Recall On Hold: While Arnold Schwarzenegger's hard-hitting (and he hopes female-voter attracting) interview with Oprah Winfrey aired on Monday afternoon, a three-judge federal appeals court panel ruled that the historic California recall vote cannot proceed because some votes would be cast using outmoded punch-card ballot machines.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals withheld ordering the immediate implementation of its decision, allowing a week for appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court. One possibility is that the 9th Circuit, the nation's largest and most liberal federal appeals court, might move the election to the next regularly scheduled primary, on March 2.
Meanwhile, Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, flew to Chicago to appear on Oprah's season premier. Winfrey asked Shriver, the niece of John F. Kennedy, whether she'd been raised to look the other way if her husband was a womanizer. Shriver replied: "I am my own woman. I accept him with all his strengths and all his weaknesses, as he does me. The last time I checked my vows, that's what marriage is supposed to be about."
On the Democratic side, some big names, including most of the presidential contenders, are flocking to California to campaign with embattled Gov. Gray Davis. Former President Clinton does a fundraiser for Davis in Beverly Hills today; Howard Dean campaigned with him last week; and John Kerry, Bob Graham, Al Gore and Rev. Jesse Jackson all have events scheduled with him later this week.
The airwaves are continuing to heat up in the Golden State, too. Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante plans to start running ads against the controversial Proposition 54 (which would forbid the use of race as a factor in state decisions) with the more than $4 million he's received from several Indian tribes, the L.A. Times reports. He scrapped plans to use the money to run ads about his gubernatorial candidacy with the tribes' money after being criticized for it.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that a conservative group plans to run ads criticizing Schwarzenegger's moderate positions on social issues, specifically gay rights and abortion rights.
Schwarzenegger appeared over the weekend at the California GOP's convention, where he referred to himself seven times as a conservative and invoked the name of Ronald Reagan three times in the keynote speech. State Sen. Tom McClintock, the extremely conservative Republican running against Schwarzenegger, pledged to stay in the race until the end, defying criticism that his candidacy was splitting the GOP vote.
Face To Face Doesn't Mean One On One: As much as political junkies would have drooled over the prospect of a John Kerry-Howard Dean one-on-one debate, don't count on it happening anytime soon.
On Sunday's "Face the Nation," CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer asked Kerry about a comment Dean made recently about Kerry's lack of public criticism about Dean during a debate last week.
"He said the other day: 'I wish he would say to my face what he says behind my back.' Have you decided to go easy on him?" Schieffer asked Kerry.
"If he wants a challenge and he wants us to go face to face, I accept," responded Kerry. "Let's get together, let's have a debate and let's talk about the issues for the country and show people the differences between us."
Kerry even suggested they could have the debate on "Face the Nation."
Within hours, Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi shot down the offer, saying Dean doesn't want to exclude "the other seven candidates" from any debates.
"Senator Kerry will continue to have ample opportunity to debate the differences between himself and Governor Dean during the upcoming candidate forums," Trippi wrote in a letter to Kerry campaign manager Jim Jordan. "We believe it is up to the American people to narrow the field through the democratic nominating process and not for any one candidate to subvert this process simply because that suits us."
Speaking of Dean and debates, it seems as if he may be a bit more scripted than he's letting on.
At the Sept. 9 Congressional Black Caucus debate in Baltimore, Dean wittily responded to a question about the racial makeup of his state: "If the percent of minorities that's in your state has anything to do with how you can connect with African-American voters, then Trent Lott would be Martin Luther King."
Well, it turns out the hit line wasn't a Dean original. In a scene on the new HBO show "K Street," which debuted last night, Democratic consultants James Carville and Paul Begala were featured in a cameo where they gave Dean that very line.
Grumbling in the GOP Ranks: Roll Call reports that House Republicans, in a grumpy mood last week about Iraq, the economy and falling poll numbers, "lashed out at their own leadership and President Bush during a tense, closed door session." With Speaker Dennis Hastert away, the group may have felt freer to let loose, the paper speculates. The griping was led by Reps. Walter Jones, Anne Northup, Nancy Johnson and Ray LaHood.
Rep. Deborah Pryce, who chairs the GOP Conference, said in a memo that concerns about jobs and Iraq have converged in recent weeks causing "anxiety about the direction of the country" to escalate. A poll done for the House Republicans by David Winston showed only 37 percent of Americans now believe the country is headed in the "right direction."
