campaign reporter Monica Ackerman:

"While President Bush was in the Windy City yesterday picking up more cash and talking about the economy, Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun's campaign is still struggling financially. Her campaign has only 13 paid staff and has pulled in about $200,000 in the last two quarters; Bush raised $3.6 million in Chicago alone yesterday."

"'We might talk about the Cubs; I don't know that I could talk about policy with him,' Moseley Braun said about having a conversation in person with President Bush."

"(The Cubs won Game 1.)"

"What next? Ambassador Moseley Braun is going back to school. Her campaign will announce next week the 'college tour,' during which she will visit 20 historically African-American and women's colleges, focusing on voter registration."


From ABC News' Sharpton campaign reporter Beth Loyd:

"Frank Watkins is out, Charles Halloran is in."

"Reverend Al Sharpton has himself a new campaign manager. Frank Watkins, who managed Jesse Jackson's presidential campaigns in 1984 and 1988, resigned from the campaign Monday. Watkins said he left for 'personal reasons,' although he is not in poor health."

"Rachel Noerdlinger, Sharpton's press aide, said Watkins has been talking with Halloran for more than a month to hand over the reins smoothly. Noerdlinger said the campaign expects Halloran to jump-start the fundraising effort and that the resignation date of September 30 was chosen rather strategically."

"In a statement released Monday, Watkins said, 'My reason for leaving is strictly personal. Rev. Sharpton is a great candidate and he's making an extremely important contribution to the 2004 presidential campaign and the Democratic Party. He's raising issues that the other candidates would not otherwise be discussing. I will continue to do everything I can as an unpaid adviser. I will vote for him and I strongly urge others to vote for him. I wish him and the Sharpton campaign nothing but the best.'"

"One key campaign official said there was a minor dispute over money but Watkins denied it."

"Campaign sources have said that Sharpton has micro-managed the campaign. Watkins was often kept out of the loop with the schedule and other goings-on. He would go days without speaking to the candidate. And he was unable to get into Pace University last week for the debate. Apparently, there was a 'ticketing problem.' Most definitely, there was a breakdown in the lines of communication. I asked Watkins in early September to compare the Sharpton campaign with Jackson's. He laughed and said, 'No comment.'"

"Aides to the campaign have said that Kevin Gray, Sharpton's South Carolina state coordinator, has also resigned. South Carolina is by far Sharpton's strongest and most organized state. Gray is very well known throughout the state and has produced great turnouts at most events he has organized. Gray, a self-proclaimed 'movement man' was disgruntled according to a campaign official. Gray was unavailable for comment."

"Sharpton said in a statement released Monday, 'I have nothing but the highest regard for Frank Watkins and will always refer to him as Uncle Frank and look forward to his sage advice over the course of this campaign. Now we move forward to the primaries and the quest for delegates.'"

"Very soon, Watkins plans to return to his job in the press office for Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill.)."

"The new campaign manager, Charles Halloran, most recently worked on the Premier's race in Bermuda and was Tom Golisano's campaign manager in the New York governor's race in 2002. The Sharpton campaign's Monday press release said this:"

"'Charles Halloran, an attorney from Lexington KY who has lived in the Washington DC area since 1992, traveled the country with then Governor Bill Clinton in his successful bid the White House in 1992. He started his political work at age 19 as a traveling aide for then Vice President Walter Mondale. He has also served as a fundraiser and political operative for various candidates and the Democratic National Committee at different times over the last 24 years. Halloran has a dearth of experience managing statewide and targeted races in Georgia, Kentucky, and New York, and most recently Bermuda. In addition to reorganizing the campaign, Halloran will manage the day-to-day operations while building political support for Sharpton and driving national fundraising.'"

The New York Times on Sharpton's staff shake-up and the "deepening rift" between the Sharpton and Jackson camps, with a quote from the candidate saying that "the campaign that we desire and the strategy that we desire is on target and on time and is exactly the way we laid it out." LINK

The New York Times ' Slackman reports that some within the campaign may have begun to doubt Reverend Sharpton's intentions.

In Yesterday's Hartford Courant, Kevin Canfield explores why "sure losers" run anyway. LINK

California recall, Arnold:

ABC News' Schifrin reports: "The latest Schwarzenegger ad is his second to last, says Don Sipple, senior media consultant for the Schwarzenegger campaign. The campaign is spending between $2.5 and $3 million on ads this week alone, bringing the total dollars spent for advertising (in about 6 weeks) to a whopping $12 million."

The Chronicle's Marinucci reports that the religious right thinks Schwarzenegger is just as bad as Davis. LINK>

Reuters reports that Shriver said yesterday "she will go back to work as a TV journalist for NBC come victory or defeat." LINK

More from Schifrin:

"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

And the first paragraph isn't encouraging: "California election officials are bracing for days or even weeks of uncertainty in knowing the outcome of Tuesday's recall vote."

California recall, the governor:

From the New York Times : "Terry McAuliffe, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, acknowledged in a stopover at a union get-out-the-vote phone bank in Oakland that Mr. Davis's future was in doubt. 'There is a chance here that Arnold Schwarzenegger is going to be governor," Mr. McAuliffe said, trying to add urgency to the workers' task. "I think it is going to be very close.'" LINK

Davis supporters launched a Spanish-language TV ad campaign, while Schwarzenegger received the endorsement of more than 450 organizations Tuesday reports the Tribune. LINK

The San Jose Mercury News' Paul Rogers looks at the hubbub over Governor Davis' land deals. LINK

California recall, the Democrat:

La Opinion says that according to sources, Bustamante requested the support from the national Democratic Party, suggesting that Davis could lose the recall vote. Davis is going to appear with Wesley Clark today and Thursday Bill Clinton will return to help the California governor. LINK

The Washington Post 's William Booth reports on the role of the California Indian tribes (and their casinos) in the recall. LINK

The Mercury News reports that the Bustamante camp denies he's losing steam. LINK

The Chronicle's Matier and Ross report that (surprise!) things are not friendly between the governor and the lieutenant governor these days. LINK

California recall, the rest of the field:

Arianna Huffington quits California gubernatorial race, Tuesday, calling on supporters to vote "no" on the recall — after announcing her decision on "Larry King Live." LINK

Politics: The Boston Globe 's Frank Phillips reports on Senator Kennedy's involvement in developing a new Center for the Study of the Senate to be named for him at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. LINK

The Clintons of Chappaqua:

The Associated Press reports that Vernon Jordan won't be reimbursed "for most of his legal bills arising from an investigation of President Bill Clinton's relationship with Lewinsky, a federal appeals court ruled yesterday." LINK