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First Read Flash: Being Biden

It's Reid running the show for Democrats as the shutdown enters day eight, and the Senate Majority Leader reportedly insists Vice President Biden be left out of negotiations. Plus: Ad wars begin in earnest in Arkansas.
/ Source: The Daily Rundown

It's Reid running the show for Democrats as the shutdown enters day eight, and the Senate Majority Leader reportedly insists Vice President Biden be left out of negotiations. Plus: Ad wars begin in earnest in Arkansas.

New York Times: “Senate Democratic leaders will move forward this week on a measure to raise the government’s legal borrowing limit without any policy strings attached, answering House Republicans’ taunts that Democrats would not force their politically vulnerable senators to cast that difficult vote. The first vote on raising the debt ceiling, by an amount large enough to get the government through the 2014 elections, could come as early as Friday; the deadline is Oct. 17. At the same time, the partial shutdown of the federal government ended its first week on Monday without any bipartisan meetings held or planned.”

Roll Call: “With both Speaker John A. Boehner and President Barack Obama stuck in their corners on reopening the government, the dispute over the debt ceiling has taken center stage. As it becomes increasingly clear that the two issues will be intertwined, the question turns to how long Obama can maintain a no-negotiation stance and whether Boehner can ultimately convince his restive caucus to vote for anything the president might sign that would avoid a default.”

Washington Post’s Dan Balz: “One week into the first federal government shutdown since 1996, the Republican Party remains hostage to an unrealistic strategy aimed at an unattainable goal — defunding the nation’s health-care law — that had no obvious path to success. The shutdown is disruptive and uneven, causing some pain and wider unease if only because of its unpredictability. It also is less encompassing today than it was when it began. House GOP leaders have simultaneously attempted to maintain unity while trying to escape possible political blame for the consequences of what their strategy could lead to.”

MSNBC: “Special interests drive politics, but when it comes to the shutdown and debt ceiling fiascos, top Republican donors are saying: don’t look at us. Big time fundraisers fear that the party’s tough line could wreak havoc on the economy — and the party’s standing in the eyes of voters.”

Politico: “When President Barack Obama laid out his strategy for the current debt-limit fight in a private meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid this past summer, Reid stipulated one condition: No Joe Biden. And while Biden attended the White House dog-and-pony show meeting last week with congressional leaders, Reid has effectively barred him from the backrooms, according to sources familiar with the situation.”

National Journal: “These days, Reid is more likely to be writing the Democratic playbook than burning it. As the government shutdown stretches into its second week, the White House has embraced Reid’s hard-line, no-negotiations stance–at least so far.”

Los Angeles Times looks at  House Republicans “who have convinced” Boehner “to use the federal shutdown and a possible debt default as leverage to reduce the reach of government. They are not just tea party members but a combination of newcomers and veterans who, by sheer force of their personalities, and emboldened by safe conservative districts, have chosen to defy Washington’s traditional norms of conversation and compromise. They could be called the Chick-fil-A Caucus, after the monthly hearings convened by some conservative leaders, shadow government-style, in ornate committee chambers where they proudly serve sandwiches from the company made politically famous by the owner’s opposition to same-sex marriage. Their fierce commitment and the intense support of their outspoken constituents to slash spending and halt President Obama’s healthcare law almost guarantee there will be no speedy resolution to the standoff that has forced parts of the federal government to close.”

Roll Call: “Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn told reporters Monday that it would be “premature” to move on a standalone guarantee of back pay for federal workers without addressing other elements of the government shutdown.”

Charlie Cook: “There is no question that the Republican Party’s brand is experiencing grievous damage. In fact, you would be quite believable if you were to suggest that the GOP has been making an active, masochistic effort to isolate itself from moderate, independent, and swing voters, further exacerbating all the problems with target constituencies that cost Mitt Romney the presidency and the GOP a national popular House vote victory….The damage to the Republican Party appears to be more structural than immediate. The GOP is admittedly weaker but seems unlikely to crumble immediately. Republicans should worry about what is happening to their brand: what impressions they are building among new voters, what moderate and independent voters are taking away from this fight, and the long-term effects of these impressions in 2016 and 2020—and on the overall health of the party.”

New York Times: “Wall Street is showing few signs so far that it is fearing the financial panic it has been predicting should the government default on its debt.”

ARKANSAS: Sen. Mark Pryor is hitting back at GOP Rep. Tom Cotton over his ad yesterday: In “Silly,” voters say that Cotton has been “running frivolous ads at this critical time… But when Congress was debating whether to shut down the government, where was Tom? Down in Houston raising big bucks from Texas fat-cats.”

NEW JERSEY: Newark Star Ledger: “He opposes government bailouts. He chides Cory Booker for relying on aid from Gov. Chris Christie. And he boasts of his fiscal leadership as mayor of Bogota. But every now and then, even Republican U.S. Senate candidate Steve Lonegan needs a little help from his friends. Even if those friends are Democrats. In 2006, Lonegan asked former Gov. Jon Corzine’s administration for a $500,000 bailout to balance Bogota’s books, according to documents obtained by The Star-Ledger. And he asked for Sen. Loretta Weinberg’s help to get it.”

Bergen County Daily Record: During this summer’s speculation that Gov. Chris Christie would not risk his status as frontrunner in the governor’s race by debating Democrat Sen. Barbara Buono, Christie said, “The fact of the matter is that Barbara Buono’s worst days of the campaign will be the days that I debate her.” On Tuesday night New Jerseyans will get to see if Christie set the bar too high for himself.”

TEXAS:Dallas Morning News: “Sen. John Cornyn has launched the first TV ad volley in his bid for a third 6-year term. ‘He brings Texas common sense to an often senseless Washington,” the narrator intones. “John Cornyn: Conservative — like you, like Texas.’ According to a campaign aide, the ad is running statewide, and the campaign is spending “several hundred thousand dollars” on it.”

WISCONSIN: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Mary Burke, a former Trek Bicycle Corp. executive and state Commerce secretary, ended months of speculation Monday by announcing in a web video that she is running for the Democratic nomination to challenge Gov. Scott Walker. Burke, who becomes the instant Democratic primary favorite, emphasizes her business background and Wisconsin roots in the three-minute video. As a millionaire, she brings substantial personal money to the race, giving her a leg up in fundraising that delights many Democrats but also provides a potential critique for Republicans.”

VIRGINIA: Washington Post: “Virginia’s Democratic Party launched a Spanish-language television ad attacking Republican’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II’s stance on immigration Monday, as Democrat Terry McAuliffe released his own commercial claiming that Cuccinelli would cut funding to public schools.”

McAuliffe also released a new TV ad, “Hampton” Tuesday featuring Meade Amory, the owner of Amory’s Seafood Market in Hampton, highlighting how McAuliffe and small businesses .