The Note: Spending All the Time in the Vanity Factory

WASHINGTON, Oct. 31

The environment for the last week of the midterm season is the bitter, angry Freak Show that now defines the center of American politics.

(Oh, and it is the second consecutive day in a row with no actual news-of-day political lede, beyond looming POTUS words.)

No one is questioning anyone else's patriotism, of course, but when Dick Cheney and Charlie Rangel can't play nice, it is obvious that something has gone off the tracks, and no amount of Gergen-Sheekey-Ornstein kumbayaing (or Note insiderdom. . .) can change the vector direction.

And/but we are all about common ground here. So let's start with things that Howard Dean and Karl Rove both agree with (or, at least, should agree with): 1. It is hard to beat an incumbent. 2. Both turning out the base AND winning the votes of independents matter, with Stu Rothenberg reminding us about independents today. LINK

3. The same people in politics and media overreact in the same way to the sort-of-the-same small-sample public polls that come out within a week of the election every two years.

4. There are no exit polls in House races.

5. In a major change, all of the exit poll results will be available to only a handful of sequestered staffers from the consortium members until 5 pm ET, meaning the data will not be on Drudge until 5:10 ET at the earliest (unless something goes wrong). LINK

6. Every news organization makes mistakes in how they deal with polls and exit polls; not every news organization makes these mistakes based on ideological bias.

7. The conservative base (HEARTS) Sean Hannity.

8. The Republicans would like Charlie Rangel (and Howard Dean) front and center in the last week; the Democrats would like Dick Cheney (and Karl Rove) front and center in the last week.

President Bush was scheduled to meet with the Special Envoy for Sudan at the White House this morning at 9:00 am ET. The White House press pool will be ushered in at the end of the meeting perhaps to capture some presidential comments on reports that North Korea is rejoining six party talks.

Highlighting the GOP's hopes of picking up Democratic seats in Georgia, President Bush campaigns in Georgia for the second day in a row. He holds a 5:00 pm ET rally in Perry, GA. Perry, GA is currently represented by Rep. Mac Collins (R-GA) who is being challenged by Democrat Jim Marshall. Mr. Bush appears in part two of his interview on Fox News Channel's "Hannity and Colmes" at 9 pm ET.

First Lady Laura Bush delivers remarks at a North Carolina rally for GOP candidates at the Western North Carolina Agriculture Center, Fletcher, NC at 10:45 am ET. The event is open to the press. Mrs. Bush also delivers remarks at a Tennessee rally at the Meadow View Conference Resort and Convention Center in Kingsport, TN at 12:40 pm ET in another event opened to the press. In her final stop, Mrs. Bush speaks at the Factory in Franklin, TN at 2:25 pm ET.

In addition to the event with Laura Bush, Bob Corker attends a campaign event with the County Officials Associations of Tennessee State Convention at 6:00 pm ET at the Chattanooga Marriott Hotel in Chattanooga, TN and then heads to a 7:00 p.m. ET Get-Out-The-Vote rally for Hamilton county at Chester Frost Park in Chattanooga, TN.

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) delivers a major speech to the Council on Foreign Relations regarding Asia and the Middle East in New York, NY at 1:00 pm ET.

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