By MICHAEL FALCONE (@michaelpfalcone)
- THE SENATE MAKES A MOVE: The Senate is set to hold its first test vote today on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, known as ENDA — legislation which would ban discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Momentum for the bill built last week after all Senate Democrats announced their support for the non-discrimination legislation, ABC’s ARLETTE SAENZ notes. But in order to pass the first hurdle, Democrats will need five Republicans to vote in favor of cloture on the motion to proceed Monday evening. Four Republicans have voiced favor the bill — Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Mark Kirk, R-Ill., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska — and Senate Democrats are trying to sway Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, to support the legislation. Portman, whose son is gay, indicated last week that he is leaning towards voting for the bill but is “working on some of the religious liberty issues.”
- OBAMA OP-ED: “Americans can’t be fired from their jobs just because of the color of their skin or for being Christian or Jewish or a woman or an individual with a disability,” President Obama wrote in a Huffington Post Op-Ed. “That kind of discrimination has no place in our nation. And yet, right now, in 2013, in many states a person can be fired simply for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. As a result, millions of LGBT Americans go to work every day fearing that, without any warning, they could lose their jobs — not because of anything they’ve done, but simply because of who they are. It’s offensive. It’s wrong. And it needs to stop, because in the United States of America, who you are and who you love should never be a fireable offense. http://huff.to/1dGrJMm
- IN THE NOTE’S INBOX: Newly-minted Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., wrote an e-mail message to supporters yesterday: “Under current federal law, employers can still legally fire LGBT Americans because of their sexuality. It’s the kind of shocking inequity that reminds us of the work we still must do in order to have equal justice under the law. But there’s legislation in Congress right now — the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) — which would make serious strides toward bringing our laws into harmony with our shared American values. There’s an important vote on this bill in Senate on Monday, and I’m proud to say that I intend to make ENDA the first legislation I sign on to co-sponsor.”
ABC’s RICK KLEIN: Five years to the day after President Obama’s first election, the president is playing tech-support specialist, and this week focuses attention on who’ll come next. The Hillary Clinton-for-president train gets new momentum, with Terry McAuliffe’s expected victory in Virginia on the heels of Sen. Chuck Schumer’s endorsement and news of the secret letter of support signed by all the female Democratic senators – including Sen. Elizabeth Warren. And Gov. Chris Christie’s bid to run up the score in New Jersey appears to be paying off, with a landslide constructing an argument for his style of leadership in a state of any political hue. There are less flattering portraits emerging; McAuliffe’s business dealings are reminiscent to Clinton-era entanglements, and Mitt Romney’s real take on Christie – as portrayed in “Double Down” — are less than flattering. But try to name a Democrat who’s had a better 2013 than Clinton, and a Republican who’s had a better year than Christie. It turns out they didn’t need spots on 2012 tickets to be in place for 2016.
ABC’s JEFF ZELENY: For all the talk about the battered Republican brand in Washington, the outlook is far brighter in many state capitals across the country, where governors are a beacon of optimism for the party. This will be on display today in New Jersey, on the eve of Election Day, where the question is not whether Gov. Chris Christie will win, but rather by how much. With Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico campaigning at his side today, it will be a moment worth remembering for this duo. They, and a handful of other governors, spend a lot of time distancing themselves from Washington, but they present one of the party’s best paths to power in Washington.
ABC’s SHUSHANNAH WALSHE: The day before voters go to the polls in New Jersey, Chris Christie maintains his two to one lead, besting state Sen. Barbara Buono 61 to 33 percent among likely voters, according to a poll out this morning from Quinnipiac University. What’s most surprising (although maybe not to those who have been closely watching the race) is Christie even gets 30 percent of Democrats in the state, to Buono’s 64 percent. He leads 66 to 29 percent among men, 57 to 36 percent among women, 94 to 5 percent among Republicans and 64 to 29 percent among independent voters. “That weekend bus ride around the Garden State must have felt like a victory tour for Gov. Christopher Christie” Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute said in a release. “Sen. Barbara Buono gave it a good New Jersey try, but she wasn’t stronger than the Christie Storm. Quinnipiac’s final numbers say blow-out…With his appeal to independent voters, and even Democrats, Christie-for-President 2016 begins a few minutes after 8 o’clock tomorrow night.” And that’s where our eyes will be next.
