The Note

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.

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