The Note: The Gambler

Where's Carly been? "For months, the former Hewlett-Packard Co. chief executive officer was the face of the McCain campaign in scores of televised interviews. She was mentioned as a possible vice president, a Washington outsider who could bolster the Arizona senator's economic credentials and draw women voters," Bloomberg's Indira A.R. Lakshmanan writes. "Now, she is on the sidelines: After at least six national TV appearances last week, Fiorina, 54, has stopped granting interviews and has spoken at just one campaign event since her Sept. 16 comment that none of the presidential or vice presidential candidates -- including the ones she is advising -- was qualified to run a major corporation."

Dirty money in Chicago? "A $100,000 state grant for a botanic garden in Englewood that then-state Sen. Barack Obama awarded in 2001 to a group headed by a onetime campaign volunteer is now under investigation by the Illinois attorney general amid new questions, prompted by Chicago Sun-Times reports, about whether the money might have been misspent," the Sun-Times' Chris Fusco and Dave McKinney report.

"The garden was never built. And now state records obtained by the Sun-Times show $65,000 of the grant money went to the wife of Kenny B. Smith, the Obama 2000 congressional campaign volunteer who heads the Chicago Better Housing Association, which was in charge of the project for the blighted South Side neighborhood."

Betcha Biden can't say the same: "A grainy YouTube video surfaced Wednesday showing Sarah Palin being blessed in her hometown church three years ago by a Kenyan pastor who prayed for her protection from 'witchcraft' as she prepared to seek higher office," Garance Burke reports for the AP. "The video shows Palin standing before Bishop Thomas Muthee in the pulpit of the Wasilla Assembly of God church, holding her hands open as he asked Jesus Christ to keep her safe from 'every form of witchcraft.' "

Betcha Palin would disagree: "Well, obviously, of course, she does not have that," First Lady Laura Bush said on CNN, when asked if Palin has foreign policy experience. "That has not been her role, but I think that she is a very quick study and fortunately John McCain does have that experience."

Palin, to Katie Couric, on whether we're headed for a depression (read carefully for the news): "Unfortunately, that is the road that America may find itself on. Not necessarily this, as it's been proposed, has to pass or we're going to find ourselves in another Great Depression. But, there has got to be action -- bipartisan effort -- Congress not pointing fingers at one another but finding the solution to this, taking action, and being serious about the reforms on Wall Street that are needed."

And examples of McCain pushing for regulation? "I'll try to find you some and I'll bring them to you," Palin said. (Looking forward to that delivery, governor.)

Miracle of miracles: "McCain spokesman Michael Goldfarb said Palin will do more interviews and hold at least one news conference before Election Day," The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz reports.

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