First Read Flash: Redemption is sweet

Updated
CHARLESTON, SC - APRIL 30:  Former South Carolina Governor and U.S. House of Representatives Republican candidate for the state of South Carolina Mark...
CHARLESTON, SC - APRIL 30: Former South Carolina Governor and U.S. House of Representatives Republican candidate for the state of South Carolina Mark...
Richard Ellis/Getty Images

Here’s what we’re reading at The Daily Rundown for Wednesday, May 8, 2013.

Redemption is sweet. The comeback story is complete for former Gov. Mark Sanford (R), who won Tuesday’s special election in South Carolina’s 1st District by a comfortable nine-point margin over Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch. The key for Sanford? Despite his well-documented flaws, the significant GOP lean of the district was just too much for Democrats to overcome. As we wrote yesterday, Sanford made the primary a referendum on redemption, but he made the general a referendum on national Democrats – and voters in the Palmetto State chose the GOP.

Benghazi battles.  Eyes will be on Capitol Hill today with more testimony from State Department officials on last year’s attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Libya. According to the New York Times, congressional Republicans say the testimony will be a “damning indictment” that the Obama administration “did not do all they could to stop the attack, and then misled the public about what they knew.”

Background check back-up. Facing sliding poll numbers and heat back home, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) has tempered her position on background checks, Politico reports, after voting against a bipartisan background check bill from Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). “Out of state special interests are running false ads attacking me and even lying about my efforts to prevent gun-related violence,” Ayotte wrote in an op-ed. “I want to set the record straight: I support effective background checks and in fact voted recently to improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).”

Alarming rise. The New York Times has more on an alarming study released Tuesday from the Pentagon showing that 26,000 armed services members reported sexual assaults last year. President Obama, speaking at the White House, was exasperated over the Pentagon’s tries to curb the alarming number of assaults. “The bottom line is, I have no tolerance for this,” said Obama. “If we find out somebody’s engaging in this stuff, they’ve got to be held accountable, prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court-martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged. Period.”

First Read Flash: Redemption is sweet

Updated