“White House chief of staff Denis McDonough held an unpublicized meeting with Sen. Michael Bennet (Colo.), chairman of the Senate Democrats’ campaign arm, amid anger and anxiety that ObamaCare’s botched rollout could cost the party its majority next year,” The Hill writes.
Roll Call notes: “The last day of November was billed as a key date for fixing HealthCare.gov, but the real test may come on Dec. 9, when Senate Democrats return to Washington from a two-week break.”
Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid told a Nevada TV station that he thinks the health care law will turn out good for Democrats in 2014: “I think it’s going to be good for them,” he told NBC affiliate KSNV. “By that time, there will be a lot of people on it that have already signed up. It’ll be fine. … We have 21 Democratic senators that are up, and … we’re watching two or three of them closely, but to take over the majority they’d need six seats. I’m not cocky, but I am comfortable where we are. I think we’re in pretty good shape.”
The Hill: “In a significant development, GOP candidates have embraced a concept that was unthinkable a year ago: fixing President Obama’s landmark law. Others, meanwhile, have offered replacement healthcare plans. … Yet, offering to fix a law that is reviled by the GOP base is politically tricky. Some in Republican circles want the law to flop miserably, which would increase the chances of an eventual repeal.”
Maggie Haberman: “Hillary Clinton was the featured attraction at an event honoring the late diplomat Richard Holbrooke and his global work on Wednesday night in Manhattan, where questions focused on her law school days, her race for U.S. Senate, the Osama bin Laden raid and her appointment to the State Department. Missing from the litany of questions from the Carlyle Group’s David Rubenstein was one about the former secretary of state’s view of the Obama administration’s nuclear-freeze deal with Iran, an issue that’s dominated international headlines.”
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus told Hugh Hewitt, per Politico, the RNC is “focusing in” on Hillary Clinton: “We have. So our research shop, along with America Rising, has been focusing in on Hillary Clinton. But I agree with you that there needs to be a more of a focus.”
In another chapter of how’s the reaching out working… Politico writes, “Virginia Rep. Randy Forbes, a senior House Republican eyeing a powerful committee chairmanship, is causing friction with some of his colleagues by pushing the House GOP campaign arm to deny support for some of the party’s gay congressional candidates. Forbes has waged a lengthy crusade to convince his colleagues and the National Republican Congressional Committee brass they shouldn’t back some gay candidates. His efforts on Capitol Hill were described to Politico by more than a half-dozen sources with direct knowledge of the talks.”
And this… Republicans are having to be tutored in how to run against women. One GOP aide told Politico: “Let me put it this way, some of these guys have a lot to learn.”
ALASKA: Kyle Trygstad: “In a unique twist among most Republican Senate primaries this cycle, the fight for the nomination in Alaska has become a two-headed battle for the establishment mantle. … The race for support is between Dan Sullivan, a former Bush appointee with a wealth of Washington connections, and Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, who has been in or around Alaska politics for decades. Since entering the race in October, the buzz has centered squarely on Sullivan — even though he’s never run for office before.”
ARKANSAS: “It's never good when a party committee is denounced by a member of its own party. But that's what happened Wednesday, when the Senate campaign of GOP Rep. Tom Cotton of Arkansas denounced as ‘bizarre and offensive’ an attack from the National Republican Senatorial Committee on the religious faith of Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark.,” National Journal writes. “Pryor, widely believed to be the nation's most vulnerable incumbent Democrat, launched a television ad on Wednesday clutching a Bible and calling it ‘my compass, my North Star.’
NRSC Communications Director Brad Dayspring, known across Washington for his aggressive style, wrote a blog post about some of Pyror's past comments about the Bible, including a statement last year that it ‘is really not a rule book for political issues.’ So is the Bible Mark Pryor's compass, providing the 'comfort and guidance to do what's best for Arkansas?' Or is it really not a good rule book for political issues and decisions made in the Senate? Guess it depends on which Mark Pryor that you ask,’ Dayspring wrote.”
GEORGIA: “Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) on Wednesday sought to clarify earlier comments that it wasn't the ‘responsible’ thing to let ObamaCare fail, saying he meant the GOP should take an active role in dismantling it. ‘By saying that's not a responsible thing to do, I meant to say, if it's teetering, you have to push it over the cliff,’ he told The Hill. Kingston, who's running for Senate in Georgia against seven other Republicans for his party's nomination, has taken heavy fire from his opponents for comments he made last week that appeared to break with his party's strategy on ObamaCare.”
Republican Mike Collins, running for the open GA-10 seat, is first out of the 2014 gate for offbeat campaign video, going up with a web video of him imitating Jean Claude Van Damme’s split between two trucks. He doesn’t pull off the split, by the way.
FLORIDA: Fights over voting rights are about to be in the spotlight again.
ILLINOIS: Emily Cahn: “A sought-after Chicagoland district will host the state’s most competitive primary, as four GOP hopefuls are feuding to take on Rep. Bill Foster, a Democrat, in 2014. Until recently, Republicans viewed state Rep. Darlene Senger as the GOP front-runner in the 11th District. But according to interviews with more than a half-dozen Illinois Republican operatives, local pols say her lackluster fundraising since she entered the race in April has impeded her ability to clear the field.”
MINNESOTA: Abby Livingston: “GOP state Sen. Torrey Westrom will announce Thursday that he will challenge longtime Rep. Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn., in the 7th District. Westrom, the first legally blind person elected to the Minnesota Legislature, will make the announcement Thursday morning in the northwestern part of the state, according to a news release from the campaign. Westrom is the first Republican to announce a bid against Peterson. Republicans have made the 12-term Democrat a top target in 2014.”
MONTANA: Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester as well as Gov. Steve Bullock all endorsed former Baucus staffer John Lewis in the race for the at-large House seat, Roll Call reports. Republicans are favored, but have a primary between state Sen. Matt Rosendale and former state Senate Minority Leader Corey Stapleton.
NEW YORK: Gannett: “Donald Trump spent more than two hours privately Wednesday with a group of Republican lawmakers and operatives who tried to entice him to run for governor next year.”
VIRGINIA: Mark your calendars, the recount dates in the attorney general’s race are set for Dec. 16th in Fairfax County and Dec. 17th in the rest of the state, the Richmond NBC12 affiliate reported.