The Note

Marinucci and Simon also report Riordan adviser (and Laura Bush press secretary) Noelia Rodriguez is suggesting the former mayor "distance himself from his Democratic advisers, political strategist Clint Reilly and pollster Pat Cadell."

Roll Call 's Paul Kane and David Perera do a masterful left-coast job writing up the mounting pressure on Senator Feinstein.

"'It's a very heartfelt vote of confidence and I'm appreciative of it,' Feinstein said of expressions of support from Reps. Loretta Sanchez (D) and Cal Dooley (D), both of whom urged Feinstein to enter the Oct. 7 recall election."

"'But I have no further comment,' she said, declining an offer to make any sort of unequivocal statement about the race."

Speaking of wiggle room, check out these quotes from one Senator Clinton and her former in-law Senator Boxer.

"Calling the entire situation 'such a bizarre circumstance,' Clinton said. 'I'm just going to do everything I can — until informed otherwise — to fight against the recall. Right now, as far as I know, we're all fighting against the recall.'"

"Boxer, who is up for re-election in 2004, said that the resolution this week of the state budget impasse, which shored up a $38 billion deficit, might be able to temper the situation and reinforce support for Davis."

"'We have to see how the public reacts. … Let's just see how the public reacts. There's still time,' Boxer said."

Mr. Kane and Mr. Perera also suggest that if Dianne Feinstein became governor, she might appoint either Congresswoman Jane Harman or Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante to her senate seat.

The Associated Press' Erica Werner writes up Governor Davis' efforts to divert attention away from the issue of Democratic unity and on to the recently passed budget plan. LINK Dion Nissenbaum places Arnold Schwarzenegger still on the fence and writes the lack of announcement from the actor is causing GOP hope that "he might pull a last-minute surprise." LINK The Los Angeles Times' Claudia Eller and Michael Cieply take a look at what is ahead for Arnold if not the governorship. LINK

"With politics apparently headed to the back burner, according to associates, the actor will have to return his attention to one of Hollywood's most confounding tasks: how to become a fresh face without diminishing an aura built on the past. That probably will mean reaching out to filmmakers who once might have courted him, adjusting his screen persona and perhaps taking roles in smaller pictures that would showcase skills that may have escaped notice."

Robert Tanner of the Associated Press explores the perfect storm that produced the California recall election and wonders if they will start to be seen at a state near you. LINK Here's a link to the helpful Associated Press list of the 18 states that currently have laws allowing recall elections. LINK George Skelton of the Los Angeles Times declares the GOP the winning party in California's budget battle. LINK

The tax tussle/Clark and Reardon contretemps:

Dean planned an afternoon speech on job creation; Kerry pre-released remarks from an evening speech of his to muddle up the news cycle and create a contrast; Gephardt joined the fray by accusing Dean of theft; Dean speaks; Kerry speaks; then Graham issues a statement asking all of them to explain how they're going to pay for everything.

What's this all about?

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