The Note’s Must-Reads for Thursday, November 7, 2013

By Will Cantine

Nov 7, 2013 3:12am

The Note’s Must-Reads are a round-up of today’s political headlines and stories from ABC News and the top U.S. newspapers. Posted Monday through Friday right here at www.abcnews.com 

Compiled by ABC News’ Jayce Henderson, Amanda VanAllen and Will Cantine

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN
ABC News’ Arlette Saenz: “Biden Congratulates Boston’s New Mayor, but Calls Wrong Person” Marty Walsh was sitting at home Tuesday night watching election returns when his phone rang. “You son of a gun, Marty! You did it! Congratulations,” a boisterous Joe Biden said. The vice president was calling to congratulate the new mayor-elect of Boston, Marty Walsh, but he called the wrong Marty Walsh. The Marty Walsh Biden phoned is president of Gateway Public Solutions in Boston and a former aide to Sen. Ted Kennedy and often gets mixed up with the soon to be mayor. LINK

HEALTH CARE
The New York Times’ Jackie Calmes and Jonathan Weisman: “Despite Fumbles, Obama Defends Health Care Law” President Obama strongly defended his signature health care law on Wednesday in the largest state that has refused to participate, as rattled Senate Democrats called for changing or delaying key parts of the new health coverage. Against a backdrop of closer-than-expected election results in Virginia that some attributed to opposition to the health law, Mr. Obama again expressed regret for the troubles at the federal website that have prevented many people from enrolling for insurance. LINK

Bloomberg’s Alex Wayne: “Lead Obamacare Architect Urges Sebelius To Speed Repairs” The lead architect of Obamacare in the Senate urged U.S. Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to “meet, and I’d prefer you beat” an end-of-the-month deadline for repairing the insurance exchanges as the agency overseeing the fixes shook up management.  Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat, said implementation of the 2010 law he helped write has been unacceptable. It’s disappointing that Sebelius and others in the Obama administration “say they didn’t see the problems coming,” Baucus said today at a hearing. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Neil King Jr. and Siobhan Hughes: “Worried Senators Press Obama On Health Law” Democratic senators took their complaints about the troubled launch of the federal health law directly to the White House Wednesday, as the surprisingly close governor’s race in Virginia prompted some in the party to warn that they would face voter backlash next year if the problems weren’t fixed. Republicans and a number of Democratic officials say distaste for the health law aided Ken Cuccinelli, the losing GOP candidate in Virginia, who focused heavily on the health law in the campaign’s final weeks. Polls for weeks had longtime Democratic fundraiser Terry McAuliffe breezing to an easy victory, but he won Tuesday by less than three percentage points. LINK

The Hill’s Blake Neff: “Major Health Insurer Backs “Pause” On ObamaCare Rollout” A key health insurance company urged government officials to “push the pause button” on ObamaCare and shut down the troubled HealthCare.gov until it could be completely fixed. “Pushing the pause button right now would be a good thing,” Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said at an event last Thursday, as reported by The Courant on Monday. “If you do it right now, five to 10 years from now nobody’s going to remember this.” LINK

The Washington Times’ Tom Howell, Jr.: “Last-Minute Bulletin: Obamacare Website Couldn’t Handle User Volume Over 1,000” House Republicans released a document late Wednesday that suggests the Obamacare website was unable to handle much more than 1,000 simultaneous users, casting doubt on early White House claims that the site was overrun by an unexpectedly high level of interest in the reforms. Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican and chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, released a Daily Testing Bulletin prepared by Quality Software Services Inc. — which has been tapped as a general contractor to oversee repairs to HealthCare.gov. LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ Christi Parsons, Lisa Mascaro and Michael A. Memoli: “White House Tries To Reassure Democratic Lawmakers About Obamacare” Sixteen Senate Democrats met with President Obama on Wednesday to urge that he right his foundering healthcare website, warning of a “crisis of confidence” if he doesn’t act quickly. The president’s team acknowledged struggling with how to present its message to the public, but some senators left the meeting more concerned that there were no immediate fixes forthcoming more than a month after healthcare.gov went live. LINK

CHRIS CHRISTIE
The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker: “Democrats Begin Effort To Negatively Define Chris Christie Before 2016 Campaign” Top Democratic officials launched a concerted offensive Wednesday to define New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in a negative light, believing that he has emerged from his reelection landslide as the Republican Party’s strongest potential presidential contender for 2016. Some Democratic strategists said the party made a mistake by not spending more money to attack Christie during the gubernatorial campaign, which might have suppressed his margin of victory and denied the Republican a sweeping mandate in a blue state. In the months to come, Democrats say, they plan to chip away at Christie’s moderate image and present him nationally as a hard-edged conservative. LINK

Politico’s Rich Lowry: “Can Chris Christie Be The Republican Bill Clinton?” Chris Christie couldn’t have been any more obvious about his 2016 intentions if he had begun his victory speech Tuesday with the words “my fellow Americans” and ended it with a balloon drop. He offered New Jersey as an example for national healing. LINK

TEA PARTY
USA Today’s Martha Moore: “Democrats Try To Make ‘Tea Party’ A Smear” The failure of Tea Party-backed candidates in Tuesday’s election shows that Democrats have been successful in making the Tea Party label a negative for Republicans, even if it isn’t always clear what being a Tea Party candidate means. Exit polls in Virginia, where Republican Ken Cucinelli lost to Democrat Terry McAuliffe, show 42% of voters had a negative opinion of the Tea Party movement. Those voters went overwhelmingly for McAuliffe. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO
Political Scandal Handbook: Leaving Is The Hardest PartLINK
Rand Paul Takes Another Swipe At Chris ChristieLINK

BOOKMARKS
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ABC News Politics: LINK
George Stephanopoulos’ Blog: LINK
ABC News on Twitter: @ThisWeekABC | @ABCPolitics
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ABC News YouTube: LINK

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