Ron Brownstein: “The two parties are portraying the stalemate over the federal budget and health reform as a titanic clash of principle, but a plurality of Americans believes that causing political problems for President Obama is now the GOP's top priority in Washington, the latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll has found. Respondents didn't view Washington Democrats' motivations quite so cynically, but even so, when the poll asked the public to rank that party's priorities, causing problems for congressional Republicans finished second, only behind reducing health care costs.”
National Journal: “In the story of how Obamacare went from the undisputed ‘law of the land,’ as Speaker John Boehner said last November, to a law Republicans say is worth shutting down the government to stop, Jim DeMint has been the unsung protagonist. Past and present aides to the former South Carolina Republican senator, tea party lawmakers he helped elect, and the Heritage Foundation he now leads have their fingerprints all over the political thriller that has left the federal government hanging in the balance. The DeMint diaspora is driving the drama, both behind the scenes and in front of the cameras.”
Brownstein also makes this point: “Resolving the serial showdowns over the federal budget and debt ceiling may be more difficult now than during the last shutdown under Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich because so many more House Republicans today represent safely GOP districts, a National Journal analysis has found. This suggests that even if a public backlash develops against a shutdown or potential government default, Republican members may be far more insulated against those gales than their counterparts were during the two shutdowns in the winter of 1995 and 1996.”
The blame game: Patrick Reis: “You can believe that Republicans forced a shutdown by taking the government hostage to muscle through changes they couldn't get through regular order. Or you can blame Democrats for refusing to make any changes whatsoever to Obamacare in exchange for keeping the government open. But you can't blame them both.”
NBC’s Michael Isikoff looks at how Democrats and Republicans are fundraising off the shutdown, from President Obama to Paul Ryan and the RNC. The DNC said it raised $850,000 in 24 hours before shutdown, more than any day since the 2012 election, Isikoff reports.
Quinnipiac’s out with their national 2016 poll and finds Hillary Clinton dominating. She leads the Democratic field with 61%, followed by Vice President Biden 11%, and Elizabeth Warren 7%. And she beats Chris Christie (49-36), Rand Paul (53-36) and Ted Cruz (54-31) by double digits. On the GOP side, its: Paul 17%, Christie 13%, Marco Rubio 12%, Jeb Bush 11%, Ted Cruz 10%, Paul Ryan 10%.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R) is selling his home in Wrentham, MA. Could a move to New Hampshire be next?
NEW JERSEY. Newark Star Ledger: "Texas Gov. Rick Perry called the nation’s implementation of Obamacare 'a criminal act' as he ended his trip across New Jersey today with a rally for U.S. Senate candidate Steve Lonegan outside a Bergen County diner."
VIRGINIA: Washington Post: "Cuccinelli and his fellow Republicans have sought to turn the shutdown issue around on McAuliffe, noting that the Democrat has said multiple times that as governor he would not sign a Virginia budget that did not include money to expand Medicaid. That, Republicans say, is a threat. McAuliffe denied Tuesday that he had ever drawn such a bright line....Democrats have badgered Cuccinelli over the shutdown by linking him to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), a chief architect of the GOP’s current strategy who is scheduled to appear at the Family Foundation’s dinner Saturday night in Richmond. Cuccinelli will also be there."
Virginian Pilot: "The leading candidates for Virginia governor make another play for women voters in their latest campaign ads, with Republican Ken Cuccinelli looking to shrink his polling deficit with that gender, and Democrat Terry McAuliffe trying to widen that gap. McAuliffe's ad covers familiar ground, claiming Cuccinelli's co-sponsorship of a 2007 personhood bill would have made illegal common contraceptives such as the pill even though 'more than half of American women use them at some point in their lives'...Cuccinelli's ad aims to counteract that trend -- it relies on Richmond School Board member Tichi Pinkney Eppes to dispel what she calls 'false and misleading' attacks alleging the candidate has an anti-woman agenda."
Planned Parenthood votes says it’s airing a $1 million TV and radio buy hitting Ken Cuccinelli in the state’s gubernatorial contest.