Post-Thanksgiving Fiscal Cliffhangers

EGYPT'S ROLE IN BROKERING A CEASE-FIRE. ABC's Reena Ninan asks Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes at a briefing in Cambodia, where the president traveled yesterday, how effective Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has been in helping to negotiate a truce in Gaza. Rhodes's response: "The president and the secretary believe that the Egyptians have been quite constructive in the conversations we've had with them, that they've expressed a sincere commitment to support a de-escalation here. What's important now, again, is to continue to pursue that course, to use the influence that they have over the situation, to encourage that course. To date, we're encouraged by the cooperation and the consultation we've had with the Egyptian leadership." http://abcn.ws/SS29Yo

U.S. OFFICIALS STRESS DE-ESCALATION IN GAZA. As They're not using the term "cease-fire," ABC's Luis Martinez reports: Before her meeting  in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Clinton too avoided using the term "cease-fire." After describing America's commitment to Israel's security as "rock-solid and unwavering," Clinton said, "That is why we believe it is essential to de-escalate the situation in Gaza." Clinton said that the rocket attacks into Israel from Gaza "must end and a broader calm restored."  She added that the focus was on  "a durable outcome that promotes regional stability and advances the security and legitimate aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians alike." http://abcn.ws/WxdgfB

A NEW APPROACH FOR OBAMA? The Washington Post's Anne Gearan says so: "President Obama's decision to send his top diplomat on an emergency Middle East peacemaking mission Tuesday marked an administration shift to a more activist role in the region's affairs and offered clues to how he may use the political elbow room afforded by a second term. ... 'Sometimes there's no substitution for showing up,' State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Tuesday. 'The president and she obviously thought that her going and actually sitting down with leaders--with Prime Minister Netanyahu, with President Abbas and with President Morsi--could help de-escalate the situation. So it was obviously important to leave no stone unturned.'" http://wapo.st/TfNucG

MARK WARNER WON'T RUN FOR GOVERNOR. Despite speculation that Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner would leave the Senate to seek another term as governor, the Virginian-Pilot's Julian Walker reports: "U.S. Sen. Mark Warner has given [Democratic candidate] Terry McAuliffe reason to be thankful this Thanksgiving: The former governor won't pursue the gubernatorial bid in 2013, effectively clearing the Democratic field for McAuliffe. ... 'I loved being governor, but I have a different job now--and it's here, in the United States Senate,' added Warner, who also released a video explaining his decision." http://bit.ly/UeY2JH

NOTED: ABC News Political Director Amy Walter: "Mark Warner, one of a handful of self-appointed bi-partisan deal makers in the Senate, has made no secret of his frustration with the pace and the partisanship of Congress. But, the fact that he has decided to forgo a slam-dunk election for Governor in order to stick it out in Washington suggests that he believes that Congress CAN actually get some real work done next year. "

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