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How Obama vs. McCain/Graham poisons the bipartisan well

First thoughts on President Obama’s press conference

Why Nancy Pelosi stayed

5 things to watch for at President Obama’s news conference

A very tough election for black candidates not named Obama

Stephen Colbert on White House 2072 (video)

Why Nancy Pelosi should step down as House Democratic Leader

Legalize it! The stark generational divide on pot, gay marriage and illegal immigration


* House Republicans selected Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) to become chair of the House GOP Conference, the fourth-ranking member in the leadership hierarchy. McMorris Rodgers faced Rep. Tom Price (Ga.), who was backed by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (Wis.). Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner (Ohio), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.), and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) were each reelected to their posts. 

* In the upper chamber, Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) will be the next chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio) and Sen.-elect Ted Cruz (Texas) will serve as his vice chairs

* Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the current NRSC chairman, said in an interview that he is “skeptical” there is a better way for the national party to play in primaries in a more productive manner. "I think there’s also recognition that it’s important to have principled conservatives, who not only have the philosophy, but also have the qualities as a candidate to run a very good and successful election in the general election,” said Cornyn, who will become Senate Minority Whip. “I’ve learned a few things, and hopefully everyone on our side has learned a few things.” In the Indiana and Missouri Senate races, flawed GOP nominees spurred Democratic victories in red states. 

* The House GOP selected Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) to succeed fellow Republican Rep. Pete Sessions (Texas) as the next chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. Walden had served as a deputy under Sessions the past two cycles. He was unopposed in his pursuit of the post. 

* Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) will remain in his post for another election cycle. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) said that she would stay in her job so long as Israel agreed to remain in his position. 


* Former CIA director David H. Petraeus will reportedly testify behind closed doors Thursday about the Sept. 11 attack in Libya that claimed the lives of four Americans. Petraeus resigned from his post last Friday and revealed having an extramarital affair. 

* It's now clear what office George P. Bush is exploring in Texas: land commissioner. In a letter courting support for his son, former Florida governor Jeb Bush (R) wrote: "The office that George is considering running for is Land Commissioner which overseas the mineral rights, commercial real estate owned and sovereign submerged lands of the State of Texas as well as veterans affairs and historic archives." The younger Bush filed papers last week that indicated he was exploring a campaign, but until now, the position he was looking at remained a mystery. 

* A source close to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus said that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Boehner, and Republican Governors Association Chairman Bob McDonnell of Virginia have each reached out the RNC head to ask him to run for a second term. 

* Sen.-elect Angus King (I-Maine) announced that he will caucus with the Democrats, saying: "I’ve decided to affiliate with the Democratic caucus, because doing so will allow me to take independent positions on issues as they arise, and at the same time will allow me to be an effective representative of the people of Maine." King's decision to align himself with Senate Democrats was widely expected. 



With Aaron Blake