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EARLIER ON THE FIX:
WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:
* President Obama and Mitt Romney will have lunch at the White House on Thursday. It will be their first meeting since the Nov. 6 election. Press will not be allowed.
* Obama urged Americans on Wednesday to press Congress to freeze income tax rates for the middle class. “If Congress does nothing,” Obama warned, the typical middle-class family will see its federal income taxes go up next year by about $2,200.
* Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) isn't ruling out an independent bid for governor in 2013. “I don’t have any current intentions to run as an independent candidate for governor, but I learned a long time ago in politics that you shouldn’t ever say never,” Bolling said in an interview on the same day he announced he was ending his bid for the GOP gubernatorial nomination against Attorney General Ken "KC II" Cuccinelli II. Bolling also ruled out the possibility of running for another term as lieutenant governor, saying, "Under normal circumstances, I would be open to the possibility of running for another term as lieutenant governor, but I would not be interested in running on a statewide ticket with Mr. Cuccinelli."
* New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D) has told Democrats he will run for governor if Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) does not, according to Democratic sources with direct knowledge of the situation. Sweeney has had a good relationship with Gov. Chris Christie (R), but has also publicly lashed the governor. Christie, meanwhile, says he isn't sure whether Lt. Gov. Kim Guadgano (R) will return as his running mate in 2013.
* After meeting with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice on Wednesday, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said she still has "many questions that remain unanswered.” Rice, who is said to be under consideration by Obama to be the next secretary of state, is meeting with Republicans on Capitol Hill this week. She's faced criticism for her initial explanation in media interviews of the cause of Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Collins is the ranking member on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which is investigating the Benghazi attack.
* The public spat between Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) and anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist continued Wednesday when King said Norquist has "never met my wife, and he better hope he doesn’t. She’ll knock his head off.” King, who has said he is willing to buck Norquist's anti-tax pledge in order to strike a deal to avert the fiscal cliff, was responding to conservative lobbyist's quip earlier this week about his hope that King's "wife understands that commitments last longer than two years."
WHAT YOU SHOULDN'T MISS:
* Add conservative blogger Erick Erickson to the list of potential Republican challengers to Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) in 2014. Former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain (R), meanwhile, isn't interested.
* Chief Romney campaign strategist Stuart Stevens defends Romney in a Washington Post op-ed, in which he writes: "Losing is just losing. It’s not a mandate to throw out every idea that the candidate championed, and I would hope it’s not seen as an excuse to show disrespect for a good man who fought hard for values we admire." Stevens also writes that Romney faced an opponent in Obama who "was a charismatic African American president with a billion dollars, no primary and media that often felt morally conflicted about being critical."
* Rep Charles Boustany (R-La.) has more than three times as much cash in his campaign account than fellow Louisiana Republican Rep. Jeff Landry, through Nov. 18. The two Republicans will face off in a Dec. 8 runoff in Louisiana's 3rd District.
* Former Democratic congressman Mel Reynolds of Illinois will run for former Democratic congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.'s seat in a special election next year. Reynolds resigned from Congress in 1995 after being convicted of having sexual relations with an underage campaign worker. He also went to prison after being convicted of fraud.
* Tennessee state Rep. Kevin Brooks (R) is seriously considering challenging embattled Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R) in 2014. Recent news reports revealed that DesJarlais, a physician, admitted during divorce testimony to sexual relationships with multiple patients and co-workers, and urged his ex-wife to get two abortions, despite campaigning as an antiabortion candidate.
* Incoming National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) has tapped Liesl Hickey to be the committee's next executive director. Hickey was head of the committee's incumbent protection program this past cycle.
* Former Pennsylvania environmental protection chief John Hanger (D) declared his candidacy for governor in 2014 on Wednesday. Hanger is the first to throw his hat in the ring, but other Democrats are expected to join him. First-term Gov. Tom Corbett (R) will face reelection in 2014.
THE FIX MIX:
Don't worry, they're safe!
With Aaron Blake