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First Read Flash: Georgia on their mind

NBC News: "A car carrying United Nations inspectors was shot at 'multiple times' by snipers Monday as it headed to the scene of a suspected chemical weapons
Terry McAuliffe - Jessica Taylor - 08/20/2013
Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe walks offstage after participating in the Battleground Forum, Friday, Aug. 9, 2013, at the Prince...

NBC News: "A car carrying United Nations inspectors was shot at 'multiple times' by snipers Monday as it headed to the scene of a suspected chemical weapons attack that allegedly killed hundreds of Syrians, the UN said. In a statement, the spokesman for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the vehicle had been forced to return to a government checkpoint after being 'deliberately' targeted while driving in Damascus. The six-car convoy containing the United Nations chemical weapons investigation team earlier left a hotel and headed toward the scene of what rebels and activists say was a poison gas attack, Reuters reported."

National Journal: "There aren't three Republican senators more vulnerable to a tea party challenge than Lamar Alexander, Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell – longtime incumbents with a history of deal-making and moderation that conservatives love to hate. But conservative activists itching for primary fights are missing an essential element of victory: candidates. In each of the three races, conservatives worry that they've yet to find a credible primary challenger, one capable of knocking off a better-known and better-financed incumbent. And now they fear that they'll squander some golden opportunities in what should be a great cycle."

AP: President Barack Obama has no plans to campaign on behalf of the underdog Democrat in an uphill battle against New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and is weighing how much help to give his party's scandal-enmeshed candidate for governor of Virginia, where Democrats are more bullish about winning. It's the type of delicate, race-by-race calculation the White House repeatedly will have to make in the 2014, when Obama's own legacy will be on the line."

Politico: "One of the Republican Party’s most prominent female donors is striking out on her own in an effort to steer more of the GOP’s ample financial resources to conservative women running for office. Pennsylvania energy executive Christine Toretti, who served as the finance committee co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee in 2012, told POLITICO she will head up a super PAC dubbed Women Lead. The organization aims to drum up contributions from other deep-pocketed Republican women and use them to promote women running across the country in 2014 and beyond."

The Hill: "Republican infighting over the defunding of ObamaCare is growing increasingly nasty and could spill over into the 2014 elections. Hardline conservatives are pushing for the GOP to shut down the government if Democrats refuse to defund ObamaCare, and are threatening reprisals in primaries if they don’t get their way. Establishment Republicans are just as furious, and aren’t backing down. The GOP conflict is the most public — and heated — of any since Republicans lost the 2012 elections, and exposes a rift in the party that will likely grow deeper."

VIRGINIA. The Washington Post took another weekend dive into GreenTech and its impact on the Virginia governor's race. "As federal investigators probe whether top U.S. government officials gave special treatment to Terry McAuliffe’s company GreenTech Automotive, the controversy has shed light on lobbying efforts by McAuliffe and two of his Northern Virginia business partners."

The anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List's Virginia PAC, Women Speak Out Virginia, is going up with a radio ad today hitting McAuliffe over GreenTech. The week-long $26,000 buy in Richmond and Northern Virginia is a riff on the old "Crazy Eddie" electronics commercials. “Hey there Virginians. Crazy Terry McAuliffe here from Crazy Terry’s Residency Visa Emporium. Do you want a visa to live in America, but don’t have years to wait for a green card? Well Crazy Terry’s has a hot deal to help grease the skids!" says the ad. "Now, this company you’re investing in supposedly makes electric cars. Good luck trying to buy one though. There’s no dealers and almost no cars built."

GEORGIA. EMILY's List is endorsing Democrat Michelle Nunn in the Georgia Senate race. "It's important that we elect a Democratic woman like Michelle, but it's just as important that we keep her right-wing, extremist opponents out of the Senate. Think about it this way. If you're looking for the next Todd Akin, Georgia's the place," EMILY's List President Stephanie Schriock writes in their endorsement to their members, where the abortion rights group is throwing their weight behind the non-profit executive, who will face off against whoever emerges from a growing field of Republicans.

SOUTH CAROLINA. The New York Times takes a look at the growing GOP primary field against Lindsey Graham. "But to stand a chance against the politician who succeeded Strom Thurmond in 2003, conservatives will have to win a civil war of their own. At least 40 groups align themselves along Tea Party and Libertarian lines, and trying to unify them to topple the state’s senior senator will be no easy task."

Greenville News: "The political spotlight will be on Greenville today as Republican Gov. Nikki Haley announces her candidacy for a second term, flanked by three other high-profile GOP governors, outside the BI-LO Center....Haley, who rose from obscurity in a 2010 primary crowded with well-known political figures to become the state’s first woman governor, will be joined by Rick Perry of Texas, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Scott Walker of Wisconsin – all considered possible presidential candidates in 2016."

NEW JERSEY. "Republican New Jersey Senate candidate Steve Lonegan called federal relief to victims of Hurricane Sandy, the superstorm that devastated the Jersey Shore last October and left thousands of people homeless, “over the top. 'I disagreed with Governor Christie and President Obama on Hurricane Sandy funding,' he told MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki Saturday. 'I thought it was just too much money.' Lonegan said he was concerned that there weren’t enough safeguards to ensure money went to homeowners instead of government programs, saying 'There’s all kinds of pork barrel spending in that bill.'"

Newark Star-Ledger: "Mayor Cory Booker addressed thousands who gathered" Saturday "at the National Mall to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, urging listeners to continue fighting for social and economic justice. 'We in my generation cannot now afford to sit back consuming all of our blessings getting dumb, fat and happy, thinking that we have achieved freedom,' Booker said. 'The dream still demands ... the moral conscience of our country still calls us.'"