OBAMACARE PAPER, PHONE, WEB APPS ‘STUCK IN THE SAME QUEUE,’ MEMOS NOTE. A series of internal Obama administration memos obtained exclusively by ABC News reveal for the first time how dysfunction with HealthCare.gov has upended the entire Affordable Care Act enrollment process, including applications by paper and phone that officials have been pushing as more reliable alternatives, ABC’s DEVIN DWYER and JONATHAN KARL report. While President Obama and other top aides have publicly reassured frustrated consumers that they can bypass the troubled website and apply by phone in as little as 25 minutes, those working most closely with the rollout acknowledged privately that even the non-electronic avenues would be no more efficient or guaranteed, the documents show. “The same portal is used to determine eligibility no matter how the application is submitted (paper, online),” reads a Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight memo from Oct. 11. “The paper applications allow people to feel like they are moving forward in the process and provides another option,” it says. “At the end of the day, we are all stuck in the same queue.” The documents show that officials decided reluctantly to encourage consumers to fill out paper applications to buy more time and tame mounting frustration with the website. http://abcn.ws/1hd9piW
HAPPENING TODAY: As Americans continue to struggle to enroll in Obamacare, President Obama today rallies his supporters to help urge Americans to sign up for coverage, ABC’s MARY BRUCE notes. This evening he delivers on-camera remarks at an Organizing for Action health care summit at the St Regis hotel. Afterwards, he holds a question and answer session at the summit, hosted by the advocacy group that backs Obama’s second-term agenda. This afternoon, President Obama honors the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks at the White House.
OBAMA SEEKS TO MAKE VIRGINIA GOVERNOR’S RACE A TEA PARTY REFERENDUM. With Virginians poised head to the polls to pick their next governor tomorrow, President Obama stumped for his fellow Democrat in the race, Terry McAuliffe, Sunday as Republican Ken Cuccinelli crisscrossed the state in last-minute rallies. But the gubernatorial election has been transformed by both sides into a referendum on national politics, according to ABC’s MATTHEW LAROTONDA. Speaking to a crowd of 1,600 in the Washington suburbs, the president attempted to associate Cuccinelli with the congressional GOP and the memory of the recent government shutdown. “There aren’t a lot of states that felt more of the pain than folks right here in Virginia,” he said at an Arlington, Va., high school. “Paychecks were delayed. Families were forced to go without the services that they depended on. Business owners took it on the chin when customers cut back on their own spending. And as Terry mentioned, his opponent says he’s perfectly happy with it. Now he says it’s in the rear view mirror. “This isn’t a game and there are very real consequences when you operate ideologically the way some of these folks do,” he said. The president did not mention Cuccinelli by name in his remarks, but attempted to paint him as tea party ideologue more interested in religious and social activism than governing. http://abcn.ws/1aWaioT
STAR POWER: Actress Kerry Washington and some members of the Virginia congressional delegation also attended yesterday. Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Florida congresswoman, was expected to participate later in the evening while Vice President Biden is scheduled to join Monday.
