IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

First Read's Morning Clips

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

OBAMA AGENDA: More Ebola politics

More Ebola politics: "Nurse Kaci Hickox — who remains symptom-free after spending three days in an isolation tent at a New Jersey hospital after she flew back from West Africa — tells TODAY's Matt Lauer that she won't obey Maine’s quarantine order." Hickox said she won't be "bullied by politicians."

Obama was criticized for not naming an Ebola 'czar' sooner, and now Ron Klain's taking heat for not being visible enough. The AP: "The White House's behind-the-scenes coordination of the Ebola response is being severely tested, while the Pentagon and states like New York and New Jersey take public steps that are far firmer than federal guidelines. That's creating the appearance of a crazy quilt of Ebola measures."

The man investigating the Secret Service prostitution scandal resigned after getting busted for... yep, you guessed it. The New York Times: "The investigator who led the Department of Homeland Security’s internal review of the Secret Service’s 2012 prostitution scandal quietly resigned in August after he was implicated in his own incident involving a prostitute, according to current and former department officials."

Russians are suspected to be behind a hack of the White House computer networks, writes the Washington Post.

An investigation by the New York Times: "Attorneys general are now the object of aggressive pursuit by lobbyists and lawyers who use campaign contributions, personal appeals at lavish corporate-sponsored conferences and other means to push them to drop investigations, change policies, negotiate favorable settlements or pressure federal regulators, an investigation by The New York Times has found."

OFF TO THE RACES: Big business places its bets

From the Wall Street Journal: "In a significant shift, business groups gave more money to Republican candidates than to Democrats in seven of the most competitive Senate races in recent months, in some cases taking the unusual step of betting against sitting senators."

Oregon, Alaska and Washington D.C. will vote on ballot measures to legalize small quantities of marijuana. But is a national tide of legalization coming?

The AP does the Tiebreaker-Biden scenario: "If the Senate splits evenly between Democrats and Republicans, the vice president's role as the 101st senator would instantly be elevated. That in turn would raise Biden's own profile heading into 2016, when Biden has said he may run for president again. It could even help him try to rival the rock-star status that Democrats have already bestowed upon Hillary Rodham Clinton."

ALASKA: Mitt Romney and Ted Cruz are heading to Alaska to campaign for Republican Dan Sullivan.

The Alaska Dispatch News notes how Mark Begich's campaign has started boosting libertarian Mark Fish, who could siphon votes away from Sullivan. "Recently, Begich’s campaign has even run radio commercials touting Fish’s candidacy alongside his own -- meaning that since Fish hasn’t spent any money to advertise his own campaign, Begich has now spent more money promoting Fish than Fish has himself."

The Upshot notes that some recent polling (insert reference to "notoriously difficult state to poll") has looked favorable for Begich. That includes a new Ivan Moore poll showing Beigch up by about six points.

COLORADO: Mark Udall is back to ads on women's issues, hitting Cory Gardner on the personhood issue in a new spot. Gardner's hitting back by highlighting criticism of Udall's focus on reproductive rights.

GEORGIA: One of us(!) talked to voters - and both Senate candidates - to get a sense of what's going on in that competitive Senate race. Here's the big three takeaways.

IOWA: The New York Times looks at how gender matters in the Iowa Senate race, even if Joni Ernst isn't talking about it: "By running to make history without saying so, Ms. Ernst, 44, is helping to write a new playbook for Republican female candidates. In a year that is proving challenging for women running for the Senate from both parties, Ms. Ernst has broken through with a powerful political message that has helped her build a surprisingly enthusiastic base of support — among men."

Marco Rubio, stumping for Ernst with his eye on 2016: "Now I have fulfilled my lifelong dream of coming to a Pizza Ranch."

A new Quinnipiac poll shows Ernst up 49 percent to 45 percent over Bruce Braley.

But a Loras College poll puts Braley slightly ahead.

KANSAS: Rand Paul stumped for Pat Roberts and Sam Brownback, saying "they know that businesses do create jobs."

KENTUCKY: Elizabeth Warren stumped for Alison Lundergan Grimes on Tuesday, where Warren said "Mitch McConnell is here to work for the millionaires and the billionaires."

LOUISIANA: Hillary Clinton will campaign for Mary Landrieu at a "Moms and Grams with Mary" event on Saturday.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: The Wall Street Journal notes something we noted in First Read last week: The Election Night call in New Hampshire could be a good early indicator of how the national winds are blowing.

Whoops. Elizabeth Warren, on The View: "Jeanne Shaheen up in New Hampshire. Talk about American history. The only woman in the history of the United States who has been both a governor and a senator and independent out there working for the people of Vermont.”

NORTH CAROLINA: “Radio ads invoking the shooting death of Trayvon Martin and abortions by African-American women are playing on black-oriented stations as both sides play to the emotions of black voters. Meanwhile, a conservative group took to cable TV Tuesday telling black viewers that by supporting Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, they’ve “only traded one plantation for another.”


*** Wednesday’s “The Daily Rundown” line-up: NBC’s Craig Melvin interviews The Denver Post’s John Frank, USA Today’s Susan Page, MSNBC’s Irin Carmon and Ari Melber and NBC’s Tom Costello, Kristen Welker, Pete Williams, Carrie Dann and Mark Murray.

*** Wednesday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Frances Rivera interviews Author and Space Travel expert Jay Barbree on the NASA rocket explosion; MSNBC Political Analyst and Editor at Large of’s Joan Walsh and Huffington Post’s Senior Political reporter Amanda Terkel on next week’s midterm elections; and in our exclusive Born in the USA series, Guy and Sharene Wood, of the Harlem Haberdashery, a boutique open for two years, which is the retail expression of “5001 flavors,” a custom-made apparel company creating looks for celebrities and others.

*** Wednesday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell interviews NBC Justice Correspondent Pete Williams, Congressman Peter King, NBC’s Tom Costello, Captain Mark Kelly ret. NASA astronaut, Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza and Nia Malika Henderson, and The Trail with MSNBC reporters Alex Seitz-Wald in Iowa, Irin Carmon in Kentucky and Moderator of Meet the Press Chuck Todd on his “Meet the Voters” tour.