Read more about this race in Wednesday's edition of The Hill or on thehill.com.


TOMORROW’S AGENDA TODAY: President Obama and the first family will attend the National Christmas Tree Lighting on the Ellipse.


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QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We shouldn't eliminate the word lunatic. It really has application around this town." — Rep. Louie GohmertLouie GohmertLawmakers press DOJ to help victims of Ponzi scheme House approves spending bill with funds for Trump's border wall House avoids floor fight over transgender people in military MORE (R-Texas), on his lone vote against a bill striking the word "lunatic" from U.S. law


POLL POSITION:

A Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 57 percent say they'd support a presidential bid by Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonAssange meets U.S. congressman, vows to prove Russia did not leak him documents High-ranking FBI official leaves Russia probe OPINION | Steve Bannon is Trump's indispensable man — don't sacrifice him to the critics MORE in 2016. 


AD WATCH:

A new ad from Crossroads GPS accuses President Obama of pushing for tax increases without "real" spending cuts as part of the administration's plan to reduce the deficit. 


BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE:

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has launched a new website, GOPhostagetakers.com, that calls 40 potentially vulnerable House Republicans "hostage takers" for refusing to sign on to a Democratic tax plan to extend middle-class tax cuts.

ILLINOIS: State Sen. Donne Trotter (D), a candidate for the congressional seat formerly held by Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), was charged with attempting to bring a gun onto an airplane.


SENATE SHOWDOWN:

ILLINOIS: First lady Michelle ObamaMichelle ObamaKim Kardashian says she and Kanye once sang karaoke with Obama Obama talked trash, won money from 3 celebs over golf game Former Michelle Obama aide enters Maryland governor's race MORE has said repeatedly that she does not plan to follow in Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's footsteps and seek political office after leaving the White House. But a new poll of Illinois shows she would be a heavy favorite if she wanted to challenge incumbent Republican Sen. Mark KirkMark KirkImmigration critics find their champion in Trump Trump's nominee to lead USAID has the right philosophy on international aid McConnell: Senate to try to repeal ObamaCare next week MORE. Obama leads Kirk 51 to 40 percent in a hypothetical 2016 match-up, according to a new survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling.

KENTUCKY: Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulCurtis wins GOP primary for House seat vacated by Jason Chaffetz Glimmer of hope in bipartisan criminal justice reform effort Trump barrage stuns McConnell and his allies MORE (R-Ky.) ripped actress Ashley Judd (D) for reportedly considering a run against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellTrump’s isolation grows Ellison: Trump has 'level of sympathy' for neo-Nazis, white supremacists Trump touts endorsement of second-place finisher in Alabama primary MORE (R-Ky.) in 2014. In a radio interview on WMAL, Paul described Judd as “way too damn liberal for our country,” and needled her for making one of her homes in Scotland.

“I heard she lives in Scotland, I thought she was running for Parliament,” Paul said, before wondering how she would commute to Washington from overseas, since the Concorde supersonic commercial aircraft is no longer around.

And Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) won't run against McConnell. "I have no interest in running for that or any other office," he told Kentucky reporters.

MASSACHUSETTS: Sen.-elect Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren: Education Dept lawyer may have violated conflict-of-interest laws Congress should think twice on the Israel Anti-Boycott Act Sanders plans to introduce single-payer bill in September MORE (D-Mass.), who defeated Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) in one of the most closely watched and expensive races in the nation, has asked for help to retire her campaign debt. Warren broke Massachusetts fundraising records with her $42 million haul, but she said in an email to supporters that she incurred some debt because of an "embarrassment of riches," in the form of the unexpected levels of support she says she received.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

President Obama will travel to Detroit on Monday for an economic address, the latest in a push to intensify public pressure on congressional Republicans in the closing weeks of the "fiscal cliff" debate.

Vice President Biden went to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to use the Senate gym and visit friends, according to a White House spokesman.

The White House wouldn’t address a report that it might appoint Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour as the next U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom or France.


Rob Jesmer, the former executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), is joining FP1 Strategies.


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