Politico: “Democrats have spent five years complaining President Barack Obama hasn’t done enough with his bully pulpit. So when he went on defense on his health care law over the past two months as it floundered, they ached for him to step it up. Tuesday they got what they wanted. The White House launched three weeks of Affordable Care Act promotion in what it promises will be one of Obama’s most extensive, consistent messaging efforts in office. The first event was low-key — a short, quiet, decidedly non-rally-like appearance in a White House complex auditorium.”
New York Times: “White House officials, asserting that the HealthCare.gov website is largely fixed, are under mounting pressure from Democrats and close allies to hold senior-level people accountable for the botched rollout of President Obama’s signature domestic achievement and to determine who should be fired. For weeks, the president and his aides have said they are not interested in conducting a witch hunt in the middle of the effort to rescue the website. But in the West Wing, the desire for an explanation about how an administration that prides itself on competence bungled so badly remains an urgent mission.”
Washington Post: “A surge of diplomacy and an outburst of violence in the days since world powers reached a deal with Iran illustrate both the promise and the peril of what could be the start of a more peaceful era in the Middle East — or the beginning of a new round of bloodletting. The announcement of the six-month accord on Iran’s nuclear program, hailed by President Obama as an opportunity to reverse decades of hostility between Washington and Tehran, has quickly been followed by indications of the deal’s potential to unlock other regional conflicts.
Wall Street Journal: “U.S. Vice President Joe Biden called for renewed efforts to build up the relationship between U.S. and China, as he appeared with Chinese President Xi Jinping at a time of rising tensions between the two countries and in the region.”
National Journal: “The Obamacare debacle has gifted Republicans with a fighting chance to retake the U.S. Senate, and who better to cast as the evil spirit that haunts Congress’s upper chamber than Majority Leader Harry Reid. Reid is the face of a Democratic Senate caucus that has tied itself in knots trying to fix what ails the health care law. Plus, his decision to strip the Republican minority of its power to filibuster President Obama’s judicial and executive appointments has unleashed a fresh wave of derision from the GOP…. Already, Republicans on the trail are tying their Democratic opponents to Reid.”
Rothenberg Political Report’s Nathan Gonzales: “House Democrats are stockpiling cash, and some GOP strategists have expressed concern that Democrats could use their financial advantage to expand the playing field….So how could that impact the midterm elections? Democratic insiders believe they will be in a great financial position no matter what political environment they are handed.”
ARKANSAS: KATV: “Sen. Mark Pryor is out with a new TV ad offering a Biblical solution to the already heated 2014 Senate race in Arkansas. Pryor’s campaign said the ad will begin airing on Wednesday. In the 30 second ad, Pryor speaks directly to the camera about his faith in the Bible. The ad is a substantial purchase for the campaign and will run statewide.”
FLORIDA: Tampa Bay Times: “In a bad sign for Charlie Crist’s fledgling gubernatorial campaign, his hotshot new campaign manager, Bill Hyers, has left the campaign. Hyers, fresh off his big New York City win managing the campaign of Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, was slated to start full time any day and had already been introduced to donors. “It’s early. Our campaign structure is still coming together. Bill wanted to stay in New York because it was good for him,” Crist said in a brief email, discounting chatter among Democrats that Hyers’ departure related to differences with the candidate’s wife, Carole Crist.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Boston Globe: “Former US senator Scott Brown will headline the New Hampshire GOP holiday dinner this month, furthering speculation that he is considering a run for the Senate in that state. The event, along with frequent visits to the Granite State, have fueled questions about Brown’s plans. On Tuesday, Brown also penned an opinion piece on Fo x - News.com calling the implementation of the Affordable Care Act a tale of “hypocrisy and double standards.”
WYOMING: ABC News: “Former Vice President Dick Cheney reluctantly commented today on the rift between his two daughters Liz and Mary Cheney, saying that he was surprised that Mary, who is lesbian, and her wife attacked Liz on Facebook. ‘We were surprised that there was an attack launched against Liz on Facebook, and wished it hadn’t happened,” Cheney said at the National Press Club. “It’s always been dealt with within the context of the family and frankly that’s our preference.’”
New York Times: “Supporters of Liz Cheney, whose campaign for a Senate seat in Wyoming got off to a rocky start, have created a “super PAC” to bolster her “name awareness and approval rating.” The group is hosting a high-dollar fund-raiser this week in Washington featuring her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, at a Georgetown restaurant, according to an emailed invitation. Mr. Cheney will be the keynote speaker at a $10,000-per-couple dinner here on Thursday at Cafe Milano to benefit the newly formed Cowboy PAC, a group that aims “to begin a statewide advertising campaign in the very near future.”