Off to the races: Reid to raise money for McConnell’s Dem opponent

Charlie Cook notes that Syria had the potential to be a big 2014 issue, and, “It was a lot easier for members to see how they might regret voting yes than no. … If Obama’s job ratings bounce around at or under 40 percent for long, Democrats should worry that the historic trend of the president’s party losing ground in the House may catch up with them.”

Rand Paul was stuck yesterday trying to explain his views versus his father’s on the reasons the U.S. was attacked on 9/11. Ron Paul said that 9/11 was “blowback for decades of U.S. intervention in the Middle East.” Rand half agreed. “I think some are also motivated whether we’re there or not,” he said. “So I think there’s a combination of reasons why we’re attacked.”

KENTUCKY: “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will help raise funds for the 2014 opponent of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, according to a report,” Politico writes, adding, “Reid’s move comes after he had …[said] last year that he would not publicly campaign against Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell because he didn’t think it would be appropriate to do so.”

NEW JERSEY: “A fire that started at a frozen custard shop Thursday ripped along the boardwalks of Seaside Park and Seaside Heights, N.J., and damaging nearly two dozen businesses along the way,” USA Today writes. “Much of the iconic boardwalk just rebuilt after Superstorm Sandy was destroyed…. Not since the Long Branch Amusement Pier fire of 1987, has there been a more disastrous beachfront fire on the Jersey Shore.” Gov. Chris Christie “recalled his initial words to his staff as they briefed him of the barrier island's latest disaster: ‘I feel like I want to throw up.’”

One resident, who had just been at the bank depositing a FEMA check because of damage to property after Sandy, told the Asbury Park Press: “It’s horrible. Why is God doing this to us again? How much more can we take?”

VIRGINIA: The Washington Post’s editorial page hits Ken Cuccinelli over the $18,000 in gifts that he received from a Virginia businessman; this week, Cuccinelli wrote a check donating $18,000 to charity. “Did Mr. Cuccinelli not understand the conflicts? Did he not understand that, as the attorney general, it was wrong to accept gifts from a businessman whose firm was fighting his office? Did he not understand that it was wrong to accept gifts from the businessman as his office prosecuted a whistleblower whose revelations threatened both the businessman and the governor, a political ally of Mr. Cuccinelli’s?”