CUCCINELLI: ‘THE ONE THING WE’VE GOT RIGHT NOW … IS MOMENTUM’: GOP gubernatorial hopeful Ken Cuccinelli shared the stage with some of his own party’s power players this weekend while crisscrossing the state by plane, ABC’s ABBY PHILLIP reports. He campaigned Saturday with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and former Rep. Ron Paul of Texas are also set to join him before voting concludes. In Harrisonburg yesterday, Cuccinelli credited backlash against the Affordable Care Act, and its broken website, with providing last-minute momentum for his candidacy. “There are a lot of things I’d love to have in a campaign but of all of them the one we’ve got right now may be the most important of all and that is momentum,” Cuccinelli told supporters as he flew into the conservative southwest portion of the state. “The birthplace of presidents is happy to welcome the president of the United States onto our side of the Potomac today and to crystallize the focus of this campaign around Obamacare,” he added. Cuccinelli boasted that he was “literally the first human being” to challenge the health care law with a lawsuit as attorney general soon after it was signed into law in 2010. He has kept a laser focus on his opposition to the law, insisting, unlike his opponent McAuliffe, that if elected governor, he would reject an optional expansion of Medicaid that is being offered to states by the federal government as part of Obamacare. http://abcn.ws/1aWaioT
TOP WHITE HOUSE OFFICIAL LOWERS EXPECTATIONS ON OBAMACARE NUMBERS. Lowering expectations, White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer on Sunday said on “This Week” that the first Obamacare enrollment numbers would not be as high as the administration would like, ABC’s BEN BELL notes. “I can promise you that the first enrollment numbers which will be released later this month are not going to be what we want them to be. There’s no question about that,” Pfeiffer said. “The website hasn’t worked the way we want it to work. But we take responsibility for that, we take responsibility for the errors, we take responsibility for fixing it. And if we get that website working as we expect we do by the end of this month, then I think we’re going to be in a good place,” he said. According to “war room notes,” prepared by the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, only six people were able to successfully enroll in health insurance plans on Healthcare.gov. The Obama administration has not released any specific figures related to enrollment. http://abcn.ws/1bPF9DH
NOTED: DAN PFEIFFER ON DUMPING BIDEN — RESEARCH WAS DONE. Sunday on “This Week,” ABC’s GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS asked White House senior adviser, Dan Pfeiffer, about revelations that the president’s campaign team looked into a potential switch between Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton ahead of the 2012 election. Here’s the exchange: http://abcn.ws/1at3Edd
STEPHANOPOULOS: Research was done, correct?
STEPHANOPOULOS: But what happened next?
PFEIFFER: This was never seriously considered. Never taken to the president. I can tell you, no one in the campaign as well as the president ever serious considered this in any way shape or form.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But then why was the research done?
PFEIFFER: Research is done on a lot of things. Is, I think, Bill Daley, who was chief of staff at the time, said the other morning on another network, it wasn’t taken to the president. He said anyone who took it to the president probably have been thrown out of the office. I believe that to be true.
STEPHANOPOULOS: No matter what the research would have shown?
PFEIFFER: No matter what the research said.
RAND PAUL WISHES HE COULD CHALLENGE PLAGIARISM CRITICS TO A ‘DUEL.’ On “This Week” Sunday, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., dismissed charges of plagiarism in his speeches and writing made in the last week, saying he was being “unfairly targeted by a bunch of hacks and haters” who he wishes he could challenge to a “duel,” ABC’s IMTIYAZ DELAWALA writes. “The footnote police have really been dogging me for the last week. I will admit that. And I will admit, sometimes we haven’t footnoted things properly,” Paul told ABC’s GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS on “This Week.” “In some of the other things that are now going to pop up under thousands of things I’ve written, yeah, there are times when they have been sloppy or not correct or we’ve made an error,” Paul said. “But the difference is, I take it as an insult and I will not lie down and say people can call me dishonest, misleading or misrepresenting. I have never intentionally done so.” “When I wrote scientific papers, I sometimes had statements with eight footnotes for one sentence. Is that what you want me to do for my speeches? If it’s required, I’ll do it,” Paul added. “But I think I’m being unfairly targeted by a bunch of hacks and haters. And I’m just not going to put up with people casting aspersions on my character.”
