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First Read's Morning Clips

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OBAMA AGENDA: Isn’t it ironic, don’t ya think?

The New York Times notes the irony in Republican concern over the Secret Service scandal. "President Obama must be touched by all the concern Republicans are showing him these days. As Congress examines security breaches at the White House, even opposition lawmakers who have spent the last six years fighting his every initiative have expressed deep worry for his security." MORE: "Coming just weeks before midterm elections, they said, the intense focus on the matter might further undercut confidence in the government Mr. Obama runs even though it was hardly his fault an intruder with a knife made it into the White House."

Here's NBCNews.com on Secret Service director Julia Pierson's testimony on Capitol Hill yesterday.

The latest in the Washington Post's scoop-age on the subject: "Armed contractor with criminal record was on elevator with Obama in Atlanta"

The Associated Press: "President Barack Obama's escalating military campaign in Iraq and Syria has drowned out the economic pitch he hoped would help salvage a midterm election that has been favoring Republicans. But the airstrikes against Islamic State extremists have also introduced a new complicating factor into the fall campaign, forcing both sides to reassess their closing political messages. Obama is drawing new attention to the nation's recovery from the Great Recession with a speech Thursday at Northwestern University, linking U.S. stature abroad to economic strength at home. It is a delicate argument for a president whose handling of pocketbook issues remains unpopular and who acknowledges many have not benefited from the upturn."

From Reuters: “Turkey signaled it may send troops into Syria or Iraq and let allies use Turkish bases to fight Islamic State, as coalition jets launched air strikes on Wednesday on insurgents besieging a town on its southern border with Syria.”

OFF TO THE RACES: GOP: Happy birthday, HealthCare.Gov!

The RNC is poking some fun at the impact Obamacare is having on Senate races as it notes the anniversary of the HealthCare.Gov rollout.

Generation Opportunity (the group that created the "Creepy Uncle Sam" character) is up with an online ad campaign in five states - Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, North Carolina and New Hampshire - that calls Obamacare "a freak show" and compares it to a particularly creepy circus. And yes, Uncle Sam makes an appearance.

The Washington Post writes that Ted Cruz is "quickly becoming the favored contender of social conservatives."

And National Journal writes on how Rand Paul "keeps getting pulled back toward the libertarian roots that first catapulted him to political stardom."

Remember Larry Craig? "A federal judge Tuesday ordered former senator Larry “Wide Stance” Craig (R-Idaho) to pay the U.S. Treasury $242,000 for improperly using campaign funds to pay for his legal defense after a 2007 sex-sting arrest in a Minneapolis airport bathroom," reports the Washington Post.

ARKANSAS: The New York Times delves into why Democrats are still competitive in Arkansas.

COLORADO: The Denver Post reports on Tuesday's gubernatorial debate: "Hickenlooper found himself on guard much of the debate as he defended his administration's record under attacks from Beauprez, particularly his shift in stance on the death penalty."

The NRSC is up with an ad hitting Mark Udall for what it calls his failure to understand the threat of ISIS.

KENTUCKY: The Grimes campaign has released internal polling showing her up 42 percent to 40 percent. (But that differs from the other public polling out there.)

McConnell is slamming Grimes over her onetime promise to serve her full term as secretary of state.

IOWA: Joni Ernst has outraised Bruce Braley in the third quarter, hauling in over $4.5 million. Braley will report raising $2.8 million.

KANSAS: Former GOP Sen. Nancy Kassebaum Baker refused to tape a TV ad for Pat Roberts, reports the Kansas City Star. “There’s just disappointment around the state,” she said. “They feel they don’t know him now.”

MAINE: AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka will campaign with Maine gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud.

NORTH CAROLINA: After backing his primary rival, Rand Paul will stump for Thom Tillis. (He’s also giving a hand to famously anti-war Rep. Walter Jones)

Another poll shows Kay Hagan neck-and-neck with Tillis.

SOUTH CAROLINA: A new Winthrop Poll finds Nikki Haley up over challenger Vincent Sheheen by 10 points.

WISCONSIN: The Journal Sentinel: "With five weeks to go to the Nov. 4 election, Gov. Scott Walker attacked his opponent Tuesday over copied sections of her jobs plan and the head of the state Democratic Party accused Walker of trading access to his top staff for political donations."

PROGRAMMING NOTES.

*** Wednesday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Richard Lui interviews Fordham University Fellow, Dr. Alexander van Tulleken, on the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S.; and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) on the Secret Service security breaches.

*** Wednesday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell interviews Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Dr. Anthony Fauci, Senator John McCain, Spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minister Mark Regev, Captain Mark Kelly on his book “Enough” co-written with wife Gabby Giffords, NBC’s Mark Murray, Carrie Dann and MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt and NBC’s Ian Williams from Hong Kong.

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