THE AFTERMATH: What's the biggest threat to Gov. Chris Christie now--the law or politics? If Christie expects to remain a serious 2016 contender, he'll have to fight even harder against the emerging narrative that he's a political bully. Legal chatter aside, the idea that the future of the Republican Party is in jeopardy in 2016 because of the negative attention Christie is receiving is worth paying attention: was it all the 2016 talk that led to the allegations against Christie? Kathleen Parker's latest Washington Post op-ed suggests that's the case: "Zimmer seems credible and sincere," Parker writes. "But given the size of the nail she's trying to hammer into Christie's coffin, due diligence is in order."
GOVERNORS' MISSTEPS: Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife were indicted on Tuesday by a federal grand jury on corruption charges. Both McDonnell and his wife deny any wrongdoing. Meanwhile, it's clear that Republicans had high hopes once for the former Virginia governor--which means it's a good thing McDonnell isn't currently in office. The last thing the GOP needs right now is another scandal in a governor's mansion.
And as our colleague Rachel Maddow pointed out on msnbc Tuesday night: 2009 was not a good year for GOP governors...
ON ALERT: With two weeks left to go until the Winter Olympics begin in Sochi, the world is on edge over potential terror attacks during the games. The United States' Olympic team is among a group of national delegations that have received threats warning them not to attend the Olympics. The country also remains on high alert over suspected suicide bombers that officials believe plan to disrupt events.
President Obama addressed the safety concerns with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, and offered help from the U.S. to keep the Olympics secure.
MARCH ON LIFE: As the Republican National Committee gathers in our nation's capital Wednesday for its winter meeting, so will annual anti-abortion advocates. The March for Life will take place on the National Mall before the RNC meeting--and in a crucial midterm election year, the Republican Party is hoping to stand out on the issue of abortion.
MITT IN REAL LIFE: If you thought you knew the "real" Mitt Romney--think again. Netflix will begin streaming the documentary Mitt on Friday, and it promises to provide viewers with a side of the 2012 presidential nominee they have not seen before.
Programming note: Greg Whiteley, the documentary's director, will join Hardball tonight. Tune in at 7 p.m. ET on msnbc.
IN OTHER NEWS...
- QUOTE OF THE DAY: "This 'Russian spy' push is absurd....Spies get treated better than that." -Edward Snowden, pushing back on the idea that he's a Russian spy
- NUMBER OF THE DAY: 15.8--that's how many inches of snow were recorded in Manalapan, New Jersey, which the weather service reports is the deepest snowfall on the coast.
- VIDEO OF THE DAY: Former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger dressed up in a disguise and went undercover as a personal trainer at a gym.