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Off to the races: Pointing fingers

USA Today: “Republicans began a new week pointing fingers at each other Sunday following a 16-day government shutdown and near-default that left the nation worse off and the GOP taking most of the blame. If there was a theme to the round of Sunday morning talk shows looking back at the fiasco, it was the determination of most Republicans — from Senate leaders to past and potential future presidential candidates — to move on rather than focus on this month's failed battles.”

Ted Cruz: “I don’t work for the party bosses in Washington. I work for the people of Texas and I fight for them.”

Cruz may have fatally imperiled any hope he has of winning a presidential election with his strategy the last few weeks, but conservatives love him and Tea Partiers see him as a hero. National Journal looks at those trying to emulate him.

Politico: “Nearly a dozen House Republican incumbents already have credible challengers, and conservative groups expect that number to grow in the coming months as races develop and deadlines approach to qualify for the ballot.” And Tea Party House members are refusing to contribute to the NRCC.On the other hand, “The twin fiscal crises that did a number on GOP approval ratings nationwide are providing a badly needed boost to Democratic candidate recruitment efforts.

Jeb Bush: "Some guy told me that on the plane in -- stuck on O'Hare Airport. He said he was supporting Obama. This was early in the primary and I go, 'Why?' And he goes, 'Well, we had a Bush, then we had a Clinton. Then we had a Bush. And now we're going to have a Clinton.' And then he looked at me and said, 'And then we're going to have a Bush.' So he had an interesting perspective. I think some people believe that. That won't be a motivating factor in my decision, though."

Democrats are from Venus, Republicans are from Mars… A National Journal insider’s poll finds that Republicans think Obamacare will be a major issue in 2014, Democrats think it probably won’t.

NEW JERSEY: The Asbury Park Press: “They were pronounced husband and husband, wife and wife. Shore area same-sex couples eloped early Monday, when gay marriage became legal in New Jersey.”

The Star Ledger: “At 12:01 this morning, dozens of gay couples were joined in matrimony as New Jersey became the 14th state to allow same-sex marriage. From city hall in Newark to the boardwalk in Asbury Park, pairs of brides and grooms tied the knot in joyous ceremonies that celebrated love while mindful of their newly granted legal status.”

The Trenton Times: “Gov. Chris Christie’s administration has appealed to the state Supreme Court to overturn Jacobson’s ruling and sought a stay to prevent same-sex marriage while the case is pending. But the N.J. Supreme Court ruled Friday that there’s no justifiable reason to hold back on same-sex marriage, starting today. The Supreme Court scheduled arguments in the case for early January.” More: The ruling was a setback to Gov. Christie, who is opposed to gay marriage and vetoed legislation in 2012 that would have allowed same-sex couples to wed. Christie, instead, has called for a statewide referendum. Gay rights advocates, meanwhile, have been waging an aggressive campaign to secure a super-majority to override Christie’s veto. They argue that a fundamental right like constitutional equality should not be subject to a public vote.”

SOUTH CAROLINA: Mark Sanford’s fiancée/ex-mistress has given an on-camera interview for the first time in Argentina in which she talks about Sanford.

VIRGINIA: Bill Clinton will campaign with Terry McAuliffe (D) for three days starting Sunday, Oct. 27. USA Today: “Former secretary of State -- and potential 2016 president candidate -- Hillary Rodham Clinton stumped for McAuliffe over the weekend.”

Wow. The Richmond Times-Dispatch chooses to endorse no one for governor. Headline with red x’s through the faces of McAuliffe, Ken Cuccinelli (R) and Robert Sarvis (Libertarian): “Our choice for governor in 2013: none of the above.” From the editorial: “The major-party candidates have earned the citizenry’s derision. The third-party alternative has run a more exemplary race yet does not qualify as a suitable option. We cannot in good conscience endorse a candidate for governor. … This marks, we believe, the first time in modern Virginia that The Times-Dispatch has not endorsed a gubernatorial nominee. … We find it impossible to endorse any of the 2013 candidates with even minimal zeal.”

The ed board says Sarvis would be “in over his head,” but, it adds, “A vote for him would not be wasted but would serve notice to Republicans and Democrats that the electorate rejects their surly antics. Citizens whose votes reflect their ideals do not throw away their ballots.”

WYOMING: Because he has a book out, Dick Cheney is talking again, here in an interview with USA Today. And he makes no apologies for his daughter running against an old friend: “Dick Cheney has known Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi for decades, but the former vice president has no apologies about his daughter's primary challenge to the three-term Republican incumbent that has divided friends and neighbors in the Cowboy State. ‘How did Jerry Ford get elected?’ the former vice president demands… ‘He beat an incumbent Republican congressman when he got back from World War II and decided things weren't working the way they should. And he got to be Republican leader of the House.’ Not to mention president of the United States, with Cheney as his White House chief of staff.”

And: "She didn't ask if she could run," her father says. "She's very independent and very committed. This is something she really wanted to do. I'm proud as hell of her. ... "She represents exactly what we need as a political party. We need to re-energize the base, rejuvenate our party and attract new talent, bring along the next generation. That's kind of the reason she's running." He adds: "Some of our best leaders are revolutionaries."