What Can Bourbon Do For Obama And McConnell? (The Note)

By MICHAEL FALCONE ( @michaelpfalcone )


  • OBAMA ADMITS 'REPUBLICANS HAD A GOOD NIGHT': A day after Republicans took control of the Senate and gained seats in the House, President Obama admitted the GOP "had a good night" and "deserve credit for running good campaigns," ABC's ERIN DOOLEY reports. http://abcn.ws/1uy0a3M
  • MITCH MCCONNELL SAYS HE WILL 'TRUST BUT VERIFY' HIS NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PRESIDENT: Sen. Mitch McConnell said he intends to employ a "trust but verify" relationship with President Obama when he takes the helm as the new Senate majority leader, saying voters sent a clear message that both parties must govern. "The American people have spoken. They've given us divided government," McConnell told reporters in Louisville yesterday. According to ABC's JEFF ZELENY, it's an open question how much agreement the Republican-controlled Congress and the White House will forge, given the high degree of partisan acrimony that has been festering in Washington. But McConnell listed trade agreements and corporate tax reform as two potential early areas of compromise with the president. http://abcn.ws/10oPar6
  • FORGET THE BEER, OBAMA AND MCCONNELL HEAD STRAIGHT FOR THE HARD STUFF: President Obama has met one-on-one with Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell only once or twice in six years. But now, ABC's DEVIN DWYER and MARY BRUCE report the president is ready to join the Kentucky Republican for a drink. "You know, actually, I would enjoy having some Kentucky bourbon with Mitch McConnell," Obama told ABC's JONATHAN KARL. "I don't know what his preferred drink is, but, you know, my interactions with Mitch McConnell, he - you know, he has always been very straightforward with me." http://abcn.ws/1tBgmNW


ABC's JEFF ZELENY: Will Ted Cruz and a handful of other senators be a thorn in Mitch McConnell's side or an ally in his new Republican majority? It's likely a safe bet we'll see a bit of both. But McConnell and his Republican leadership team are trying to quickly bring the new Republican class to their side to avoid anything that resembles a Cruz caucus. When McConnell talked to us yesterday in Louisville, he made clear that government shutdowns and budget showdowns won't take place on his watch. The only way he can deliver on that promise is by keeping the freshmen senators in his corner. He suggested that the mandate from voters was on his side, saying: "The vast majority of them don't feel that they were sent to Washington to just fight all the time."

ABC's SHUSHANNAH WALSHE: Compromise, it's been the ugliest of words in Washington. But, if voters made one thing clear when voting in that Republican wave Tuesday is that they are sick of gridlock, bringing angst about so many issues-including a hatred of the way things work in Washington-to the voting booth. Yesterday, we saw some signs that maybe-just maybe-things might be different. First, Mitch McConnell stressed he has a "cordial" relationship with the president noting he heard the voters loud and clear saying when voters choose "divided government" it doesn't mean "they don't want us to do anything," instead "it means they want us to look for areas of agreement." Then the president said a bourbon summit may be on the menu, saying he would "enjoy having some Kentucky bourbon" with McConnell. Yes, these are tiny steps, but ones the American people desperately want. And if they don't get it, many in Washington know it could be another "throw the bums out" year soon enough.

ABC's RICK KLEIN: President Obama seemed to go out of his way to deny the 2014 elections a label, as he resisted entreaties by reporters to follow the tradition that brought us the "thumping" and the "shellacking." It's as if the White House would prefer that the election some said was about nothing would not even get a name. But the election actually was about big forces in American politics. It brings a new world were nouns will bother Democrats less than verbs. The election conferred few mandates, and defies snapshot takeaways. But to suggest that the election was primarily about a Republican-leaning map, or somehow was about voters who chose not to vote, risks also defying a public that was responding to policies that the president himself insisted were on the ballot.



MEET 9 REPUBLICANS WHO COULD SHAKE THINGS UP IN THE NEW CONGRESS. There are a lot of new Republicans headed to Congress next year, but some members of the largest GOP wave since the Hoover administration stick out more than others. ABC's CHRIS GOOD, JOHN PARKINSON, ARLETTE SAENZ and BEN SIEGEL take a look at some of the newly minted senators and members of Congress likely to shake things up at the Capitol. http://abcn.ws/1x6yPna

HAPPENING TODAY - MEDAL OF HONOR FOR CIVIL WAR HERO: More than 150 years after he was shot three times and later killed by Confederate forces in the Battle of Gettysburg, 1st Lt. Alonzo Cushing will be decorated with the nation's highest military honor, ABC's DEVIN DWYER reports. President Obama will make a rare presentation of the Medal of Honor to the Civil War veteran during a small ceremony in the Roosevelt Room with Cushing's relatives. The award is the culmination of a 40-year effort by the family and lawmakers from Wisconsin, where Cushing was born. It required a formal congressional exemption, since Medals of Honor must be presented within 3 years of a qualifying act. The 22-year-old Cushing, a graduate of West Point, where he is now buried, commanded an Army artillery battery.

