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Decision 2013/2014/2016: Fahrenkopf sounds ooff

Frank Fahrenkopf, former RNC chairman and head of the Commission on Presidential Debates, lit into Mitt Romney’s campaign and Republicans for not understanding the country’s demographics and losing on voter turnout. “And I thought McCain’s campaign was the worst I’d seen in modern history,” he said, per Jon Ralston.

He also took a shot at debate moderator Candy Crowley, calling her selection a “mistake” and contended that media bias is real but the GOP has to “live with it.” He also called Michael Steele a “name that will live in infamy” for not fixing how primaries are run or limiting debates. Of Chris Christie’s embrace of Obama during Sandy: “He kissed him. He didn’t have to French-kiss him. I think he went overboard.”

“The National Rifle Association will launch a print advertising campaign targeting mostly Democratic senators up for re-election in 2014, according to sources close to the group,” Roll Call reports. “On Thursday, full-page ads are scheduled to run in local newspapers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Maine, North Carolina and West Virginia. They will be supplemented by digital advertising in these states and 10 others, including Alaska, Colorado, Montana, New Hampshire and South Dakota. Additionally, the group has scheduled full-page ads to run Feb. 25 in regional editions of USA Today, reaching parts of 15 states. The campaign is estimated to cost north of $375,000, sources said.”

“Who could bring together President Obama and Dick Cheney on the same side of an issue?” USA Today asks, “Supporters of gay marriage. The Respect for Marriage Coalition launched an ad Wednesday featuring comments from Obama and Cheney, who have clashed repeatedly on national security issues but back the idea of same-sex marriage. The ad also includes clips from former first lady Laura Bush and ex-Secretary of State Colin Powell.”

Stu Rothenberg on the GOP’s internecine problems: “Ultimately, the Republican Party’s problems go back to its base voters, who participate in primaries and nominating conventions. Many of them are so blinded by their anger toward President Barack Obama, the national news media and their own party leaders that they are willing to nominate the most conservative candidate in a primary, no matter how limited his or her appeal in a general election. And for party strategists, there is no easy solution to that problem.”

ALASKA: Here we go again… “Joe Miller, the tea party favorite who was backed by Sarah Palin when he roiled GOP politics in the 2010 midterm elections, is seriously considering another bid at an Alaska Senate seat, a campaign that could prompt a bare-knuckled effort against a candidate pushed by the party establishment,” Politico writes.

ILLINOIS: The Chicago Tribune: “Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., and his wife, former Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson, are expected to plead guilty to federal charges today, when more details may emerge about an alleged crime spree in which he is accused of spending more than $750,000 in campaign cash to buy luxury items, memorabilia and other goods. Attorneys familiar with public corruption investigations said the amount of campaign cash allegedly converted to personal use in this case is the largest of any that they can remember. Jackson Jr., who has been largely out of the public eye for eight months, is to appear in court at 9:30 a.m. Chicago time. His wife is to appear at 1:30 p.m. Chicago time.”

KENTUCKY: Mitch McConnell put out this video poking fun at Democrats’ search for a candidate to run against him.

NEBRASKA: “Sen. Mike Johanns’s (R-Neb.) retirement could open up another battleground in the fight between the establishment and grassroots factions of the Republican Party, with a deep bench of potential candidates likely to run in a state in which $1 million can go a long way,” The Hill writes. “At least one outside group that typically backs grassroots and Tea-Party-affiliated candidates — the Senate Conservatives Fund — is looking at the race as an opportunity in 2014.”

NEW JERSEY: Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) approval is at a record 74% in a Quinnipiac poll. He leads in a hypotchetical matchup against state Sen. Barbara Buono (D), the leading Democrat by a whopping 62-25%.

VIRGINIA: A Quinnipiac poll finds Terry McAuliffe (D) and state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) tied at 38-38%. With Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling in the race, McAuliffe gains a narrow advantage, 34-31% over Cucinelli; Bolling gets 13%.

Despite rumors that he might retire, signs are that Frank Wolf (R-VA) will run again, Roll Call reports.

WEST VIRGINIA: Democrats still don’t have a candidate for the Senate seat. Yesterday, Carte Goodwin (remember him???) turned down a run.