‘KILLING KENNEDY’ STAR ROB LOWE: JFK WAS THE ‘UNIQUE ORIGINAL’. On “This Week” Sunday, actor Rob Lowe sat down with George Stephanopoulos to discuss playing the role of President John F. Kennedy in National Geographic’s new movie “Killing Kennedy,” notes ABC’s AMBER KIWAN. Lowe, who has always been fascinated with JFK, said playing this role helped him realize exactly why JFK is held in such reverence. “When you really go back and you listen to him speak and you read what he wrote, and more than anything for me, when you watch those press conferences, those White House press conferences … such wit,” Lowe said. “He was so fast.” That wit and speed are ingrained in many American’s memories. Lowe said JFK has arguably “the most recognized face and voice” in history. “As an actor, you have to service that,” he said. “Because if you don’t have the look and if you don’t have the voice, you don’t have anything.” http://abcn.ws/Hvfk2E
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
CHUCK SCHUMER JUMPS ON THE HILLARY BANDWAGON EARLY. In a speech over the weekend in Des Moines, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., endorsed Hillary Clinton and urged her to run for president in 2016, ABC’s JEFF ZELENY report. “I am urging Hillary Clinton to run for President and, when she does, she will have my full and unwavering support,” Schumer said according to his prepared remarks. “Suffice to say, in 2008, the time was right for Barack Obama. He has successfully navigated this country through some choppy waters and he will continue to do so for the next three years. … 2016 is Hillary’s time. And our nation will be all the better for it. With a strong platform and with Hillary leading the charge, we will vanquish the Ted Cruz, Tea Party Republicans in 2016and create a generation of Democrats who will make sure the middle class gets what it needs, our country advances and the torch held by that beautiful lady in New York’s harbor burns more brightly than ever.”
WHAT WE’RE READING
“RISING STARS PROVE THE GOP’S REBUILDING PROCESS WAS WORTH IT,” an ABCNews.com Op-Ed by Joe Brettell. “After a difficult couple of months that produced a government shutdown and cratered GOP approval ratings with voters … the good news for Republicans nationwide is that their time in the political wilderness has produced a new generation of talent — espousing the same basic principles of smaller government, fiscal responsibility and social conservatism yet bringing a fresh perspective and revamped message to the Grand Old Party. Some new faces like Sen. Marco Rubio, Gov. Susanna Martinez and Rep. Paul Ryan have already stepped into the limelight; others are waiting in the wings. While there are many innovative and exciting lawmakers on the cusp, Rep. Cory Gardner of Colorado, Oklahoma Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon and Virginia state Sen. Bryce Reeves each have the combination of talent, charisma and fresh perspective that distinguish them as rising stars.” Check out Brettell’s Op-Ed on Gardner, Shannon and Reeves: http://abcn.ws/1bQzAVq
WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
IMMIGRATIONOMICS: WHY THE CEO OF THE U.S.’S LARGEST HISPANIC COMPANY WANTS REFORM. When Jose Mas’ father emigrated from Cuba to the United States in 1959, he got his start working odd end jobs before opening a construction company that has grown to be the largest Hispanic-owned business in the United States. But the opportunity to live out the American dream as his father did, Mas told “Power Players,” is being denied to the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the United States without legal documentation. “When you look at some of the things that people do to cross the borders … they’re risking their lives day in and day out not for a handout but for an opportunity to build a life that’s better than what they can achieve where they are,” Mas said. Mas, who is a U.S. citizen by birth, is a member of the Republican Party. But he disagrees with the GOP’s broad opposition to immigration reform. Now the CEO of MasTec Inc., the business his father began, Mas responded to the opposition argument that business owners like himself only want immigration reform in order to have access to the cheap labor of foreign workers, calling it “ridiculous.” http://yhoo.it/1amLcgo
@PostReid: One year to go before Election Day 2014.
@ggreenwald: Very interesting letter published by @JamesFallows about rampant, routine illegality at the NSA http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/10/let-me-stress-how-shocking-these-nsa-revelations-are-a-view-from-inside-the-defense-world/281052/ …
@bterris: Why the Left Sucks at Trolling http://www.nationaljournal.com/congress/why-the-left-sucks-at-trolling-20131104 … via @nationaljournal