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First Read's Morning Clips

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day

OFF TO THE RACES : New poll numbers in Iowa

A new Bloomberg/ Des Moines Register poll shows Clinton maintaining a strong lead with Iowa Democrats, while Scott Walker leads among Republicans with 17 percent support.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Dick Cheney is ramping up a new foreign policy push. MORE: “By weighing in, Mr. Cheney is bound to make himself a flash point in the 2016 debate, stoking further questions about which policies of the George W. Bush administration Republicans embrace and which they reject, from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the bulk collection of phone records and interrogation policy. That could prove particularly uncomfortable for Jeb Bush, who has struggled to define himself apart from his brother.”

CLINTON: Maureen Dowd talks to Tinseltown players about the would-be first female president: “Hollywood is mostly united behind Hillary, with a few Bernie outliers and Elizabeth dreamers. But it’s a forced march.”

The Des Moines Register poll finds that Democrats aren’t bothered by issues that have been pushed as controversies, but they do think they could hurt her in the general election.

CHRISTIE: The Washington Post ed board calls out Christie’s “about face” on Common Core. MORE: “The Republicans who have shown the most sense and spine on Common Core are former Florida governor Jeb Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. They recognize that there is nothing objectionable in improving school standards and in wanting students, no matter where they live, to have the skills needed to succeed in college or pursue careers.”

FIORINA: She’s out with a new video describing her momentum within the GOP field.

From, Fiorina says she takes “no delight” in raising questions about Hillary Clinton.

KASICH: He continued to hint at a presidential run during an appearance on Meet the Press, touting his resume.

GRAHAM: The AP previews his presidential announcement, citing the risks and potential rewards of his foreign policy positions.

O’MALLEY: He launched his own presidential bid over the weekend, vowing to fight hard in New Hampshire.

More, from NBC’s Leigh Ann Caldwell: “With the backdrop of a divided city based on race and class behind him, O'Malley jumpstarted his campaign on the theme of inclusion.”

PAUL: The New York Times describes his lonely stand in the Senate. “His tactics were publicly shunned by some of his Republican colleagues, and he did not attend a Republican strategy session before a critical vote to move forward on a replacement surveillance bill passed by the House. For much of the rare Sunday session of the Senate, he stood apart from other senators, dressed in khakis, a blue blazer and Nubuck shoes, clustered with two like-minded House Republicans, Justin Amash of Michigan and Thomas Massie of Kentucky.”

SANTORUM: He said on Meet the Press that the Supreme Court shouldn’t have the last word on the gay marriage fight.

OBAMA AGENDA: Kerry suffers broken leg

Secretary of State John Kerry is grounded after breaking his leg in a bicycle accident.

The News Journal remembers Beau Biden: “To long-time friends, Biden had superior qualities only those closest to him got to see. He eschewed privilege that came with his name. Many didn't know the true Beau because he was intensely private, especially for a leading political figure. They describe a man of great humility who dedicated his public service work to the less fortunate. And Biden, 46, was a dedicated family man and a steadfast friend, they say.”

Worth a re-read: Joe Biden’s candid 2012 speech to military families who had lost a loved one, via the Washington Post.

CONGRESS: Patriot games

Here’s NBC’s wrap-up of the NSA fight last night. “The National Security Agency's authority to collect troves of bulk telephone metadata under the post-Sept.11 USA Patriot Act expired at midnight Monday after Republican senators were unable to make a deal.”

And more on the USA Freedom Act, from the Washington Post: “The USA Freedom Act is the product of months of compromise between Republicans and Democrats, the administration and privacy groups. Under it, the NSA would stop gathering billions of call records — their times, dates and durations, but not their content. Instead, the phone companies would be required to adapt their systems so that they could be queried for records of specific terrorism suspects based on individual court orders. The bill also would renew other expiring investigative powers that the FBI says are critical.”


***Monday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Today on News Nation, Tamron Hall speaks with Republican Senator from Utah Mike Lee about the Patriot Act, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Lynn Sweet about the latest on Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert indicted on federal charges for allegedly lying to the FBI about over unreported cash withdrawals, and Associated Press reporter Richard Lardner about his reporting on ex-Nazi’s receiving over 20 million is social security benefits

*** Monday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell will remember Beau Biden with Rep. John Carney and Frm. Gov. Ed Rendell. We’ll get the latest on the Patriot Act expiring with Fmr. Rep. Jane Harman, 2016 politics with the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza and the New York Times’ Jeremy Peters and NBC’s Pete Williams and WMAQ’s Carol Marin will discuss the case against Dennis Hastert.