The Note

Carla Marinucci of the San Francisco Chronicle sets the stage for tonight's debate by calling it a "defining moment" for Arnold Schwarzenegger. Marinucci also gets Dan Schnur to offer up some free advice to his friends in the Schwarzenegger campaign. LINK

"'There's an old saying: You only get one chance to make a first impression,' said GOP consultant Dan Schnur, who advised Peter Ueberroth before the businessman dropped out of the race."

"'For a lot of voters, there are two Arnolds: the celebrity that goes on 'Howard Stern' and 'Oprah' and the serious Arnold that talks about campaign finance reform and workmen's comp,' Schur said. '(Last) week, we saw both of them . . . the less of the celebrity Arnold we see, the better off he'll be on election day.'"

"With just two weeks until the Oct. 7 recall election, Schwarzenegger's appearance today at the California Broadcasters Association debate — where candidates received the questions in advance — represents a defining moment for his campaign and the voters."

The New York Times has some debate strategy from the Schwarzenegger camp. LINK

"'We expect Tom to throw long, try silly stunts, do something to distinguish himself,' an aide to Mr. Schwarzenegger said. 'We expect him to ask for a no-tax pledge or challenge him to another debate. Arnold will be prepared to answer.'"

"Mr. Schwarzenegger's strategy will be to raise the specter of special-interest money, which has flooded the Bustamante campaign and to a lesser extent Mr. McClintock's, the aide said. The Schwarzenegger strategy is to make a boogeyman of the Indian tribes who have contributed generously to his opponents."

Writing for two, Margaret Talev of the Sacramento Bee writes up Schwarzenegger's efforts to woo women into the Republican fold. LINK

"Weathering weeks of scrutiny in his campaign for governor about his views on women, Arnold Schwarzenegger positioned himself Tuesday as a respectful husband committed to restoring women's faith in the California Republican Party."

"'One of the biggest mistakes the Republican Party has made is they haven't reached out enough to women,' Schwarzenegger told a group of about 150 supporters at a town hall meeting in Sacramento. 'You have to include women much more, to bring them to the table, make them really part of the party.'"

The Los Angeles Times' John Horn looks back at Schwarzenegger's rise in Hollywood for some insight into his quest to climb the political ladder. LINK

"Looking back at Schwarzenegger's management of his career in this span, some signature traits emerge: an appetite for risk-taking and hard work; an ability to look ahead and imagine career leaps others thought preposterous; an aptitude for parlaying perceived shortcomings (inscrutably accented English, unintentionally robotic acting) into an asset; and a knack for discovering and collaborating with talented unknowns who could help him advance his vast ambitions."

California recall, the GOP:

Remember when California Republican leaders were talking about how there was plenty of time and that no one candidate needed to drop out of the race to clear the field for another candidate? That time seems to have come to an end. Pulling double duty today, Carla Marinucci gets to the crux of the GOP dilemma. LINK

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