The Note: The State of Our Union Is . . . Confused

WASHINGTON, Nov. 7

NEWS SUMMARY

Notes, copied from a napkin, from yesterday's weekly Gang of 500 Lauriol Plaza brunch, on all the conventional wisdom (distilled):

Tuesday's elections: either party can "win"

Exit polls: THE NETWORKS AREN'T DOING THEM, but call [NAME REDACTED] -- he should have numbers

Virginia governor: the gutsy Washington Post is right ("turnout efforts could be especially critical")

New Jersey governor: stand right up now and let them shoot through you

California initiatives: the post-mortems are already written

El Presidente: floundering or recovering?

VPOTUS: "still has it" or "losing it"?

Rove: staying (Fred Barnes LINK), should stay (Bill Kristol LINK), or going (Mike Allen LINK)?

Scalito: from "right wing" to "just right" (of course, if he is good enough on abortion for the Washington Post ed board . . . .LINK)

Republican spending cuts: the hard stuff is still to come

Republican moves against the oil companies: anyone seen any, uhm, polling data on this?

West Wing live debate: Shales nails it LINK

Judy Miller: at bay or on the way?

There's one must-read piece today: the Washington Post's Dana Priest and Robin Wright take an A1 look at Vice President Cheney's mission to block more restrictive rules on the handling of terrorist suspects from taking effect. The piece paints Cheney as a near solitary voice in the cause against the likes of Secretary Rice, Acting Deputy Secretary England, Sen. McCain, and others who appear to believe America's image could benefit from some changes to the rules. LINK

It's a must read for all sorts of reasons, especially the blind quotes and the likely motivations of those quoted (not to mention their identities!!!).

President Bush lends Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Jerry Kilgore some 11th hour campaign help today at an 8:00 pm ET rally at the Richmond International Airport. The President will stop in Richmond on his way back from Panama where he meets with Panamanian President Martin Torrijos.

Thus, The Note decrees: Mr. Bush owns the outcome of this one (along with Gov. Mark Warner).

Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine will seek to counter the President's appearance on behalf of Kilgore by campaigning around the state today with Warner. The Democratic duo will attend rallies to "Keep Virginia Moving Forward with Tim Kaine" in Roanoke, Northern Virginia, Richmond, and Norfolk.

In addition to his 8:00 pm ET rally with President Bush in Richmond, Kilgore campaigns today in Fairfax, Norfolk, Roanoke, and Abingdon. Sen. George Allen (R-VA) will be on hand for two of those events.

RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman is in Virginia today to rally grassroots GOP supporters in Manassas, Ashburn, and Chantilly.

Polls continue to show the race super-close, but let's let the voters decide, shall we?

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) campaigns today for his four ballot measures -- Propositions 74 (public school teacher tenure), Proposition 75 (union dues for political purposes), Proposition 76 (state spending and school funding limits), and Proposition 77 (redistricting). He has campaign stops planned for Chico, Roseville, San Ramon, Fresno, Corona, Orange, and Del Mar.

Polls continue to show the Governor's measures behind, but let's let the voters decide, shall we?

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