GEORGIA SENATE RACE DIVIDES ATLANTA'S RAP SCENE. The Georgia Senate race between Republican winner David Perdue and Democratic candidate Michelle Nunn split voters in the Peach State. According to ABC's BEN SIEGEL and NOAH WEILAND, it also divided leading members of Atlanta's rap scene. Rapper and deejay Lil Jon appeared in promotional videos for Rock the Vote's "Turnout for What" campaign, a play on his hit song, "Turn Down for What." On Election Day, he flew from Las Vegas to Georgia to vote after not receiving an absentee ballot in the mail. He also retweeted a message from the Nunn campaign. Meanwhile, rapper Waka Flocka Flame was spotted at a Perdue victory party at Atlanta's Buckhead Hotel. http://abcn.ws/1x9EXfn

HOW FEMALE CANDIDATES FARED IN THE MIDTERMS. With the results of the midterm elections nearly settled, one thing is clear: a record number of women will serve in the incoming Congress. But ABC's ALANA ABRAMSON reports it's unclear how high that number will actually be. The total number of women in Congress will increase, to 100-103 at the most - a maximum of four additional seats. Before the midterm elections, there were 99 women serving in the 113th Congress - twenty senators and 79 members of the House. The number of women senators is slated to remain at 20, unless Louisiana's Mary Landrieu defeats Bill Cassidy in the runoff election next month. In the House, 81 female candidates have won, with two races still too close to call. http://abcn.ws/1uxHDE2

OBAMA'S SHORT LIST FOR NEXT ATTORNEY GENERAL JUST GOT SHORTER. The coming Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate means President Obama now has an even shorter list of candidates to replace outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder. ABC's MIKE LEVINE reports that political concerns have already kept one qualified contender from serious consideration, sources told ABC News. "President Obama said at a press conference he is "looking at" a "number of outstanding candidates," and he is "confident" that his nominee "will get confirmed by the Senate." But for that to happen, the president's pick "has to be somebody who is not compromised," the White House source said. The source was referring to Alejandro Mayorkas, the number two at the Department of Homeland Security whose name has surfaced as a potential contender even as he remains in the crosshairs of a lingering internal probe into complaints of alleged impropriety years earlier. http://abcn.ws/1shK4oz

LESSONS FROM THE LOSERS: 5 BIG POLITICAL DON'TS OF THE 2014 MIDTERM ELECTIONS. Republicans are set to march into a new session of Congress with the Senate majority well in hand. But despite the outcome, candidates on both sides of the partisan divide made mistakes. ABC's NOAH WEILAND lists the biggest campaign "don'ts" from this election cycle. http://abcn.ws/1uxWfUo

9,000 AFGHAN SECURITY FORCES KILLED IN COMBAT DURING LAST TWO YEARS. ABC's LUIS MARTINEZ reports almost 9,000 Afghan Army soldiers and policemen have been killed in fighting with the Taliban as they have assumed the lead for security in Afghanistan in the last two years. Overall the Afghan security forces "are winning" in their fight against the Taliban, Lieutenant Gen. Joseph Anderson said, but noted the casualty rate is "not sustainable." http://abcn.ws/1EjBeyb


SUPREME COURT HEARS FISHY TALE. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard a "fish tale" about a fisherman who allegedly got caught at sea with red grouper that measured smaller than commercial fishing regulations allowed. Instead of facing authorities, he threw the fish overboard and was prosecuted under a law for destructing a "record, document or tangible object" with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation. The issue before the court is whether the law was meant to cover an act of throwing fish overboard, ABC's ARIANE DE VOGUE reports. http://abcn.ws/1x7GzVL


@JohnCornyn: Charting Midterm Losses: From FDR to Barack Obama http://on.wsj.com/1xfN9c6 via @WSJPolitics

@llerer: Can Hillary Clinton Save the Democrats? http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2014-11-06/can-hillary-clinton-save-the-democrats … via @bpolitics

@PounderFile: WaPo: Some Senate Democrats won't say whether they'll back Harry Reid http://wapo.st/1qrkwVj

@HuffPostPol: Here's the Democratic route back to Senate control in 2016 http://huff.to/1qrmGnS

@ezraklein: The most consequential gains Republicans made in 2014 might actually be in state legisltures: http://bit.ly/1zy1Ewa