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Off to the races: Comeback Kid

The Boston Globe: “One of Mitt Romney’s former campaign aides is planning to ­release a new book next week that is being pitched as an insider’s account that provides ‘an unblinking look at the tactical and strategic miscalculations’ made by the former presidential candidate.

The NewsJournal (Wilmington, Del.): “Delaware became the 11th state Tuesday to legalize same-sex marriage after a lengthy debate in the state Senate that saw one lawmaker disclose her longtime same-sex relationship and the surprise support of two senators who could have tipped the outcome the other way. A half-hour after the 12-9 Senate vote, Gov. Jack Markell signed the bill into law on the main stairs in the lobby of Legislative Hall.”

The Minneapolis Star Tribune: The Minnesota House will hold a final floor vote on whether to legalize same-sex marriage Thursday. House Speaker Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, said he would not bring the measure up for a floor vote until he was certain it had the votes to pass. The Senate is expected to take up the measure soon after. DFL Gov. Mark Dayton is a supporter of same-sex marriage and said he will sign the proposal into law.”

Chris Christie at a press conference yesterday on his weight surgery: "I'm doing it for my long-term health. This is about being healthier for the rest of your life." (Christie, by the way, makes another humorous video – this one with him searching for the fleece he wore in the aftermath of Sandy.)

USA Today: “Christie rejected the idea the weight-loss surgery is a bid to boost his political career as he seeks a second term in November and is frequently mentioned as a 2016 presidential contender. ‘This is a hell of a lot more important to me than running for president,’ he said. … Political analysts said Tuesday they take Christie at his word that the surgery was done for his health, but they acknowledged there could be an upside.”

“A coalition of liberal and environmental groups announced Tuesday that members would stop advertising on Facebook for two weeks to object to the ‘cynical advertising strategy’ of a pro-immigration group linked to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg,” USA Today writes.

Politico: “Mark Zuckerberg is used to being disruptive — but this time it’s in politics and that is making some in the tech world uneasy. The Facebook chief executive’s big foray into politics — with a focus on comprehensive immigration reform — has rattled some tech leaders who worry the Zuckerberg group’s cozy ties with conservative lawmakers are damaging the industry’s image. Usually, tech prefers to stay above the political fray.”

GEORGIA: Rep. John Barrow (D-GA) will not run for the Senate in Georgia, a Democratic operative confirmed to First Read yesterday. The conservative Democrat was perhaps the party’s best shot at winning the open seat to replace the retiring Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

Sean Sullivan at the Washington Post: “Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.) will not run for the Senate in 2014, he announced Tuesday, ending months of speculation over whether the conservative Democrat would make a bid. … Barrow’s conservative profile would have made him the most attractive Democratic candidate for retiring Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss’s seat. Now, Democrats will likely turn their attention to Michelle Nunn, another potential candidate. She is the daughter of former senator Sam Nunn.”

SOUTH CAROLINA: The Island Packet headline: “Mark Sanford: The new comeback kid.” “The big victory Tuesday suggests First Congressional District voters cared more about a consistent voice for limited government and no new spending than transgressions that seemed certain to torpedo Sanford’s political career four years ago.”

Shortly after Sanford was declared the winner, Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) and the DCCC tried to make Sanford the face of the GOP with women. Israel said in a statement, in part: “House Republicans’ outreach to women voters now has Mark Sanford as the face. Republicans now have to defend him and stand with him until Election Day.”

USA Today: “Republican Mark Sanford won South Carolina's congressional special election Tuesday, but the results may not conclude the drama of a disgraced former governor on the outs with his own party.” For example, “On Thursday, however, Sanford will appear in a televised court hearing to answer a charge of trespassing from his former wife. Then he'll head to Washington, where he made few friends during his previous three terms in office bucking the Republican leadership.”

Said political scientist Danielle Vinson of Furman University in Greenville, S.C.: "I don't see him having a lot of trouble if he can just shut his mouth about his private life and stop making an enemy of his ex-wife." If he can't, Vinson says, "the frustration with being a national punch line is pretty high in that district."

That’s the question – can he do that?

To sum it up, here was Sanford the newly and openly religious Sanford in his victory speech, (h/t Political Wire): "I want to acknowledge a God not just of second chances. But a God of third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth chances because that is the reality of our shared humanity."

VIRGINIA: Jill Lawrence looks at Terry McAuliffe’s potential problem with women voters because of passages in his book that include him “ditching his wife Dorothy while she was in labor, to dash to a party for a Washington Post reporter.” And, Lawrence writes, “The more problematic anecdote to me is one that involves the birth of another baby, in this case a newborn son whom McAuliffe left in the car with Dorothy on the way home from the hospital while he spent 15 minutes at a fundraiser. She was in tears, he writes. How the heck did he think women would react to that?”

On top of that… “Then there’s what McAuliffe told the late writer Marjorie Williams for a profile in Vanity Fair. He said his wife ‘has no idea’ how much money he has, and implied she doesn’t need to know: ‘She’s got a great life. Listen, her credit cards are paid and all that. She knows I do very well.’”