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- Democratic senators seeking reelection in 2014 "took their complaints about the troubled launch of the federal health law directly to the White House Wednesday, as the surprisingly close governor's race in Virginia prompted some in the party to warn that they would face voter backlash next year if the problems weren't fixed." (Wall Street Journal)
- In MT SEN, Rep. Steve Daines (R), "ending months of speculation about when and if he would jump into" the race, "officially launched his campaign Wednesday, saying it's time for Republicans to take control of the Senate." (Billings Gazette)
- In TX SEN, evangelical writer David Barton (R) announced Wednesday he won't run against Sen. John Cornyn (R) in a primary. (Time)
- In NJ-03, Rep. Jon Runyan (R) announced Wednesday he "will not seek a third term," citing a desire to spend more time with his family. Burlington County Freeholder Aimee Belgard (D) "confirmed Wednesday that she would run after spending most of the last year considering whether to challenge for the seat." (Burlington County Times)
- In GA GOV, state Sen. Jason Carter (D), grandson of Jimmy Carter, "will challenge" Gov. Nathan Deal (R) "next year in a move that catapults the gubernatorial contest into the national spotlight and tests whether Georgia's changing demographics can loosen the Republican Party's 12-year grip on the state's highest office, Carter announced in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
- "Top Democratic officials launched a concerted offensive Wednesday to define" New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) "in a negative light, believing that he has emerged from his reelection landslide as the Republican Party's strongest potential presidential contender for 2016." (Washington Post)
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• Lesson of 2010: the tea party anger over health care and government activism that led to divisive GOP primaries also led to a historic Republican sweep that November. With the failures of the Obamacare implementation, we're seeing similar levels of anger re-emerging from the base, and growing dissatisfaction among independents. It's no surprise that DSCC chairman Michael Bennet spent a couple hours privately bending the president's ear on his members' concerns about the political impact of the law.
• Brian Schweitzer handicapped the MT SEN Democratic primary thusly: If the primary were held today, his old Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger (D) "would win 2-to-1 over" current Lt. Gov. John Walsh (D). "But the election isn't right now, it's next year, and the Democratic Senate machine in Washington, D.C., has their sights set on John Walsh, so he'll have a lot more money." Schweitzer stressed -- repeatedly -- that he's friends with both men and will probably give to both of them, though the comments closely echo Bohlinger's early anti-establishment line as he launches his candidacy.
HAIR OF THE DOG
"Mannequins Give Shape to a Venezuelan Fantasy" (New York Times)
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- "A day after" Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) "narrowly lost the Virginia governor's race ... Republicans were talking about what might have been if the conservative attorney general had picked up enough votes to pull off an upset -- and who's to blame within the party that he didn't." (Washington Post)
- Virginia Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe (D) "got started Wednesday with a news conference at which he announced key transition team members, restated his early priorities in office and spoke of cultivating cross-aisle legislative partners to advance an agenda." (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)
- "How Terry McAuliffe mapped his Virginia win" (Politico)
- "Capping a day of electoral twists and turns" in the VA AG race, state Sen. Mark Obenshain (R) Wednesday night "clung to" a "narrow," 681-vote lead over state Sen. Mark Herring (D) "in a contest that ... is among the closest statewide contests in recent memory" and "appears headed for a recount." (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
- New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio (D) "hit the ground running ... sitting down Wednesday with the man he battered throughout the campaign," Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I). (New York Daily News)
- Bloomberg "is planning to return to his namesake Bloomberg L.P." after his term ends in January, "in a role that will see him primarily involved in its online opinion offering, Bloomberg View." (Capital New York)
- At a "Ready for Hillary" fundraiser held Wednesday night at a downtown L.A. nightclub, "more than 400 mostly twentysomething fans" of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) "milled around the cavernous dance floor, sipping $8 drinks such as The Rodham (Jack Daniels with peach schnapps, sweet & sour, orange juice, 7-Up and a splash of grenadine) as local politicos exhorted them to prepare for another Clinton presidential run." (Washington Post)
- Vice President Biden intended to congratulate Boston Mayor-elect Marty Walsh (D) on Tuesday night, but he called "the wrong Marty Walsh," instead phoning "a former aide" to then-Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) "who is now the president of Gateway Public Solutions, a government relations firm in Boston." (Boston Globe)
- "Marty Walsh victory in Boston mayoral race heralded as 'great day for Galway'" (Galway Advertiser)
- "We need to challenge the Tea Party representatives who like the Taliban shut our country down." -- MT SEN candidate/former Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger (D), who also compared the shutdown "to the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, and the terrorists' actions on Sept. 11, 2001. (Billings Gazette)
- "Resolution to Impeach Holder Being Drafted, Yoho Says" (Roll Call)
- "Chris Christie Was Born to Run" -- The headline of the cover story in the Nov. 18 issue of Time
- "The spectacle surrounding" Toronto Mayor Rob Ford "grew even more surreal on Wednesday with a city hall visit from troubled ex-wrestler Iron Sheik." (Toronto Star)
- "Wendy Davis says 'I am pro-life' because she wants to protect women" (Dallas Morning News)
PLAY OF THE DAY!
- Today's weather, from the National Weather Service: Showers. Highs in the lower 60s. Southwest winds 5 to 10 mph, becoming northwest 10 to 15 mph with gusts up to 25 mph this afternoon. Chance of rain 90%.
- The Senate returns at 10 a.m., with a vote on ENDA expected later Thursday.
- National Journal re-launches "The Next America," the first eventin a series that will bring together educators, employers, analysts, and political leaders to examine the pathways to success for America's rapidly changing population. (Grand Hyatt, until 11:15 a.m.)
- The Caps host the Minnesota Wild. (Verizon Center, 7 p.m.)
- The Redskins have the Bandwagon gassed up for their game in Minneapolis against the Vikings. (8:25 p.m., NFL Network/WRC-TV).
- Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!
- The gatefold cover of Little Feat's 1977 "Waiting for Columbus" double live album features a photograph of a notice in the window of the box office prohibiting admission to anyone wearing "Motor bike gear or any metal studded clothing."
- The winner is Mike Callahan, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "Speaking of 1977, which two pollsters did then-New York City mayoral candidate Ed Koch (D) hire for his 1977 campaign, one of the first to use nightly tracking polls?" The 2nd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
- We're still tabulating the results as Va., N.J. and N.Y.C. finish counting their ballots, so check back Friday for results from Hotline's Election Contest!
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- No Consensus on GOP Plans to Replace Obamacare
- Big Labor Calling Out House GOP on Immigration
- Senate Nears Another Meltdown on Presidential Nominees
- Time to Stop the Senate Filibuster Madness
- Why There's Doubt About a College Education
"We're a dime a dozen in Boston. I probably know eight Marty Walshes." -- The other Marty Walsh (Boston Globe)
"I don't want to be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me. Years ago we had the church. That was only a way of saying -- we had each other. The Knights of Columbus were real head-breakers; true guineas. They took over their piece of the city. Twenty years after an Irishman couldn't get a [expletive] job, we had the presidency. May he rest in peace." -- "Frank Costello," ("The Departed")
Josh Kraushaar, Editor-in-Chief
Steven Shepard, Executive Editor