Obama missteps boost GOP chances . . . The GOP could hardly contain its glee at what it viewed as Obama’s latest mistake: his comments that voters should support red-state Democrats who “vote with me” and “have supported my agenda in Congress.” While the remarks on the Rev. Al Sharpton’s radio show were intended to move black voters to the polls, they bolstered GOP attacks that a vote for Michelle Nunn in Georgia or Sen. Mark Pryor in Arkansas is essentially a vote for Obama. “Democrats running in the midterms have continually tried to distance themselves from Obama to no avail,” noted Republican National Committee spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski.
The Sharpton comments were just the latest in a series of fumbles by Obama that has fueled Democratic worries the party will lose control of the Senate in the midterms. The Hill
Klain advised Michelle Nunn’s campaign . . . Ron Klain starts work today as Obama’s Ebola “czar,” or point person to coordinate various agencies involved in containing the outbreak. That means the longtime Democratic hand no longer has time to help out Michelle Nunn’s U.S. Senate bid. Klain, a former chief of staff to vice presidents Al Gore and Joe Biden and frequent debate prepper, was to lead Nunn’s preparation for her debates against Republican David Perdue, according to the infamous internal campaign memo. Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Of course, Klain’s stewardship of the Ebola fight will be completely apolitical.
Companies try to escape Obamacare penalties . . . With companies set to face fines next year for not complying with the new mandate to offer health insurance, some are pursuing strategies like enrolling employees in Medicaid and offering skinny plans to avoid penalties and hold down costs. Wall Street Journal
Coburn “Wastebook” skewers federal spending . . . The retiring Oklahoma senator laces into the National Institutes of Health for complaining about lack of Ebola research money while NIH investigates the effect of Swedish massages on rabbits. This particular study on rodent rubdowns cost $387,000 — a tiny fraction of the NIH’s more than $4 billion budget. But he cites many “unnecessary” spending programs that continue while NIH officials argue that important disease research has slowed. Politico
Actually, Kobani is a big deal . . . In public, the Obama administration argued for weeks that Kobani wasn’t strategically vital to the air campaign against Islamic State extremists. Behind the scenes, however, top officials concluded the Syrian city had become too symbolically important to lose and they raced to save it. Wall Street Journal
ISIS manna from Obama . . . ISIS fighters intercepted a cache of weapons dropped by a U.S.-led coalition against the terrorist group. A roughly two-minute video shows a masked man armed with a rifle going through boxes of hand grenades, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and ammunition. The accidental drop of the weapons cache prompted thank yous from ISIS supporters on Twitter. Buzzfeed
Kasich appears not to have backed Obamacare . . . Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols said there was never any argument about the veracity of the quote; it’s just the news service saying Kasich was referring to Obamacare when he was only talking about Medicaid expansion. Colombus Dispatch
It just goes to show. Never talk to reporters.
Jeb has a tax problem . . . The former Florida governor has said he could accept tax increases in a hypothetical deficit-cutting deal. Never mind that he added that would come only in exchange for major federal spending cuts, or that he repeatedly cut taxes as governor. Tax hikes are still apostasy in Republican circles, and the stance could be a big problem for Bush if he decides to seek the party’s presidential nomination in 2016. Politico
Christie: Enough about the minimum wage . . . “I gotta tell you the truth, I’m tired of hearing about the minimum wage. I really am,” the Republican governor said, according to a video of the remarks posted by the left-leaning super PAC, American Bridge 21st Century. Christie continued, “I don’t think there’s a mother or father who’s sitting around a kitchen table in America tonight saying ‘You know honey, if our son or daughter could just make a higher minimum wage.’” Politico
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