Pryce has "huddled" with White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett and Majority Leader Tom DeLay to come up with a way to push the $87 billion Iraq supplementary request. Roll Call says that the figure stunned GOP lawmakers, as well as Democrats.
"From a communications standpoint I don't think we're in the best position we've ever been, " Price said. She described the Republican members as "beaten and worn down."
Members, as well as GOP staffers, insisted there was still strong support for President Bush and the Hastert-DeLay team, but said they are exasperated that the White House looks like they've become "bogged down in a quagmire in Iraq."
Political Week Ahead:
Funny Guy: Before formally announcing his presidential candidacy in his hometown of Robbins, N.C, on Tuesday, John Edwards decided to skip the Sunday talk show circuit for a Monday night show. Edwards plans to share the "news" on the Daily Show on Comedy Central, Monday night at 11 p.m. Edwards appeared on the program last October and promised host Jon Stewart he'd be the first to know whether he was running for president. He's still planning to make his formal announcement in front of the mill where his father worked in Robbins, N.C. and later in Columbia, S.C.
Clark Watch: Countdown continues on the presidential plans of retired Gen. Wesley Clark. Clark sources tell CBS News that we'll know something by the end of this week.
President Bush tours the Detroit Edison Monroe plant in Monroe, Mich., then heads to Drexel Hill, Pa., for a Bush/Cheney fundraiser. Laura Bush fundraises in Mobile, Ala. Howard Dean attends town hall meetings at A&M University in Huntsville, Ala., and in Atlanta, Ga., where he will officially launch Generation Dean. John Edwards will officially announce his presidency Monday night on Comedy Central. Dick Gephardt attends fundraisers in San Francisco. Bob Graham holds three fundraising events, one in Denver and two in Phoenix. John Kerry attends press conference on corporate responsibility in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and meets with supporters at University of Iowa. Dennis Kucinich holds press conference and public rally on Proposition 54 before attending a fundraising lunch in Oakland. Joe Lieberman campaigns in New Hampshire. Other: President Clinton attends opening of the William Jefferson Clinton Elementary School in L.A. and then the America India Foundation Reception in San Francisco. He also attends a fund-raising event for Gov Gray Davis in Beverly Hills.
Laura Bush campaigns in Kansas City, Kan. Edwards formally announces his candidacy in Robbins, N.C. and Columbia, S.C. Gephardt fundraises and attends political meetings in L.A. Graham campaigns against California Recall with Gov. Gray Davis in L.A. and then attends fundraisers in Newport Beach and Westwood. Kerry fundraises in California. Kucinich attends the Global Renaissance Alliance Democracy conference in Arlington, Va. No public events scheduled for Dean or Lieberman. Other: President Clinton participates in a 90-minute discussion with Leon Panetta at a conference titled, "The Challenge of Presidential Leadership in the 21st Century" in Monterrey, Calif.
Dean campaigns in New Hampshire. Edwards holds a town hall meeting in Concord, N.H. Gephardt fundraises in California. Graham attends fundraisers in Dallas and Weston, Fla. Kerry appears with Gov. Gray Davis in L.A. Kucinich holds a conference call with Democrats Abroad. Lieberman campaigns in western Iowa.
Dean campaigns in New Hampshire. Gephardt campaigns in Washington. Graham attends fundraisers in Ft. Lauderdale and Miami Beach, Fla. Kucinich holds a "People Have the Power" rally with Ralph Nader and Patti Smith in Washington. Lieberman attends EPW Hearing in Washington.
Dean campaigns in New Hampshire. Gephardt campaigns in Washington. Graham attends two fundraisers in Gainesville, Fla., and holds a fundraising dinner in North Broward, Fla. Kucinich attends the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine, before heading to Cambridge, Mass. where he will give the keynote address for the Massachusetts Peace Action's annual convention. Other: Former Gen. Wesley Clark giving a speech at the University of Iowa.
Quote of the Day: "I think at this time it's best that I keep the relationship with my dad a private matter." – White House spokesman Scott McClellan, whose father has just written a book, "Blood, Money and Power: How L.B.J. Killed J.F.K." (New York Times)