OVERNIGHT CAMPAIGN: Sen. Booker?

Booker had been mulling whether to run for the Senate seat currently held by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) or instead challenge New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R). 
 

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Lautenberg, 88, has not said whether he plans to run for reelection in 2014, though he already has the endorsement of Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), a power-broker in the party.

TOMORROW’S AGENDA TODAY: The National Rifle Association will hold what it has described as a "major" press conference to discuss "meaningful contributions" it can make to the debate over guns stemming from last week's killing spree in Connecticut.

TWEET OF THE DAY:

@SenJohnMcCain: Thanks Vlad, I can finally rest easy about tomorrow! "Mayan apocalypse: Vladimir rules out end of the world"

POLL POSITION:

Outgoing Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) would start off with a big lead over his potential Democratic rivals if Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) vacates his Senate seat for a job in President Obama's Cabinet and Brown runs for it, according to a new poll. One Democrat who wasn't tested in the poll, actor-director Ben Affleck, said on Thursday that he wasn't ruling out a run. Affleck and Kerry have a longstanding relationship.

RACE FOR 2016:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) says he "wasn't ready" to run for president in 2012, but vows to be prepared if he considers a bid in the future.

"I wasn't ready to run for president this time," said the governor on "Conversations at NJPAC" on Tuesday.

Christie did not acknowledge whether he was weighing a run in 2016, but he said that "if it comes, I know that I will be more ready for it than I would have been this year."

SENATE SHOWDOWN:

Vulnerable Senate Democrats are treading carefully on gun-control issues following the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a reflection of the tough position many will be in if Congress takes up major firearms legislation.

A number of Democrats from conservative, heavily rural states are up for reelection in 2014, and most have avoided discussing specifics on issues such as renewing a ban on assault weapons or limiting the size of ammunition clips, during the renewed national focus on gun violence.

Battle for the House:

The Hill will sit down with Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee  Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) on Friday morning to talk about the 2014 campaign. Keep an eye out on TheHill.com for what he has to say.

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