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First Read Flash: Early warning

Reports show an outside management consultant warned the White House early this year that was falling behind and risked failure when it launched.
/ Source: MSNBC TV

Reports show an outside management consultant warned the White House early this year that was falling behind and risked failure when it launched.

Washington Post: “The flawed rollout of the Affordable Care Act has pushed President Obama to the lowest point of his presidency, with dwindling faith in his competence and in many of the personal attributes that have buoyed him in the past, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Opposition to the new health-care law also hit a record high in the survey, with 57 percent saying they oppose the president’s most significant domestic initiative. Forty-six percent say they are strongly against it. Just a month ago, as the enrollment period was beginning, the public was almost evenly divided in its assessments of the law.”

National Journal: “Despite sharp divisions over the long-term impact of President Obama’s health-reform law, fewer than two in five Americans say it should be repealed, virtually unchanged since last summer, the latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll has found. Amid all the tumult over the law’s troubled implementation, the survey found that public opinion about it largely follows familiar political tracks and has changed remarkably little since the summer on the critical question of what Congress should do next. On that measure, support for repeal has not significantly increased among any major group except Republicans and working-class whites since the Congressional Connection Poll last tested opinion on the question in July.”

New York Times: “Senior Obama administration officials, including several in the White House, were warned by an outside management consultant early this year that the effort to build the site was falling behind and at risk of failure unless immediate steps were taken to correct the problems, according to documents released by House investigators. The report, by McKinsey & Company, which was prepared in late March at the request of the Department of Health and Human Services, said that management indecision and a “lack of transparency and alignment on critical issues” were threatening progress, despite the tight deadline.”

The Hill: “The administration is risking rebellion from some Democrats in Congress if it fails to deliver on its promise to fix by the Nov. 30 deadline set by President Obama.  By and large, Democratic lawmakers have held their fire to give Obama’s team space to fix the technical problems that have stalled the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. If the president’s team fails to deliver, Democrats will embrace legislation extending the law’s enrollment period or forcing insurance companies to continue offering plans that do not meet ObamaCare’s standards, according to Democratic aides.”

New York Times: “Senate Republicans on Monday blocked President Obama’s third consecutive nominee to the country’s most powerful and prestigious appeals court and insisted they would not back down, inflaming a bitter debate over a president’s right to shape the judiciary. 

Wall Street Journal: “When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie becomes Republican Governors Association chairman on Thursday, he embarks on a mission that could strengthen his national profile but also take him away from a home state facing multiple challenges….Political observers said the new role would help Mr. Christie draw headlines in states outside New Jersey and build a national portfolio of donors that he could call up in a 2016 presidential bid.”

The Hill: “Iowa Republicans are urging New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) to contest the state’s first-in-the-nation caucuses if he runs for president in 2016, warning a decision to ignore the Hawkeye State would do more harm than good to his campaign. Christie is widely expected to focus on the New Hampshire primary if he runs — partly out of a calculation that he’d fare better in the Granite State than among social conservatives, who hold powerful sway in the Iowa GOP.”

Politico: “Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker told a crowd of New York donors and activists on Monday that he’s not ruling out his congressional colleagues for the Republican nomination for president in 2016, only that a governor would be ‘ideal’….

FLORIDA: Florida Republican Kathleen Peters, a state representative, is set to join the special congressional election to succeed the late GOP Rep. Bill Young. Peters qualified as a candidate with the Florida Division of Elections on Monday, just one day before the candidate filing period for the race closes. She is expected to launch her campaign on Tuesday.”

IDAHO: Idaho Statesman: “Idaho Republican Rep. Mike Simpson on Monday said he has the support of 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who got 65 percent of the vote in Idaho. Simpson, seeking a ninth two-year term, faces tea party challenger Bryan Smith, an Idaho Falls lawyer. The race is getting considerable national attention as a test of the battle between establishment Republicans and insurgents.”

KENTUCKY: Lexington Herald-Leader: “It was exactly what Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had been hoping for. Except instead of President Barack Obama discussing gun control and his health care law at a New York fundraiser for female Senate candidates on Monday, it was first lady Michelle Obama. Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes was among the female candidates who gathered with the first lady for a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee fundraiser, where Obama spoke of the need to elect more Democratic senators to further the president’s agenda. The first lady, talking about how narrowly “Obamacare” had passed and the slim margin by which gun control legislation was defeated, said that “it is critical that we elect Michelle Nunn, Alison Grimes, Natalie Tennant.”

MONTANA: Missoulian: “Gov. Steve Bullock on Friday endorsed his lieutenant governor, John Walsh, in the contested Democratic primary race for the U.S. Senate in 2014.”

SAN DIEGO MAYOR: Los Angeles Times: ”After the headline-inducing sex scandal that led to the resignation of Mayor Bob Filner, the special election campaign to find a replacement has been mostly civil and frightfully earnest. With some policy differences at the margins, the four top candidates have all promised to improve neighborhood services, hire more police officers and streamline city government to help private industry create jobs.”

AP: ”Kevin Faulconer, a two-term city councilman, is the lone high-profile Republican in Tuesday’s election, facing several prominent Democrats. If no one wins a majority — a likely scenario with 11 names on the ballot — the top two finishers advance to a runoff. Faulconer, 46, is widely considered a shoo-in for a runoff against David Alvarez, a first-term city councilman, or Nathan Fletcher, an executive at wireless technology titan Qualcomm Inc. and former state assemblyman who finished third in last year’s race.”

VIRGINIA: Washington Post: “Two weeks after losing his bid for Virginia governor, Ken Cuccinelli II said that the failings of the new health-care law will make Sen. Mark R. Warner vulnerable next year in a contest the attorney general did not rule out. in his first interview since Democrat Terry McAuliffe defeated him to become the state’s 72nd governor, Cuccinelli (R) said Monday that although he has no current plans to run, he finds the idea of challenging Warner “tempting” because of the troubled rollout of the federal health-care law, which the Democratic senator supported.”

Charlottesville Daily Progress: “An attorney for state Sen. Mark Herring said Monday he expects the Democrat to retain his slim lead over Republican state Sen. Mark Obenshain in the race for Virginia attorney general. ‘I don’t expect a significant change,’’ Washington, D.C.-based attorney Marc Elias, a veteran of election recounts, said in a teleconference. “I expect the attorney general-elect [Herring] — whether there is a recount or not — will prevail.”

WYOMING: NBC’s Carrie Dann: “Former vice president Dick Cheney and his wife Lynne said Monday that they are “pained” by the public dispute over gay marriage between their daughters but that Liz Cheney’s “many kindnesses shouldn’t be used to distort her position” on the issue.”

Politico: “Liz Cheney’s public feud with her gay sister over same-sex marriage has laid bare the disconnect between party elites in Washington — many of whom have jumped on the gay marriage bandwagon — and the activists who drive the primary contests. The plain reality is that the conservative base remains overwhelmingly opposed to gay marriage, even as general public opinion and the sentiment of the party establishment have dramatically shifted toward acceptance. That shift may be even more pronounced by 2016 or 2018. But for now, Cheney has calculated, probably correctly, it would be too risky for a Republican running in a heated Wyoming Senate primary to be anything but firmly against same-sex marriage.”

Charlie Cook: “Cheney’s run appears to be a campaign against Washington more than an ideological jihad. It would be wrong to see this as a tea-party challenge; this is more of an outsider—albeit from an insider family—running against a longtime incumbent. These are so rare that they are newsworthy.”