By Tracey Webb Follow @WebbWriterguru
Get your daily scoop of what State of the Union is watching today, November 7, 2013
1. GOP's brewing civil war. The fight between establishment Republicans and the Tea Party-dominated wing of the GOP in the wake of Tuesday's election results. So far, the establishment seems to be gaining the upper hand, with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's big re-election win and ultra-conservative Republican Ken Cuccinelli's loss in the Virginia governor's race. Establishment Republicans say changes in the party's selection process could help avoid nominees with extreme views. “Conventions by nature force candidates and campaigns to focus on a very small group of party activists," Republican Governors Association executive director Phil Cox told the New York Times. "If the goal is actually to win elections, holding more primaries would be a good start.”
2. Democrats (and some Republicans) take on Christie. With Chris Christie barely having a chance to savor an impressive re-election win, Democrats already have him in their sights as the top Republican presidential contender for 2016. "What's worked (for Christie) has been to make sure that nobody talks about the issues, that people just get consumed with his personality-driven late-show entertainment," Democratic Governors Association executive director Colm O'Comartun told the Washington Post. "People will see past the bluster and the vaudeville routine that is the Chris Christie show. They'll focus on the issues." Other possible 2016 Republican contenders like Senators Marco Rubio and Rand Paul have played down Christie's win and the potential message that it sends to the GOP. In addition to a second-term as New Jersey's chief executive, Christie will become chairman of the Republican Governors Association next year.
3. You still have my back? With his poll numbers approaching record lows following the healthcare rollout debacle, President Obama is attempting to fire up his base. At a series of events this week, the President urged his supporters to help him press ahead with Obamacare, immigration reform and his economic agenda. "Sometimes people, particularly on our side, end up feeling frustrated and despairing," Obama said this week at a meeting of Organization for Action, the activist group that was born from his campaign. "And I'm here to tell you, we've got a righteous wind at our backs and we are on each of these fights going to just keep on steadily making progress."
4. ENDA clears Senate. The Senate Thursday approved landmark legislation that would bar workplace discrimination against gay, lesbian and transgender employees. The Employment Nondiscrimination Act, or ENDA, passed the by a vote of 64-32. Ten Republicans joined 52 Democrats and two Independents in supporting the bill. The measure now goes to the House, where it is unlikely to get to the floor for a vote.