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First Read Flash: One year later

A year after his election victory, President Obama faces ongoing questions about health care problems, NSA and foreign policy. Plus: Election eve in VA & NJ.
/ Source: MSNBC TV

A year after his election victory, President Obama faces ongoing questions about health care problems, NSA and foreign policy. Plus: Election eve in VA & NJ.

Los Angeles Times: "A year after his reelection triumph, President Obama is facing an awkward question from friends and foes alike: Why can't he run the government as well as he ran his campaign? What with the IRS targeting of tea party groups; the poor security at the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya; the eavesdropping on close allies; and the botched rollout of the landmark healthcare law, Obama increasingly seems to be battling top-level management failures as much as policy or political problems."

Wall Street Journal: "Problems with the government's health-care website are forcing President Barack Obama to redraw his plans for the rest of the year as he looks for ways to regain political momentum. Scrapping a planned push to drive people to the balky website, the White House is organizing a flurry of events on the economy and immigration, as well as health care, a senior administration official said."

NBC's Tom Curry: "Last year’s losing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Sunday that President Barack Obama’s 'fundamental dishonesty' on the Affordable Care Act has 'put in peril the whole foundation of his second term.' Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press, Romney said Obama’s handling of Obamacare’s promises 'has undermined the foundation of his second term – I think it is rotting it away.'"

Politico: "Democratic senators have a warning for the White House: Fix Obamacare’s problems or put Senate seats at risk next year. In interviews, Democratic senators running in 2014, party elders and Senate leaders said the Obama administration must rescue the law from its rocky start before it emerges as a bigger political liability next year."

Washington Post:"Americans who face higher ­insurance costs under President Obama’s health-care law are angrily complaining about “sticker shock,” threatening to become a new political force opposing the law even as the White House struggles to convince other consumers that they will benefit from it."

New York Times: "Millions of people could qualify for federal subsidies that will pay the entire monthly cost of some health care plans being offered in the online marketplaces set up under President Obama’s health care law, a surprising figure that has not garnered much attention, in part because the zero-premium plans come with serious trade-offs."

New York Times: "A major test of how carefully Republicans can navigate the intraparty politics of sexuality will come on Monday, when the Senate holds a crucial vote on a bill to outlaw workplace discrimination against gay men, lesbians and transgender people."

Des Moines Register: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y) was in Iowa on Saturday night "not because he wants to run for president himself, but to endorse Hillary Clinton for president." Schumer "used the Iowa Democratic Party’s Jefferson Jackson dinner as the platform for his endorsement. 'I have found my 2016 candidate,' he told the audience of about 750 people at Hy-Vee Hall at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. 'She’s a virtual guarantee to deliver victory for our party in 2016.'"

Reuters: "Hillary Clinton was flattered by an early endorsement by New York Democratic Senator Charles Schumer but has made no decision about running for president in 2016, her office said on Sunday. "

NBC News: "Hillary Clinton hinted at a possible rationale for another presidential bid on Friday, telling a major women’s conference that cracking glass ceilings is 'the great unfinished business of the 21st Century.'"

Roll Call's Shira Center and Emily Cahn write that "Democrats have taken a few pages from Rahm Emanuel’s playbook in hopes of boosting their difficult quest to win the House majority in 2014.....To accomplish this, DCCC Chairman Steve Israel has sought to emulate his former mentor with relentless recruitment, an incessant focus on messaging and Emanuel’s aggressive style — minus a few four-letter expletives."

Politico: "Moderate House Republicans say they’re fed up. The next time around, they won’t stand for the ill-fated defund Obamacare strategy that ended up paralyzing the federal government for 16 days and crippling their party’s approval numbers. And unlike their fellow Republicans sitting in conservative districts, it’s moderates who will be on the front lines in the 2014 elections."

FLORIDA: Orlando Sentinel: " Former Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist wants his old job back. Crist, now a Democrat, filed paperwork Friday with the Florida Division of elections to run for governor in 2014. Crist, 57, plans to formally announce his candidacy Monday morning in his hometown of St. Petersburg, authorities said."

Tampa Bay Times: "Popular former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker announced Saturday he will not run for Pinellas County's open congressional seat, setting the stage for an intense battle among a handful of contenders for the Republican nomination....Almost immediately after Baker's announcement, Young's former general counsel David Jolly announced he would run, saying,'It's something that I think I'm uniquely qualified for and I say that very humbly.' Young's widow, Beverly, who considered running herself, endorsed Jolly instead, saying she was behind him '200 percent because it's important to us that we try not to skip a beat in Pinellas County.'"

MAINE: Portland Press Herald: "Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud announced Monday that he’s gay, ending years of speculation and potentially sharply changing the dynamic of the 2014 gubernatorial race....He said he was making the announcement in response to 'the whisper campaigns, insinuations and push polls' that unidentified people have been using to raise questions about his personal life since he declared his candidacy."

NEW JERSEY: NBC's Mike O'Brien: "Don’t expect Chris Christie to glide toward 2016 without challenges, even if he achieves the rare accomplishment of winning a second term as the Republican governor of deep-blue New Jersey in Tuesday's election against Democratic nominee Barbara Buono. As he pivots toward a possible bid for the presidency, Christie will have to decide: Should he firmly embrace the relatively-centrist persona he worked so hard to burnish during his first term, or move toward the right in hopes of winning over conservative activists who weigh heavily upon presidential nominating contests?"

MSNBC: "With just one day before New Jersey’s gubernatorial race, Gov. Chris Christie is sitting pretty. A Quinnipiac University poll released Monday shows Christie leads his Democratic opponent Sen. Barbara Buono by 33 points, with 64% to 31%."

VIRGINIA: NBC's Jessica Taylor: "Democrats appear poised for another big electoral victory in Virginia on Tuesday as conservative and Tea Party Republicans face real questions about whether they can win again in this fast-changing state. The gubernatorial race between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli has remained unchanged for weeks, with McAuliffe holding a steady and sizable lead in most polls.  Those surveys tell a stark story: The GOP is losing not because the party failed to nominate the most conservative candidate -- but because they did."

Richmond Times Dispatch: "President Barack Obama on Sunday weighed into perhaps the nation’s marquee contest this year, campaigning for Democrat Terry McAuliffe near the end of a race that has been buffeted by national dynamics, from the partial government shutdown to the health care law. In this Washington suburb, McAuliffe tried to link Republican Ken Cuccinelli to the shutdown, accusing him of siding with the tea party over Virginia families, and referred to the 'tea party' ticket and his 'mainstream' ticket."

Politico: "In politics, it is generally not a good omen when a candidate’s supporters argue that he still has a chance of victory — if the opponent’s supporters neglect to vote. But this was Virginia Republican Party Chairman Pat Mullins’s version of the power of positive thinking in an interview this weekend. The path for star-crossed GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, Mullins said, looks like this: 'If turnout is in the 30s, the low 30s, we’re gonna win. If it gets higher up in Fairfax [in Democratic-leaning Northern Virginia], say like 40, it’s likely we won’t. I don’t think it’s going to hit 40 anywhere. I’m looking at 32.'"