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- "President Obama laid out an aspirational agenda Wednesday for the remainder of his presidency, looking past the Republican opposition that has long blocked his goals and toward policies to narrow income inequality and promote opportunity for the poor." (Washington Post)
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce "is launching ads backing" Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), "who faces a primary challenge" in ID-02. The Chamber is also launching ads in West Virginia, boosting SEN candidate/Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R) and WV-03 candidate/state Sen. Evan Jenkins (R). (AP)
- In AK SEN, the super PAC Put Alaska First launched a new TV ad on Wednesday, defending Sen. Mark Begich (D). (release)
- In AR SEN, Reclaim America, Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-FL) PAC, is planning "an oversized TV ad buy ... supporting" Rep. Tom Cotton (R). "Rubio aides ... declined to provide a precise sum" for the expenditure. (Wall Street Journal)
- In MN-07, state Sen. Torrey Westrom (R) "will announce" on Thursday "his bid to unseat" Rep. Collin Peterson (D), "who hasn't been in a close election in nearly 20 years ... despite running in one of the most Republican-leaning districts in Minnesota." (Benmidji Pioneer)
- In NY-11, New York City Councilman Dominic Recchia (D) "has written to a federal judge seeking leniency for a reputed Colombo [family] mobster who will be sentenced this month for money laundering and illegal gambling." (New York Daily News)
- In NY-13, countering a New York Post report earlier this week, Rep. Charles Rangel (D) "has not, in fact, made up his mind yet" about running for reelection. Rangel "has also started to meet with potential successors." (State of Politics)
- In CA GOV, a new Field Poll of RVs, conducted Nov. 15-Dec. 3, shows Gov. Jerry Brown (D) leading the primary over former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado (R), 52-11%, with Assemb. Tim Donnelly (R) at 9% and former TARP administrator Neel Kashkari (R) at 3%. (release)
- A new Public Policy Institute of California poll of CA GOV primary LVs, conducted Nov. 12-19, shows Brown leading Donnelly, 46-16%, with Maldonado at 7%. (release)
- In FL GOV, former GOP Gov. Charlie Crist's (D) "newly-formed political committee, Charlie Crist for Florida, raised $2.1 million in its first month," which doesn't include "the fundraising totals for his campaign committee." Gov. Rick Scott (R), who doesn't have a campaign committee yet, "amassed $4 million" last month for his "Let's Get to Work" political committee. (Miami Herald)
- In OH GOV, LG candidate/state Sen. Eric Kearney (D) on Wednesday "released 'unprecedented detail' in a spreadsheet of more than $825,000 in unpaid taxes and penalties associated with KGL Media Group," a company that prints an African-American newspaper and other community publications, owned by Kearney and his wife. (Columbus Dispatch)
- Businessman Hal Heiner (R) "is nearing an announcement that he will run" for KY GOV in 2015, "looking to make it official early in the new year." (Lexington Herald-Leader)
- On Wednesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) "became so sick of media speculation that she might run" for president "as a populist alternative" to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) "that she made her most definitive statement to date in an attempt to put the issue to rest, promising to remain in the Senate." (Boston Globe)
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• Republicans say Westrom's bid to take on Peterson in MN-07 is part of wider candidate recruitment gains they're making in the current friendly political environment, just like Dems did during and after the government shutdown in October. Fast-moving polls have shown that political moments have been fleeting, but these kinds of gains remain in place even when polls fade.
• Scott Brown continues to play coy about his interest in running for Senate in New Hampshire, even as anonymous sources say he's now likely to jump into the race. Brown probably needs to come to a decision quickly: His drawn-out flirtations have drawn some harsh reactions within the state in the past.
HAIR OF THE DOG
"A City of Tolerance Has a Deal for Alcoholics: Work Paid in Beer" (New York Times)
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- Cotton's camp "on Wednesday denounced a 'bizarre and offensive' attack" on Sen. Mark Pryor's (D) faith by NRSC communications director Brad Dayspring. (The Hill)
- Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) "has waged a lengthy crusade to convince his colleagues and the National Republican Congressional Committee brass they shouldn't back some gay candidates" in House races next year, like former San Diego city Councilman Carl DeMaio (R) in CA-52 and 2012 nominee Richard Tisei (R) in MA-06. (Politico)
- "GOP men tutored in running against women" (Politico)
- "FBI officials searched" former Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson's (R) "home two weeks ago and confiscated computers and other material connected to presidential campaign politics, his lawyer said Wednesday." (Des Moines Register)
- "Large Companies Prepared to Pay Price on Carbon" (New York Times)
- "When you're my age, at four in the morning to trudge up the stairs to the bathroom, it's no picnic." -- Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), on living on the first floor of a Capitol Hill house with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Rep. George Miller (D-CA). (CNN)
- "Biden Talks Up Pool Reporter To Chinese VP: 'He Is The One You Really Want To Speak To'" (Weekly Standard)
- "You think they want to be spending their time here, Madam Speaker? Is that what you think? You think they want to be here in the gallery, probably traveling at their own expense to Washington? And you're saying we're addressing them, and that's what you're upset about Madam Speaker? I want you, Madam Speaker, to address the reason that they are here! They are here because our government is tearing apart their families, Madam Speaker!" -- Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), to Speaker Pro Tempore Jackie Walorski (R-IN) on Wednesday, after Walorski "noted it was out of order" for Rep. Joe Garcia (D-FL) "to announce the presence of ... immigration reform activists" in the gallery (Huffington Post)
- "TN makes unprecedented push to execute 10 killers" (Nashville Tennesseean)
- "Joe Heck compared to the people I've run against over the years, is a lightweight. Let him run." -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, on the possibility that Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) could run against him in 2016. (Slash/Politics)
- "Martin Bashir Resigns From MSNBC" (Mediaite.com)
PLAY OF THE DAY!
- Today's weather, from the National Weather Service: Mostly cloudy. Patchy drizzle this morning. Patchy fog this morning. Highs in the upper 60s. South winds 5 to 10 mph.
- The House is back at 9 a.m.
- First Lady Michelle Obama hosts military families at the White House for the first viewing of the 2013 holiday decorations. (Noon)
- Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) addresses the American Legislative Exchange Council's "State and Nation" Policy Summit. (Grand Hyatt, 12:30 p.m.)
- Georgetown hosts High Point. (Verizon Center, 9 p.m.)
- Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!
- The College of William and Mary has graduated the most presidents for a non-Ivy institution.
- The winner is Robert Law, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "Thomas Jefferson, a graduate of the College of William and Mary and third president of the United States, has three things listed on his tombstone. Name the three accomplishments." The 3rd correct answer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- Obamacare Is Costing Democrats the White Women They'll Need at the Ballot Box
- Democrats Link Themselves to Warren to Gain Primary Advantages
- Americans See Little Chance of Better Obama-Congress Relationship in 2014
- A Showdown in Mississippi
- Tom Cotton vs. the NRSC
"I pledge to serve out my term." -- Warren (Boston Globe)
"I will serve out my full six-year term." -- Obama, Jan. 22, 2006 ("Meet the Press")
Steven Shepard, Editor-in-Chief