Robert Novak

President Bush's advisers are keeping him well away from the California recall election, but they are not pleased with the posture of Arnold Schwarzenegger's campaign manager, George Gorton.

Gorton, who ran Republican Pete Wilson's last successful campaign for governor, is reported as critical of the "right-wing" Republicans opposing Schwarzenegger. The Bush inner circle thinks Schwarzenegger is at his best speaking his own words, as he did in announcing his candidacy on NBC's Jay Leno program, rather than reading staff-written rhetoric.

A footnote: While critical of the Republican right, the Schwarzenegger camp is making overtures to a leading conservative candidate for governor, State Sen. Tom McClintock, to endorse Schwarzenegger. According to political sources, McClintock has not totally ruled this out.


A District of Columbia tax saving of less than $1,000 on his new Washington home has helped Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle's foes in the conservative Club for Growth claim that he is "a Washington resident and not the average man of Aberdeen (S.D.)."

D.C. tax records show that Daschle claimed the $30,000 "homestead" tax exemption on the French colonial home he purchased on fashionable Foxhall Road for $1.9 million. While intended to help lower-income Washingtonians, the exemption is available for any home in the nation's capital that is the occupant's "permanent" residence. But South Dakota law requires that all of its elected officials be residents of the state.

Neither Daschle nor Republican former Rep. John Thune has announced his candidacy for their expected Senate showdown next year.

Robert Novak

Robert Novak (1931-2009) was a syndicated columnist and editor of the Evans-Novak Political Report.

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