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First Read's Morning Clips

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OBAMA AGENDA: CDC leader in the spotlight

The New York Times looks at how CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden has become the face of the Ebola response.

The AP: "The federal government is ramping up its response to the Ebola crisis after a second Dallas nurse became ill and it was disclosed that she had been cleared to fly a day before her diagnosis."

What's going on with the stock market? Reuters explains.

The Washington Post reports on the strategy to demoralize ISIS with pounding airstrikes in the Syrian town of Kobani.

OFF TO THE RACES: So much for those earlier GOP money concerns

Writes the New York Times: "Republican candidates for the Senate have overcome the sizable fund-raising edge held by their Democratic opponents for most of the 2014 election cycle, according to new disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission, outraising or matching Democrats in races that will decide control of the Senate and entering the final weeks of the campaign with ample cash."

The Washington Post's Robert Costa looks at the Christie rehabilitation project: "Seeking a path under those clouds, Christie, 52, has in recent months turned away from the fiscal battles that were the running theme of his first term and toward efforts designed to showcase the softer side of his politics, as well as his support among blacks and Hispanics. In his reelection campaign last year, Christie won 21 percent of the former’s vote and 51 percent of the latter."

Mike Pence Watch: He's heading to New Hampshire next week to host a fundraiser for Marilinda Garcia.

ALASKA: Dan Sullivan outraised Mark Begich in the third quarter, notes the Alaska Dispatch News.

COLORADO: Ebola factored big in last night's Colorado Senate debate, reports the Denver Post.

A new Quinnipiac poll shows Cory Gardner up 47-41 percent over Mark Udall.

FLORIDA: So, this happened. Via the Miami Herald: "In the weirdest start of a gubernatorial debate, Florida Gov. Rick Scott initially refused to take the stage Wednesday night because Democrat Charlie Crist insisted on a fan to keep him cool. The Republican governor finally emerged at least six minutes late as flummoxed moderators struggled on live TV to figure out what to do with a bemused Crist standing solo on stage at Broward College."

MSNBC’s Michael LaRosa adds, “A hotly anticipated debate was put on hold because one of the participants wasn’t a fan… of an electric fan.”

IOWA: Out yesterday: A new USA Today/Suffolk poll showing Joni Ernst up 47-43 among likely Iowa voters.

KANSAS: From the Wichita Eagle: "Washington gridlock took the spotlight at Wednesday’s Kansas Senate debate, with challenger Greg Orman calling Sen. Pat Roberts part of the problem and Roberts saying that Orman would preserve an unproductive status quo by keeping Democrats in control of the Senate .. They agreed Washington is a mess, but neither was shy about saying where he felt the other fell or would fall short in fixing it."

More: Here's what Orman said about being pro-choice: "As a man, I’m not ever going to have to face the hard decisions that women have to face. I trust that the women of Kansas are smart and they can make decisions on their own about their own reproductive health.”

And: Asked to say something nice about Greg Orman, here's Roberts' response: "“I would say that you are a very well-dressed opponent. I admire your accumulation of wealth. I have a little question about how you got there from here, but that’s the American dream.”

KENTUCKY: The Courier-Journal on Hillary Clinton's campaign stop with Grimes: "The event didn't have the feel of a flagging campaign as the media has suggested in recent weeks. Grimes has come under fire for refusing to say who she voted for for president in the 2008 and 2012 general elections, and on Wednesday the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee stopped buying ad time in the state."

The Washington Post Fact Checker gives Mitch McConnell three Pinocchios for his "puzzling" claim that the popular Kynect website can continue even if Obamacare is scrapped.

LOUISIANA: The Times-Picayune offers an in-depth profile of Bill Cassidy, writing that "his approach to voters resembles the way a good doctor approaches patients, with a gentle, but informed, bedside manner."

NORTH CAROLINA: With all the 3Q numbers in, it's clear that Kay Hagan has raised more money but that Thom Tillis has a little bit more cash in the bank.

TEXAS: Wendy Davis is still calling that wheelchair ad "incredibly effective."

VIRGINIA: The Wall Street Journal looks at Rand Paul's campaigning with Dave Brat and Ed Gillespie in the state -- and also at his larger outreach efforts.

WISCONSIN: In the latest Marquette poll, Mary Burke and Scott Walker are all tied up with likely voters, 47-47%.

PROGRAMMING NOTES.

*** Thursday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Tamron Hall interviews Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) on the administration’s response to Ebola, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) on today’s Ebola hearing, David Quammen, author of several books on Ebola, and The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson on the political blame game over Ebola.

*** Thursday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell interviews infectious disease specialist Dr. Frank Esper, NBC Senior Health Writer Maggie Fox, NBC’s Craig Melvin, John Yang, Gabe Guitierrez and Kristen Welker, the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, the Atlantic’s Molly Ball and we’ll be monitoring the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Ebola hearing.

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