First Read Flash: Thanksgiving wishes


Wall Street Journal:The Obama administration is mounting an aggressive campaign to head off new congressional sanctions against Iran, arguing they would jeopardize the high-stakes deal sealed this past weekend to curb Tehran’s nuclear program. After arguing for weeks that sanctions would hurt the prospects of reaching a deal, senior administration officials are now asking lawmakers to hold off for another six months while negotiators try to achieve a long-term accord.”

New York Times:The weekend ended with the first tangible sign of a nuclear deal with Iran, after more than three decades of hostility. Then on Monday came the announcement that a conference will convene in January to try to broker an end to the civil war in Syria. The success of either negotiation, both long sought by President Obama, is hardly assured — in fact the odds may be against them. But the two nearly simultaneous developments were vivid statements that diplomacy, the venerable but often-unsatisfying art of compromise, has once again become the centerpiece of American foreign policy.”

Washington Post:President Obama’s credibility problem has battered his approval ratings, complicated his relationship with foreign allies and harmed his party’s prospects in next year’s midterm elections. But the decline in the public’s opinion of his trustworthiness presents a particular set of challenges for his diplomacy with Iran, highlighted this weekend by an agreement that will temporarily freeze the country’s nuclear program in exchange for limited sanctions relief.”

CNN:What a difference a month makes. A new CNN/ORC International poll indicates a dramatic turnaround in the battle for control of Congress in next year’s midterm elections. Democrats a month ago held a 50%-42% advantage among registered voters in a generic ballot…But the Democratic lead has disappeared. A new CNN/ORC poll indicates the GOP now holds a 49%-47% edge.”

The Hill: “Obama administration officials said Monday that some visitors to will experience outages, slow response times or try-again-later messages in December. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) delivered the message in the latest attempt to downplay expectations for Nov. 30, the administration’s self-imposed deadline for fixing ObamaCare’s federal enrollment site.”

NBC’s Carrie Dann: “It’s not quite a ‘do nothing’ Congress – but it’s not far off. With only a handful of remaining legislative days on their calendar, this current Congress is on track to go down as one of the most unproductive in modern history.  The paltry number of bills Congress has passed into law this year paints a vivid picture of just how bad the gridlock has been for lawmakers, whose single-digit approval rating illustrates that the public is hardly satisfied with their trickle of legislative activity.”

Politico: “The Republican civil war erupted into full view this fall, and the establishment looked like it was about to shove the movement back in line. But the early skirmishes ended with the tea party no weaker than it was. And while the party’s internal fight will rage on, the opening battles suggest the establishment is just starting to see how much it will take to reclaim the power it has ceded to the movement in recent years.”

USA Today:While urging House Republicans to back new immigration legislation, President Obama said Monday he is willing to split a bill into pieces if that will get it passed. ‘That’s okay,’ Obama said during a speech in San Francisco. ‘It’s Thanksgiving. We can carve that bird into multiple pieces — a drumstick here, breast meat there.’ But Obama also said a final package must include certain elements, including a proposed pathway to citizenship that has drawn opposition from Republicans.”

NBC News:Obama repeated on Monday that he will not take executive actions to halt deportations of undocumented immigrants, saying that such unilateral action would ‘violate our laws’…Confronted during remarks in San Francisco by a heckler who advocated for an executive order to stop deportations,  Obama firmly insisted that he does not have the constitutional power to bypass Congress on the issue.”

Politico:Those pushing for fast action on reform argue that failing to back immigration reform — and allowing the issue to bleed into 2014, and therefore probably into 2015 and beyond — could serve as a disqualifying factor for House Republicans in races for governor or senator or even attorney general and other statewide positions. That, they believe, is the way through a stalemate they blame in large part on gerrymandered, insulated House districts.”

National Journal:As congressional negotiators work to craft a budget agreement, they’re working against an old foe: the calendar. Congress will soon likely be forced to consider yet another short-term, stopgap bill to fund the federal government, not because a budget deal can’t be reached, but because there isn’t time to reach one…. Lawmakers expressed optimism last week that progress is being made, and they predicted that the foundation for an agreement could be laid in December. But there’s little chance the details could be solidified before Dec. 13—and part of the reason is timing.”

Roll Call:The entire Senate Republican Conference on Monday filed a friend of the court brief with the Supreme Court, continuing its effort to oppose President Barack Obama’s disputed use of the recess appointment power.”

Charlie Cook:Democrats and Obama-backers protest loudly when any comparisons are drawn between the debacle surrounding the launch and first impressions of the Affordable Care Act and President George W. Bush’s presidential nadir, Hurricane Katrina. Of course, there are big differences between the two presidential stumbles, but similarly, in each case, public confidence in that president was seriously eroded, and questions about the administrations’ core competence and honesty became highly prevalent.”

FLORIDA: Miami Herald: “Florida’s Republican chairman and the GOP county leaders represented by rehabbing Congressman Trey Radel called on him to ‘resign immediately’ Monday, saying his recent cocaine-possession arrest and guilty plea were not tolerable.”

Roll Call’s Abby Livingston:A fast-approaching, divisive GOP primary has kick-started the sprint to a high-stakes 2014 House special election in Florida….The future nominees will soon endure a deluge from national parties in this long-held GOP district that President Barack Obama won by 1 point last year. The Republican nominee, especially, will have a responsibility as the first candidate of the 2014 cycle to test-drive the GOP’s case against Obama and the implementation of his health care overhaul law.”

TEXAS: Stu Rothenberg writes that “merely dismissing [Wendy] Davis’ prospects because she is a Democrat in a Republican state is shortsighted….Democrats and liberals believe that long-term demographic trends will turn Texas purple, and Davis’ effort could speed up that process, they hope. Moreover, she could well be a national fundraising machine for liberal groups, no matter how realistic her prospects. Texas may turn purple, but not in 2014. And not with Wendy Davis or a nominee like her.”

VIRGINIA: Washington Post: “The State Board of Elections on Monday declared Democrat Mark R. Herring Virginia’s next attorney general, capping a dramatic three-week certification process in the closest statewide race in Virginia history.” Republican Mark “Obenshain did not immediately call for a recount, but he has set up a transition team, and his campaign issued a statement Monday noting that there have been four statewide elections across the country since 2000 with margins within 300 votes — three of which were reversed by recounts.”

Richmond Times-Dispatch: “Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and state Sen. Jeff McWaters, R-Virginia Beach, reportedly are considering a run against U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., next year, but Gov. Bob McDonnell says to count him out.”

WYOMING: Daily Rundown’s Jessica Taylor: “Liz Cheney’s very public spat with her sister over gay marriage has dominated her bid for Wyoming Senate the past week. But as she tries to move on in her campaign, she’s turning to other family members to help – her own daughters. The GOP hopeful is launching a new television ad featuring her own kids, along with an accompanying blog her children will write, titled “On the Road With Mom.” “


First Read Flash: Thanksgiving wishes