The Note

Today's Schedule (all times Eastern):

—11:00 am: Secretary Ridge makes remarks celebrating the 213th birthday of the Coast Guard, D.C. —11:15 am Former Governor Howard Dean meets with supporters, Glenwood, Iowa —12:00 pm: Senator John Edwards speaks to the New Hampshire NEA Summer Learning Conference, Bartlett —12:00 pm: California Secretary of State and California Attorney General file response to Governor Davis lawsuit, Sacramento —1:00 pm: Senator Joe Lieberman makes remarks to Warren County Democratic activists, Indianola, Iowa —1:30 pm: Arianna Huffington holds press conference to announce whether she will run for governor in California, Los Angeles —2:00 pm: Jerry Springer holds press conference to announce whether he'll run for the U.S. Senate, Columbus, Ohio —2:45 pm: Representative Dennis Kucinich speaks Plumbers and Steamfitters Hall, Des Moines —3:00 pm: Senator John Edwards holds town hall meeting, North Conway, N.H. —3:00 pm: Senator Joe Lieberman holds roundtable discussion Iowa Manufacturing Extension Partnership leaders, Ankeny —3:05 pm: Vice President Cheney makes remarks at Bush-Cheney 2004 fundraiser in Sacramento —6:00 pm: Senator John Kerry holds a "Fresh Air Forum," Manchester, N.H. —6:30 pm: Senator John Edwards holds town hall meeting, Berlin, N.H. —7:00 pm: Meetup events for Howard Dean across the country —7:30 pm: Senator Bob Graham attends Iowa State Fair Parade, Des Moines —7:30 pm: Representative Dennis Kucinich attends Iowa State Fair Parade, Des Moines —7:30 pm: Arnold Schwarzenegger releases announcement regarding his potential gubernatorial candidacy before taping an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Los Angeles —8:00 pm: Reverend Al Sharpton participates in Senator Tom Harkin's "Hear it from the Heartland" forum, Sioux City —8:00 pm: Former Governor Howard Dean attends event, Des Moines —9:35 pm: Vice President Cheney makes remarks at Bush Cheney 2004 fundraiser in Billings, Mont. (open)

The California Secretary of State and Attorney General will file a response to Governor Davis' lawsuit at the California State Supreme Court today at 12 pm ET. Davis is suing to delay the election until March, and to put his name on the list of candidates up for election.


A friendly reminder: we are in August mini-Note mode, which means some things we normally would tell you about in great detail are simply going to get tantalizing, teasing, treatment, such as:

--Who were the big winners (and more, importantly, big losers) in the aftermath of the Lieberman campaign personnel moves announced yesterday?;

--How much does Bob Graham's serious coup of signing up fundraisers Stephanie Berger and Rachel Hirschberg take the edge off another bad day for him in the Florida papers;

--Just how incredibly screwed up was the AFL-CIO debate format — compounded by Bob Edwards' equally questionable handling of the proceedings? (You had to be in the hall to see the shock and amazement on the faces of the candidates at various times);

--How much news will Al Gore make in his New York speech tomorrow?;

--How many bigfoot political reporters will show up?

Late word from Senator Dianne Feinstein, per a statement: "After thinking a great deal about this recall, its implications for the future, and its misguided nature, I have decided that I will not place my name on the ballot."

Most important newspaper stories of the day:

1. Dan Balz says Lieberman "continued his battle with the Democrats' liberal base tonight" and found a foil mainly in Governor Dean. LINK; USA Today 's Jill Lawrence does a Larry Merchant-like wrap-up of the big night. LINK ; "Their appearance came as one of them, Representative Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri, struggled to win the support necessary to gain the organization's endorsement, a critical aspect of his nomination strategy," The New York Times ' Nagourney reports. LINK; The AP's Leigh Strope recounts how the "nine contenders played to labor leaders" LINKand that "Gephardt has gambled his fight for the nomination on the support of organized labor and had the most at stake in the forum." LINK; Note this quote from SEIU's Andrew Stern: "'There's only one issue here: Dick Gephardt,' said Andrew Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, the largest in the federation. 'Dick Gephardt has the greatest and most passionate labor support of any candidate. The question is how broad is that support.'"; The Chicago Tribune's Jeff Zeleny writes, "Technically, the 90-minute meeting was not a debate. The rivals were not allotted time to directly engage, question or otherwise puncture one another. But moments into the session, several contenders set the rules aside and began to point fingers in a frenzied attempt to break out from the leaderless pack." ">LINK; The Chicago Sun Times' Scott Fornek writes, "Gephardt had the most riding on Tuesday's gathering." LINK; The New York Post 's Orin says "Dean looked relaxed, but Kerry looked tired and sounded hoarse." LINK

