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Off to the races: Invisible primary under way

Reid Wilson: “They swear they're focused on more-immediate projects. They insist a White House campaign is the furthest thing from their minds. But with the 2016 invisible primary well under way, some Republican candidates are already lining up the campaign managers they will turn to if and when they decide to run for president. While the race for the White House might seem like it's only in its Washington cocktail-party gossip phase, several potential and probable contenders are already making overt moves to court activists in key states and build organizations that can transition easily to a presidential campaign.”

We’re just six months into Obama’s second term, and this is happening… “Democrats in Washington are starting to shift from the Obamas to the Clintons,” The Hill reports. “Hillary Clinton has already racked up a couple of endorsements for the 2016 presidential race — and she hasn’t even announced she’s running yet. Requests are flooding in for the former secretary of State to campaign for candidates. Of course, President Obama remains the most sought-after figure, but his star power could fade in the coming months as the chatter about his successor intensifies.”

USA Today: “La Jolla homeowner Ann Romney had a beef about coastline development procedures so she complained to her city council. Yes, that would be the wife of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Mrs. Romney addressed the San Diego City Council on Tuesday during the public comment portion of the meeting. As the Union-Tribune described it, that's the time ‘usually reserved by City Hall gadflies to rail against local government.’”

ILLINOIS: “A former Miss America who is black and running for Congress has been called a ‘street walker,’ ‘love child’ and other names by a Republican Party chairman in Illinois,” USA Today writes. “Erika Harold, a Harvard-trained lawyer who wore the crown in 2003, is challenging Rep. Rodney Davis in a Republican primary. The comments by Montgomery County (Ill.) GOP Chairman Jim Allen were reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. ‘Now, Miss Queen is being used like a street walker and her pimps are the DEMOCRAT PARTY and RINO REPUBLICANS,’ Allen wrote in an e-mail to Republican News Watch.”

MASSACHUSETTS: Gabriel Gomez (R) is up with a new ad highlighting his debate performance. Vice President Biden is heading to MassachusettsSaturday to campaign with Ed Markey (D). 

VIRGINIA: Political Wire: “Virginia Lt. Gov candidate E.W. Jackson (R) said that Americans "should remember" the country's history of slavery, but ‘not wallow in it,’ the Hampton Roads Daily Press reports. He stressed that it was ‘not slavery that eroded the black family but government policies in the 1960s.’”

Jill Lawrence looks at the rise and quick fall in GOP politics of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. 

And GOP gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli is hitting Terry McAuliffe on right to work. From a Cuccinelli campaign release: “Terry McAuliffe’s refusal to say whether he would defend Virginia’s right-to-work status stands in stark contrast to the last three Democrats elected Governor of Virginia. Former Governors Tim Kaine and Mark Warner both “strongly” supported Virginia’s right-to-work law and Doug Wilder “unreservedly defended” it. The fact that McAuliffe is leading one of the most pro-tax, anti-job tickets in Virginia history is troubling enough for job creators in the Commonwealth. But when you couple that with his blind devotion to union bosses—a position well out of step with former Virginia Democrat standard bearers —it's clear that McAuliffe is wrong for the Commonwealth's economy and middle-class families.”