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Off to the races: Don't forget about Kasich

Josh Kraushaar: “There's one candidate who isn't generating much buzz and whose résumé compares favorably with any of the top-tier candidates. He's a battleground-state governor who's looking in strong position to win a second term. He defeated one of the more popular Democratic governors in the country, who happened to be a major Clinton ally. He's from the Midwest, likely to be the critical region in the 2016 presidential election. He entered office as a prominent fiscal conservative but compromised on Medicaid expansion. And most important, Republican officials familiar with his thinking say he's seriously considering a presidential campaign. Enter Ohio Gov. John Kasich.” 

Speaking of potential 2016 Republicans, National Journal notes, “The United States is having a libertarian moment. And Rand Paul is getting ready to capture it by himself. The Kentucky Republican delivered his own response to President Obama's State of the Union on Tuesday night via YouTube. But the rebuttal wasn't so much about what Obama said Tuesday as much as it was an opening salvo for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, the bulk of it coming as a directed argument against big government.”

National Journal: “Senate Democrats have a big problem. Historically, Senate candidates struggle where their party's president is the least popular. And, as Gallup's 2013 state approval-rating averages show, President Obama is very, very unpopular in the states Democrats have to defend in the 2014 elections.” 

Christine Todd Whitman on Cathy McMorris-Rodgers’ response, per the LA Times: "It's hard for me to phrase this politely. Sometimes Republicans think that just putting a woman up front means somehow that women are going to feel good about the party. It is not about the messenger. It's about the message. And until we figure that one out, while it's nice that we have a woman as a spokesperson, if the message itself doesn't get changed a bit, it's not going to work." (H/T: Political Wire.)