2. Dean wins part of the John Harwood primary: "Every Democrat has an electability problem against George W. Bush … . Mr. Dean's issue vulnerabilities are only marginally different from those of other Democrats; the party is increasingly homogenous ideologically, just as Republicans are. And any reasonable analysis must consider the very real assets that only the one-time medical doctor has yet demonstrated." … "Because the country remains so polarized, Mr. Bush's strategists have concluded that their core task in 2004 is mobilizing the Republican base, not persuading a diminishing pool of swing voters. To win, any Democratic nominee will have to generate intense support within the party to match that Republican fervor. The only candidate who can claim that capacity so far is Howard Dean."

3. The New York Times on the bifurcated housing market: "The cost of homes in the most expensive cities is now about six times that in the least expensive, up from a ratio of three to one two decades ago." LINK ; the Times ' Pear on proposed cuts in Medicare payments to doctors for cancer drugs. LINK; the Journal's Rogers on a drug card: "House and Senate negotiators announced a tentative agreement on a Medicare prescription-drug discount card that the Bush administration hopes to have in place by April 1, and which will provide $600 a year in aid for low-income beneficiaries."

4. The Orlando Sentinel blares: "As Senator Bob Graham seeks to boost his presidential campaign by leading his entire family on a weeklong summer tour of Iowa, a new survey back home in Florida shows his personal popularity sliding to a record low." LINK

5. The Washington Post 's David Broder pays homage to Jonathan Rauch's recent comparison of President Bush to President Roosevelt in National Journal. LINK ; Cursory similarities appear in the two men's press conferences, Broder writes. "In both of them, self-confidence was overflowing. As a counterpuncher to criticism and as a doubt-free exponent of his own beliefs, the current president is right up there with the inventor of the New Deal."


Two editorials on Karl Rove: the WSJ bashes him on steel tariffs; the New York Times , on water policy; he's named in both headlines. LINK

That rare interview with Dr. Judith Steinberg Dean, in the Los Angeles Times. LINK

If Wesley Clark doesn't get into the presidential contest, it won't be for the lack of trying by his supporters. The Washington Post 's Ann Gerhart paints a pitch-perfect portrait (sound and sight) of Monday night's Draft Wesley Clark MeetUp event at Stetson's. LINK

The New York Times on Hispanics' optimism. LINK The AP reports that Senator Lieberman announced Tuesday that Brian Hardwick, former national political director for Senator Daschle, will serve as a deputy campaign director. LINK

Taking another page out of the Clinton 1992 playbook, Senator Edwards has prepared a book of policy proposals called "Real Solutions for America." The 60-page book "will be distributed at campaign events in New Hampshire Wednesday and will also be available on Edwards' campaign web site," reports John Wagner of the News & Observer. LINK

Keying off Al Gore's plans to deliver a "major speech" on Iraq to a liberal activist group in New York tomorrow, the Washington Times ' James Lackley writes up speculation that the former vice president plans to "re-enter the race for the Democratic nomination for president." LINK

The Cincinnati Enquirer writes up Jerry's big announcement. LINK

In recall news:

-- Feinstein says she's out.

-- Schwarzenegger will announce once and for all whether he's in or out — on the Tonight Show, but possibly before.

-- Republican operatives have outlined a strategy to oust Davis and help Bush in California.

-- Arianna Huffington is expected to say she's running — she'll announce today at 1:30 pm ET.

-- Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D) is calling herself the "draft candidate."

