The Note: Grounded Control

Searching for the Obama blueprint? The AP's Chuck Babington found it: "In a 10th-floor office a few blocks from the White House is a self-described government in waiting, ready to push detailed proposals for the economy, Iraq and scores of other issues if Barack Obama becomes president."

"The Center for American Progress, formed five years ago by top aides to former President Clinton, could become Washington's most influential think tank overnight. It is about to publish a 50-chapter book on how to run a Democratic administration, and many Obama aides have perused its 26-page document describing what the last five presidents did on each day of his transition."

McCain makes things more difficult for Republicans: "With less than a week to go until Election Day, some congressional Republicans are complaining that John McCain isn't doing more to help them avoid massive losses. Others are just hoping that he stays the heck away," Patrick O'Connor and Martin Kay II write for Politico.

Obama makes things more difficult for Republicans: "Barack Obama is shaking up the South by greatly expanding the black vote and forcing Republicans to confront splits in the same white conservative base that has long fortified the GOP in Congress," Politico's David Rogers writes.

"Like several other Senate and House candidates in North Carolina, Ohio and Connecticut, [Georgia Sen. Saxby] Chambliss finds himself in a tight race even though only months ago he was considered a cinch for re-election," Carl Hulse writes in The New York Times. "A significant part of his problem is the surging participation by African-American voters, their ranks bolstered by the newly registered, a group expected to vote overwhelmingly for Democrats this year."

US News & World Report's Kenneth T. Walsh considers 42 and 43, on the eve of Halloween: "It seems fitting that, in the run-up to Halloween, two spectral presidents are haunting the campaign for the White House -- George W. Bush and Bill Clinton," Walsh writes.

With President Bush convening a meeting of world leaders, "It's like the captain of the Titanic holding a seminar on how to navigate the Atlantic shipping lanes," says Matthew Dowd, a former Bush strategist.

The Sked:

John McCain holds four rallies in Ohio -- first in Defiance at 10 am ET, then in Sandusky at 1:45 pm ET, next in Elyria at 3:10 pm ET, and finally in Mentor at 6 pm ET.

Barack Obama hopscotches to three rallies in three red states -- in Sarasota, Fla. at 11 am ET, Virginia Beach at 5:45 pm ET and last in Columbia, Mo. at 10:30 pm ET.

Sarah Palin begins her day in Cape Girardeau, Mo., at 10:30 am ET, then heads to Erie, Pa., at 4:15 pm ET and finishes in Williamsport, Pa., at 7 pm ET.

Joe Biden also has three rallies planned -- Arnold, Mo., at 11 am ET, Williamsport, Pa., at 4:30 pm ET, and Allentown, Pa., at 7:30 pm ET.

President Bush is in Quantico, Va. Thursday -- he will speak at an FBI Academy Graduation Ceremony at 10 am ET and then visit the Marine Helicopter Squadron One hanger at 11:40 am ET.

One more pre-election stop-by: "Longtime ESPN anchor Chris Berman stopped by the National Press Club on Wednesday, where he announced that it appears likely that he will get to interview both candidates during Monday night's live broadcast, which, of course, will take place just hours before voters head to the polls," per Roll Call's Emily Heil and Elizabeth Brotherton.

Also in the news:

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