One Lawmakers Lumps of Coal is Another's X-Mas Treat

PHOTO: Consumer are more confident this holiday season despite looming fiscal cliff worries.
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THE NOTE

With just 11 days left until Christmas, a number of politicians have already gotten a sneak peek at the presents awaiting them under the tree.

But, while they are wrapped in pretty bows today, these gifts may not look quite as shiny once the glow of the season is over.

Read the full Note, ABC's Morning tip sheet.

Nikki Haley: Once consider a rising star for the GOP, the young and telegenic SC Governor's political future no longer looks all that bright. A computer hacking scandal of the state's tax files is the latest stumble in a shaky first term. Jim DeMint's resignation gives Haley a chance to try and regain that glow. Choose Rep. Tim Scott as the replacement and she wins approval not only of GOPers, but she also gets enshrined in history for putting the first southern African-American Republican in the Senate since reconstruction. Pick Jenny Sanford and she puts a well-respected Republican female - and an "outsider" into the Senate club.
The risk in an unconventional pick like Sanford: Haley looks even weaker if her hand-picked successor loses a primary challenge in 2014.

Lindsey Graham: The SC senator is doing all he can to discourage a serious primary challenge in '14. But, will his role in the take down of Susan Rice be enough to appease his detractors? Remember, there are plenty of other pitfalls ahead for Graham - especially on immigration reform legislation that could re-ignite conservative anger.

Scott Brown: A John Kerry appointment to Sec of State gives the ex-GOP Senator a chance to get his seat back. Despite his 7 point loss to Elizabeth Warren, Brown remains well-liked in the Bay State. In fact, exit polls showed that Brown had a higher favorable rating and lower unfavorable rating than Warren (60/38 to 56/43) on Election Day.

That said, winning a senate race in Massachusetts as a Republican is still one of the most difficult things to do in politics. And Democrats are committed to not making the same mistake twice.

ABC's Jon Karl reports that Dem Gov Deval Patrick has already reached out to Vicki Kennedy, who has not said yes - but hasn't said no either.

EYE ON 2016? BOBBY JINDAL PENS OP-ED, CALLING FOR "THE END OF BIRTH CONTROL POLITICS." "The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists announced its support last month for selling oral contraceptives over the counter without a prescription in the United States," Jindal writes in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. "I agree with this opinion, which if embraced by the federal government would take contraception out of the political arena." http://bit.ly/UFJYqX

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