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 GohmertDon't create safe haven for wildlife trafficking — reject SAVES Act You want to recall John McCain? Good luck, it will be impossible Alabama's Roy Moore proves Trumpism is more powerful than Donald Trump 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 ClintonChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies DNC, RNC step up cyber protections Gun proposal picks up GOP support 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 ObamaMichelle Obama criticizes lack of diversity in politics: one side is 'all white, all men' Obama interrupts Michelle's appearance with 25th anniversary tribute Michelle Obama: Young people feel what's happening now 'not what they were taught' 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 KirkGiffords, Scalise highlight party differences on guns Stale, misguided, divisive: minimum wage can't win elections Immigration critics find their champion in Trump 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 PaulHouse bill set to reignite debate on warrantless surveillance Authorizing military force is necessary, but insufficient GOP feuds with outside group over analysis of tax framework MORE (R-Ky.) ripped actress Ashley Judd (D) for reportedly considering a run against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGun proposal picks up GOP support Children’s health-care bill faces new obstacles Dems see Trump as potential ally on gun reform 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 WarrenOvernight Finance: Lawmakers grill Equifax chief over hack | Wells Fargo CEO defends bank's progress | Trump jokes Puerto Rico threw budget 'out of whack' | Mortgage tax fight tests industry clout Michelle Obama is exactly who the Democrats need to win big in 2020 Wells Fargo chief defends bank's progress in tense Senate hearing 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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