Spotlight

The Hotline Gives Thanks

President Barack Obama (2nd L) pardons the 2012 National Thanksgiving Turkey Cobbler as daughters Sasha Obama (3rd L) and Malia Obama (R), and National Turkey Federation Chairman Steve Willardsen (L) look on during a Rose Garden event November 21, 2012 at the White House.
National Journal
Steven Shepard, Scott Bland, Kevin Brennan, Julie Sobel, Alex Roarty and Karyn Bruggeman
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Steven Shepard Scott Bland Kevin Brennan Julie Sobel Alex Roarty Karyn Bruggeman
Nov. 26, 2013, 6:35 a.m.

This week is the time to give thanks. What are folks in polit­ics thank­ful for this year?

— Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) is thank­ful for former Sen. Scott Brown‘s (R-MA) in­de­cision. Brown has been pub­licly flirt­ing with a NH SEN run for months, and oth­er Re­pub­lic­ans have been passing on the race left and right. Former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds (R) should be thank­ful for Demo­crat Rick Wei­l­and, who hasn’t united his party be­hind his can­did­acy, des­pite be­ing the only real can­did­ate. Demo­crat Al­is­on Lun­der­gan Grimes is thank­ful for Matt Hoskins and Sen­ate Con­ser­vat­ives Fund for play­ing the role of chief ant­ag­on­ists to Sen­ate Minor­ity Lead­er Mitch Mc­Con­nell (R-KY).

— Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is thank­ful that po­ten­tial Dem rivals Bill Da­ley and Lisa Madigan passed, ef­fect­ively grant­ing him re­nom­in­a­tion. Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) is thank­ful that 2010 can­did­ate Eli­ot Cut­ler (I) wants to give it an­oth­er go next year, im­prov­ing LePage’s chances at win­ning a 3-way race. The DCCC is thank­ful for the gov­ern­ment shut­down, while the NR­SC is thank­ful for the botched Obama­care rol­lout. Both com­mit­tees are fight­ing up­hill battles this cycle to win back ma­jor­it­ies in their re­spect­ive cham­bers (the DCCC much more so than the NR­SC, per Tues­day’s new CNN gen­er­ic bal­lot poll), but they both end the year with more po­tent cases to make against the oth­er side than they star­ted with.

— On the light­er side, mem­bers of Con­gress should be thank­ful for the wealth of ex­tra-cur­ricular activ­it­ies D.C. has to of­fer! Plenty of pols com­plain that Wash­ing­ton is a hor­rible place, but Trey Radel and Mike Crapo have demon­strated there’s plenty to do around here be­sides le­gis­lat­ing and fun­drais­ing. And Rep. Bruce Bra­ley (D-IA) is thank­ful that he no longer has to go without tow­el ser­vice at the House gym, now that the gov­ern­ment has re­opened.

And we are forever thank­ful for you, our read­ers, for your sup­port over the years. Have a happy Thanks­giv­ing, and we’ll see you back here on Monday.

Josh Kraushaar contributed to this article.
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