Vice President Cheney goes to two fundraisers today. Both are open to the press. The first is in Sacramento, where he will not declare his candidacy for governor. The second is in Billings, Montana.

Senators Edwards and Kerry are in New Hampshire today. Edwards will hold a couple of town hall meetings and speak to teachers at an NEA summer conference. Kerry holds one of his "Fresh Air" forums in Manchester.

The Graham Family Vacation begins today in Des Moines. The Note wonders who will have to sit in the middle of the back seat when they go the Iowa State Fair Parade.

Congressman Kucinich, Senator Lieberman, Governor Dean and Reverend Sharpton all campaign in Iowa today too.

Kucinich speaks at the Plumbers and Steamfitters Hall in Des Moines and then heads to the fairgrounds for the parade. He'll also hold a post-parade rally with supporters.

Senator Lieberman holds a couple of receptions and a roundtable discussion with manufacturing leaders in Ankeny, Iowa.

Governor Dean has a slew of meet ups with Iowa voters, making five stops in Glenwood, Red Oak, Corning, Creston and Winterset. Then he literally meets up with supporters at a event in Des Moines.

Reverend Sharpton participates in Senator Harkin's "Hear it from the Heartland" forum tonight in Sioux City.

Congressman Gephardt and Ambassador Braun have no announced public events for today.

And Jerry Springer will offer his final thought on whether he will challenge Ohio Senator George Voinovich in 2004.

California recall:

Sen Dianne Feinstein said in a statement today that though she is "very flattered" by the urging of elected officials, community leaders and constituents to run for governor, "After thinking a great deal about this recall, its implications for the future, and its misguided nature, I have decided that I will not place my name on the ballot."

Feinstein went on to say she believes the recall is a terrible mistake and will be detrimental to California's economic recovery, setting a bad precedent that anyone with enough money can hire petition gatherers and mount a recall. She also said that it's clear that most candidates who may end up on the ballot have no background to qualify them to be governor.

"Sadly, the State is instead going to be engaged in an election that is becoming more and more like a carnival every day."

"Nine months ago, 3.5 million Californians voted in a fair election to reelect Governor Davis. I believe he should be given the opportunity to finish his term. I strongly urge all Californians to vote against this recall."

That leaves Democrats looking for another possible candidate by the weekend, and sources have mentioned State Controller Steve Westly, a multimillionaire who's new enough to politics to not be afraid of Democrats trying to keep the ballot clear for Davis.

Republicans are also looking for a backup in case Schwarzenegger and Riordan don't run, and the name they're mentioning is former Secretary of State Bill Jones.

The Los Angeles Times' Nicholas, Jones and Rabin have a must-read tick-tock on the who's-in-who's out dynamic. LINK

"'This is the scene at the OK Corral, right before the first cowboy grabs his gun,' said Dan Schnur, a Republican political consultant. 'They're all standing in the corral with their fingers hovering just above their weapons. And as soon as the first person draws, bullets will start flying in every direction.'"

(Note to Dan: Try not to give the same colorful word tone poem to two different reporters.)

Governor Gray Davis, meanwhile, in the midst of the fight of his political life and asking for labor's help, said in L.A. on Tuesday that he had confidence he would prevail.

"'Don't feel sorry for me,' he said at one point, expressing confidence that Californians would be fair. 'I trust they will make the right decision.'"

California recall, the Democrats:

The Los Angeles Times' Megan Garvey writes about the Times in the past Feinstein has opted out, then run anyway. LINK

And while conventional wisdom places Feinstein as the Democrat who could dwarf Republican rivals and pull off a victory, and despite the efforts of congressional Democrats to draft her, people close to Feinstein have in recent days talked about her reluctance to run.

"'If I thought she were running, I'd be making 25 fund-raising calls and 25 political calls and I'm really not doing that,' said Feinstein political adviser Kam Kuwata. 'Although I do believe if Dianne ran, she would win.'"

The AP's Werner reports on Davis' good news in Chicago. LINK

Werner Notes: "Not all unions have taken the AFL-CIO's stance. The California Correctional Peace Officers Association, the 31,000-member prison guards union that has traditionally been one of Davis' top supporters and donors, is staying neutral for now, Executive Vice President Lance Corcoran said Tuesday."

