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 GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertGOP Rep. Zeldin to lead call for second special counsel Doug Collins to run for House Judiciary chair Congress votes to expand deficit — and many in GOP are unhappy 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 Diane Rodham ClintonGeorge HW Bush wears 'book socks' to Barbara Bush's funeral to honor her passion for literacy Obamas, Clintons to attend funeral of Barbara Bush Hillary Clinton to fundraise in DC for public charter high school 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 LeVaughn Robinson ObamaGeorge HW Bush wears 'book socks' to Barbara Bush's funeral to honor her passion for literacy Obamas, Clintons to attend funeral of Barbara Bush Melania Trump to attend Barbara Bush's funeral 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 Steven KirkHigh stakes as Trump heads to Hill Five things to watch for at Trump-Senate GOP meeting Giffords, Scalise highlight party differences on guns 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 PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulPompeo lacks votes for positive vote on panel CIA declassifies memo on nominee's handling of interrogation tapes Overnight Defense: House to begin work on defense policy bill | Panel to vote Monday on Pompeo | Trump to deliver Naval Academy commencement speech | Trump appeals decision blocking suspected combatant's transfer MORE (R-Ky.) ripped actress Ashley Judd (D) for reportedly considering a run against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPompeo lacks votes for positive vote on panel GOP poised to advance rules change to speed up Trump nominees Trump has not invited Democrats, media to state dinner: report 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 Ann WarrenDem senators demand Trump explain ties to Koch brothers 'Fearless Girl' statue to be moved away from Wall Street bull Sanders, Warren, O’Rourke inspire patriotic small donor waves 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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