Politicians giving thanks, raising money

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks but not a time to rest for politicians running for reelection.

Less than a year before the midterm elections, Senate candidates in both parties are busy raising money and defining themselves to voters over the Thanksgiving holiday.

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Dozens of incumbent lawmakers and candidates issued holiday emails on Wednesday, with more to come on Thanksgiving.

Though most don't explicitly ask for contributions, nearly all include a link to donate.

The holiday is also a time for candidates to show their softer sides in a bid to cozy up to would-be supporters.

Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes on Wednesday posted family recipes for cranberry-pineapple salad and sweet potato casserole on her website.

She’s made her family, and particularly her grandmother, a central focus in her campaign, seeking to portray herself as a more likable alternative to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

However, the gesture might have backfired, as the family recipes touted by the Lundergan Grimes looked similar to those found from other sources.

Rick Allen, a Republican running for the chance to challenge Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.), on Wednesday issued a card to supporters that featured his wife and grandchildren.

Michelle Nunn, a Democrat running for Senate in Georgia, sent out a video with clips of herself volunteering and out on the campaign trail.

"Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year. It’s a holiday when friends and family come together to renew annual traditions and tell stories," she says in the video.

Though some avoid getting overtly political in their messages, others frame their campaign pitch to voters in Thanksgiving terms.

"As all Mississippians prepare to join our families to give thanks we are reminded of the challenges that lie ahead for families in our country today," writes Chris McDaniel, the Mississippi state senator challenging Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) in the GOP primary.

"I am committed to working to reduce the overreach of government that has burdened families with less opportunity and less freedom. I am determined to relieve government pressures that reduce the families place in our communities. I am very thankful for your help as we work to accomplish those goals together," he adds.

The House Majority PAC, which works to elect Democrats to the lower chamber, sent out a Tea Party-themed greeting that linked supporters to an album on its Facebook page filled with Thanksgiving-themed photos of Republican lawmakers. One features Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) head pasted on a cooked turkey's body.

While talking about politics around the Thanksgiving table might be something most look to avoid, Washington Democrats sought to use the inevitable turkey-day fights as a way to push a positive narrative on the healthcare law.

The Democratic National Committee launched a guide to talking about health care and other hot political topics with your "Republican uncle."

And Organizing for Action, President Obama's advocacy arm, issued an email signed by Michelle Obama promoting its tip sheet for Americans to convince their family to sign up for ObamaCare while they're home for the holiday.