The AP's Tom Chorneau writes, "Amid the anxious chatter of Democrats who fear Gov. Gray Davis can't win a recall election, his near-term strategy remains focused on two things: staying close to Senator Dianne Feinstein, and staying even closer to organized labor." LINK

"So far, things are going according to plan."

The New York Post 's Page Six reports that former President Clinton has become the master strategist in California Gov. Gray Davis' campaign to prevent his recall on Oct. 7. LINK Meanwhile, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, who's been very vocal in urging Feinstein to run, is calling herself the draft candidate, the Los Angeles Times' Jean O. Pasco reports. LINK

The Hill's look at breaks in Democratic ranks includes a photo of Congresswoman Sanchez and a caption that reads: "Rep. Loretta Sanchez says she's not inclined to run, for now, but some labor groups have urged her to." LINK

California recall, the GOP:

The San Francisco Chronicle's Carla Marinucci reports, "While White House and national GOP officials insist they won't get involved in the California recall, a memo obtained by The Chronicle outlines a Republican strategy to oust Gov. Gray Davis and help President Bush before the 2004 presidential election." LINK

"The memo by California GOP organizer Julie Leitzell, who heads a political action committee called CommonSense Direction, says the Oct. 7 recall election presents an opportunity to target disaffected voters — particularly women."

"'We will work outside of the campaigns and outside of the party,' the memo to Republican activists says. 'None of the candidates will be attending, as we want to make sure the media are steered toward the 'common sense women against Davis' angle.'"

Marinucci writes further, "Leitzell's memo clearly suggests the imprimatur of the White House."

And … regarding that argument that the recall will cost the state even more money … there's this:

Leitzell's "memo says [Mindy Tucker,] California Republican Party spokeswoman Karen Hanretty, and Tracy Schmitt — formerly with the RNC and now with the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign — 'will be coordinating seven simultaneous media-friendly events throughout California, (and) we have been asked to call the Bay Area's attention to just how much Gray Davis will cost us if he were left in office.'"

"The memo states 'the resulting issue-oriented and image-enhancing coverage will benefit the image of the Republican Party, the recall candidates, and will benefit President Bush as we remind the public of who is to blame for the mess in this state.'"

The San Jose Mercury News' Dion Nissenbaum leads with Mindy Tucker's warning not to "read too much" into her consultations. LINK

Roll Call looks at Congressman Elton Gallegly's potential candidacy, which would likely be based on an anti-illegal immigration platform. Gallegly "commissioned a statewide poll by Arthur Finkelstein & Associates that was designed to test his viability … "

"As of June 30, Gallegly had just more than $1 million in his Congressional campaign account, though it is not yet clear to him whether he could use that money to run for governor."

California recall, the field:

The Los Angeles Times' Hoffman, Rubin and Mathews report that nearly 500 Californians have taken out papers to run for governor, but only 15 have filed the required documents to do so. LINK

According to the Secretary of State's office Web site, a total of 389 people — official and unofficial — have taken out papers. LINK

USA Today 's Martin Kasindorf gives an overview of today's newsy day in the Golden State. He reports, "With Saturday's deadline to file for a spot on the ballot approaching fast, 'this reminds me of the scene in Gunfight at the O.K. Corral right before the first shot is fired,' Republican campaign consultant Dan Schnur says. 'As soon as the first one draws, there'll be bullets flying in every direction.'" LINK

The Chicago Tribune's Vincent J. Schodolski previews how the dominos may fall. LINK

The Washington Post 's Rene Sanchez rounds up the spectacle of recall madness LINK The Chronicle's Salladay, Marinucci, and Sterngold take a head count of all the wannabe governors. LINK

California recall, the courts:

The San Francisco Chronicle's Reynolds Holding reviews the court action taken so far, analyzes why California may have Floridaphobia, and profiles the seven members of the state's high court. LINK

The California Secretary of State and Attorney General will file a response to Governor Davis' lawsuit at the California State Supreme Court today at 12 pm ET. Davis is suing to delay the election until March, and to put his name on the list of candidates up for election.