“Democratic candidates in tough races are calling for a fix to the health care law to allow Americans to keep their current insurance plans, reflecting the grim political reality facing the party following the botched rollout of the law,” The Hill writes. “Many Democrats are laying low and most are avoiding outright endorsement of congressional proposals to address the insurance plan controversy, put forward by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) in the House and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) in the Senate. Of the 32 Democratic candidates contacted by The Hill on the issue, only eight responded with comments on the law, and only one was available for an interview.”
And here’s a reason why Democrats are nervous. Polls are starting to show Republicans gaining on the congressional ballot. A Fox poll yesterday was the first one showing Republicans leading – 43%-40%.
We missed this one the other day, but Christie has irritated someone who had been a staunch ally – Tom Kean Sr. because the allegation is that Christie worked to oust Kean’s son as Senate minority leader in New Jersey to boost the Democratic majority leader, who Christie needs to help pass his agenda. This could become a fascinating storyline in 2016 of Chris Christie siding with a Democrat over a Republican ally to increase his political standing. There have been Republicans again this week who blamed Christie for Romney’s loss because of his embrace of President Obama post-Sandy.
The Bergen Record: “Kean Jr. survived the coup attempt, dealing Christie a rare rebuke from his own party since sweeping into office four years ago. But whether Christie’s relationship with the elder Kean survives remains an open question. The episode raises another question about whether Christie’s ambition trumps loyalty — an issue that dogged the governor when his post-Sandy embrace of President Obama was seen by some supporters of Republican Mitt Romney as an act of betrayal. … Sweeney and Kean Jr. have been locked in a bitter political feud, which reached a boiling point this fall when Kean Jr. financed an aggressive campaign to defeat Sweeney. But Sweeney has developed a friendship with a far more powerful Republican – Christie. Over the past four years, Sweeney has collaborated with Christie on big-ticket items, such as health and pension benefit reform. Christie will need Sweeney’s help if he is to have any chance of building on that ‘bipartisan’ record in a second term. Seen through that lens, Sweeney may be more valuable to Christie than Kean Jr. … Former Governor Kean’s remarks represent a marked departure from his often glowing assessments of Christie. Kean often recounts how the young Christie showed up at the doorstep of his Livingston home in 1977.”
MASSACHUSETTS: The Boston Globe: “Although Massachusetts has made great strides in providing quality healthcare to most residents, there is more work to be done, Attorney General Martha Coakley is set to say in a speech Friday. In particular, the state needs to increase access to mental health treatment, an issue that is deeply personal to Coakley: her brother committed suicide in 1996. Coakley, who is running for governor, has rarely spoken about his death during her long career as a public official, though she has brought it up more frequently in the last few years.”
And they’re off… “Two top Democratic hopefuls for governor have released web videos in recent days, offering a peek into the messaging they are likely to emphasize over the course of a long campaign,” the Boston Globe writes. “Both Treasurer Steven Grossman and Attorney General Martha Coakley highlight efforts their respective offices have made to help people in the state.” The primary, involving some seven Democrats doesn’t take place until Sept. 4 of next year.
MICHIGAN: Nathan Gonzales notes that the open Michigan Senate race is no lock for Democrats.
MISSISSIPPI: Washington Post: "Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) hasn't announced his reelection plans yet, but the opposition is already gearing up. Senate Conservatives Action, an arm of the Senate Conservatives Fund, is making a $263,000 ad buy in the state on behalf of its endorsed candidate, state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R), according to information shared with Post Politics.The ad features footage of McDaniel's campaign launch, pitching his message of conservatism. It will air for two weeks on broadcast and cable television."
TEXAS: Houston Chronicle: "When Texas Sen. John Cornyn launches his campaign for a third six-year term on Friday with a rally in Austin, it will feature a cameo appearance by Gov. Rick Perry - but no sign of tea party-backed freshman Sen. Ted Cruz."