First Read Flash: What can Brown do for you?

Updated

Boston Globe: “Former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown told Iowa State Fair visitors on Sunday that he is ‘exploring a possible run’ for president in 2016, according to reports. According to WBZ Channel 4, Brown, a Republican, told a CBS affiliate that he is measuring interest in his ‘brand of politics.’” The moderate GOP senator, who lost re-election in 2012 to Democrat Elizabeth Warren, passed on running in another Senate special election earlier this year, but has been floated as a candidate for Republicans for Senate in neighboring New Hampshire, or as a candidate for governor in Massachusetts.

Boston Herald: “ ‘I want to get an indication of whether there’s even an interest, in Massachusetts and throughout the country, if there’s room for a bi-partisan problem solver,’ said Brown, who has been meeting with top Republicans nationally and last week hosted a Fenway event for Republican National Committee members. Brown indicated he isn’t close to deciding whether he will run. ‘It’s 2013, I think it’s premature, but I am curious. There’s a lot of good name recognition in the Dakotas and here – that’s pretty good.’”

NBC’s Michael O’Brien: “Hillary Clinton’s lofty status as the apparent 2016 Democratic nominee-in-waiting has some allies concerned that the hype might be too much, too soon. This seeming inevitability makes her more sensitive to attacks and risks amplifying any stumble, no matter how minor. And voters may react poorly to a candidate who appears to be waltzing to the nomination with minimal effort. “

Wall Street Journal: “Political allies of Vice President Joe Biden have concluded that he can win the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination—even if Hillary Clinton enters the contest—and are considering steps he could take to prepare for a potential candidacy…One step under discussion by Biden backers is to form a political action committee he would use to funnel money to other Democratic candidates, which could build goodwill for a possible White House bid, people familiar with the talks said.”

National Journal writes that “the GOP drive to defund Obamacare is leaking oil. From the leaders of the GOP establishment to usual tea-party allies, a growing number of Republicans are splitting with movement conservatives who are pushing to shut down the federal government if funding is not cut off for President Obama’s health care law at the end of September. The growing concern is that the tea-party activists and a handful of senators, led by the troika of Mike Lee, R-Utah, Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., are marching into battle without a plan for victory short of Obama reversing himself on his signature domestic achievement—an almost unimaginable outcome.”

Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul said on Fox News Sunday that he didn’t think shutting down the government was a “good idea.”

NEW JERSEY. New York Times’s Jonathan Martin: “As Gov. Chris Christie heads for what is expected to be an easy re-election, he is also quietly building a sophisticated political operation that could become the basis for a national campaign. His advisers, while saying the governor is focused on New Jersey, are aiming to run up a huge margin against his Democratic opponent and position Mr. Christie as a formidable figure among Republicans ahead of the next presidential primary…Senior Republicans who are familiar with Mr. Christie’s strategy say it is most closely modeled after Mr. Bush’s bid in 1998 for re-election as governor of Texas. The parallels are clear. Mr. Bush was considered a shoo-in for re-election to the governor’s office, but he and Mr. Rove became determined to win over Hispanic and black voters to demonstrate the governor’s broad appeal to a national audience.”

Politico reports that Christie will endorse Republican Steve Lonegan in the New Jersey Senate special election on Tuesday. “What makes this less of a dog-bites-man event is the fact that Christie has been expected to do the absolute bare minimum for Lonegan, a former mayor who was his primary opponent in his 2009 gubernatorial run and who is a staunch conservative. It still may end up being minimal involvement. But an in-person endorsement had seemed unlikely.”

MICHIGAN. Roll Call: “After a brief reconsideration, Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., has decided once and for all that he will not seek the Wolverine State’s open Senate seat. ‘Over the past few months, I have received a lot of encouragement to run for the United States Senate,’ the Ways and Means Committee chairman said in a Friday statement. ‘I have greatly appreciated and am deeply humbled by those calls and conversations. After much thought and careful consideration, I have decided not to run for the United States Senate.’”

NEW HAMPSHIRE: “Former Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Smith said he is seriously considering another run for the Senate,” the Union Leader writes. “U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., is running for reelection, and Smith said several activists from across the Republican Party’s philosophical spectrum have approached him. Smith lives in Florida but has a summer home in Tuftonboro.”

ILLINOIS. Washington Post’s Dan Balz took a look from Chicago at the brewing Democratic gubernatorial primary. “Incumbent Pat Quinn (D) is one of the most embattled governors in the country. He leads a state with a badly tarnished reputation (the two previous governors were convicted of crimes and sent to prison), the second-highest unemployment rate in the nation and a government with massive fiscal problems due to unfunded pension obligations of roughly $100 billion…Quinn’s Democratic opponent bears one of the most famous names in Chicago politics. Bill Daley was a commerce secretary in the Clinton administration, served as White House chief of staff under President Obama and is the son and brother of two Chicago mayors who combined to lead the city for more than 40 years. The Daley name is a mixed blessing among Illinois voters.”

Chicago Tribune: “Cook County’s top Democrats overwhelmingly endorsed incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn for re-election Friday in a repudiation of the primary challenge offered by an absent Bill Daley, the son and brother of two former mayors.”

First Read Flash: What can Brown do for you?

Updated