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Off to the races: Liz Cheney drops WY SEN bid

MSNBC.com’s Benjy Sarlin on the political stories to watch in 2014.

Maggie Haberman on the shadow Clinton 2016 campaign: “Publicly, Clinton insists she’s many months away from a decision about her political future. But a shadow campaign on her behalf has nevertheless been steadily building for the better part of a year — a quiet, intensifying, improvisational effort to lay the groundwork for another White House bid. Some of the activity has the former first lady’s tacit approval. Some involves outside groups that are operating independently, and at times in competition with one another, to prepare a final career act for the former senator and secretary of state, whose legacy as the most powerful woman in the history of American politics is already secure. More than two dozen people in her orbit interviewed for this article described a virtual campaign in waiting — a term that itself makes some of Clinton’s supporters bristle — consisting of longtime Clinton loyalists as well as people who worked doggedly to elect her onetime rival Obama.”

On MSNBC’s Morning Joe Monday morning, former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer was asked if he’d run in 2016. He hesitated and said it would “ruin” his life. “I haven’t decided that,” he said. “It would ruin my life.”

Mitt Romney as on FOX News Sunday and said that the Affordable Care Act is “hurting the economy.” He also claimed, “It’s not just the president telling people that they have to buy insurance,” he said. “He told them what do buy.” He said that because of people having to buy maternity and birth control, arguing that he vetoed a clause that would have forced residents to buy “gold-plated plans.”

Of course, while the health law requires coverage for maternity and birth control, like most group health plans already cover – even if it’s not “needed” for certain individuals  -- the exchanges offer “Gold,” “Silver,” and “Bronze” plans.

GEORGIA: Michelle Nunn (D)’s campaign announced that she raised $1.6 million in the fourth quarter and $3.3 million overall since getting into the open Senate race.

WYOMING: NBC: Liz Cheney, who was challenging Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi in a Republican primary has ended her candidacy, citing ‘health issues.’ In an official statement released by her campaign,the eldest daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney said the health of her family was her ‘overriding priority.’”

AP: “Cheney moved her family from Virginia to Wyoming to run for the seat. Her effort to replace Enzi, a Senate veteran, angered and upset many Republicans and her campaign faced a number of problems.”

CNN, which first reported the news: “Her critics labeled her a carpetbagger, noting that she moved to Wyoming only in 2012 after relocating from Virginia. The issue flared in August after the Wyoming media reported that Cheney improperly received a fishing license despite not living in the state for at least a year, as the law requires.”

The New York Times’ Jonathan Martin: “A campaign meant to carry on the Cheney banner of pugnacious conservatism, especially on national security, offered a vivid reminder about the limitations of transferring political power.”