Off to the races: Look who's NOT speaking at the Value Voters Summit

USA Today: “Social conservatives attending the Values Voter Summit that begins here Friday may consider its timing to be a fortunate coincidence. The three-day gathering of activists opposed to issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion comes as President Obama and Republicans in Congress squabble over raising the nation's debt ceiling.” More: “Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, all Tea Party favorites considered top presidential contenders in 2016, will be among the featured speakers Friday.” Other speakers include Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA), Rick Santorum, and ex-Rep. Allen West.

And looks who’s not invited: “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, another possible Republican presidential contender, is not on the schedule of speakers. Perkins told The Hill that Christie, who has been stressing his work with Democrats as he runs for a second term in New Jersey, would have a difficult time courting social conservatives.”

“The Democratic National Committee is launching Spanish-language online ads and robocalls targeting Republicans on the government shutdown, it announced Thursday,” Politico writes. “The effort is the third phase of a broader campaign this week that has been hitting Republicans in their home states, including House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), as well as early voting states Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.”

Charlie Cook: “Too many Democrats seem to be enjoying this debacle, appearing to view the fight as a terrific political opportunity to inflict some real damage on the Republican Party. It certainly looks as if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a boxer in his early years, thinks he has his foot on the throat of House Speaker John Boehner and the GOP and is not interested in taking it off. … Somehow, though, Obama and congressional Democrats have to give Republicans, at least the ones who want to resolve this—and I would put Boehner in that category, regardless of what he has said in recent days—a place to land, some way to get to yes.”

LOUISIANA: Roll Call: "Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, is considering a bid in Louisiana’s open 6th District, he confirmed through a spokesman to CQ Roll Call on Thursday. Perkins, a former state legislator and fervent opponent to same-sex marriage, would be running to succeed GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy. Cassidy is running for Senate against Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu in 2014."

NEW JERSEY: Newark Star-Ledger: "A state Superior Court judge Thursday refused to delay the Oct. 21 start date she set to begin same-sex marriages in New Jersey, rejecting the Christie administration’s contention that no gay weddings should be peformed while the case is still being fought in the courts."

VIRGINIA: Norfolk Virginian Pilot: "The third man in the race for governor, Libertarian Robert Sarvis, won't be part of the final debate between the leading candidates vying to be Virginia's next leader. Roanoke-area television station WDBJ, which is co-hosting the Oct. 24 event at Virginia Tech, announced Sarvis's exclusion Thursday, saying he failed to meet the 10 percent polling threshold to qualify."

Richmond Times Dispatch: "Former Gov. L. Douglas Wilder has endorsed his party’s gubernatorial nominee, Terry McAuliffe, after declining to back the Democratic candidate in 2009. 'The fact that he hasn’t served before is not a reason to reject his candidacy, but more positive,; Wilder said Thursday in a telephone interview. 'But he has to know he needs to have trained and able minds to assist him.'"