The Fix: Master Archives
Over the next two weeks, before Washington hits the road for a little holiday cheer, we'll be counting down the top 10 races that you need to know about heading into the New Year.
These races will include Senate, House and governor's contests that are important, telling, or just downright entertaining. The common thread? You'll definitely want to keep an eye on these going forward.
So, without further ado, we begin with No. 10...
(And a big thanks to PostTV's Victoria Lewis for her working on producing this video countdown.)
Here's the rundown, which will be updated as we go:
10. Illinois governor
For most of 2013, there was little intrigue in next year's U.S. Senate race in Virginia. That changed this weekend when former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie floated himself as a potential challenger to Sen. Mark R. Warner (D).
"I’m going to take some time to talk with fellow Virginia Republicans about how we best win this pivotal Senate seat and, of course, with my own family, who come ahead of politics," Gillespie told The Washington Post.
In a terrific piece assessing Hillary Clinton's time as Secretary of State, Politico's Susan Glasser highlights what we believe could well Clinton's Achilles heel in 2016: Caution.
I asked an array of smart foreign policy thinkers in both parties to weigh in, and they pretty much all agreed that Clinton was both more cautious and more constrained than [Secretary of State John] Kerry. Their argument is over whether and to what extent that was a consequence of Clinton herself, the limits placed on her by a suspicious and eager-to-make-its-mark first-term White House, or simply it being a very different moment in world politics.
The battle between advocates and opponents of the federal health-care law is often chock-full of macroscopic statistics and data points. But what about looking at health care on a smaller scale?
Thanks to an interactive infographic below from the consumer finance Web site ValuePenguin, you can take a look at how your own county measures up when it comes to what percentage of the population is insured, how many companies are offering plans on the exchange, and how it all compares to every other county in the country.
With the start of the Affordable Care Act just weeks away, lawmakers and their staffs have until the end of Monday to enroll in new health-care exchanges established by the law, or decide to pay out of pocket for a different public or private insurance plan.
For some lawmakers, the decision is wrought with political consequences, because the new health-care law requires lawmakers and most congressional staffers to leave their current plans and join the District's new health-care exchange in order to continue receiving their taxpayer-funded employer contribution. (All federal employees receive employer contributions, as do many private-sector workers.) Many of the lawmakers who have been railing against the new health plan in their home districts may face questions back home once they sign up for the exchanges they have criticized.
Congressional budget negotiators are on the verge of a deal. Just don't call it a grand bargain, a sweeping agreement or a landmark accord.
The Post's Lori Montgomery reports that "the emerging agreement amounts to little more than a cease-fire. Republicans and Democrats are abandoning their debt-reduction goals, laying down arms and, for the moment, trying to avoid another economy-damaging standoff."
Virginia Republicans are in the midst of a three-day gathering to sort through what happened in their across-the-board losses at the ballot box in 2013. (We previewed this autopsy here.)
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) spoke Saturday -- a speech in which he tried to offer a vision for how the party can start winning again. Here's the crux of the Cantor argument:
The fate of long-term unemployment benefits was front and center on Sunday's political talk shows.
Some 1.3 million people will immediately see their benefits disappear when those benefits expire at month's end, according to the National Employment Law Project. While Democrats have called for an extension of those benefits, they appear to be open to doing so outside of the budget agreement currently being negotiated to avoid another government shutdown. Republicans have resisted an extension of the benefits.
Read about it all and more over on Post Politics: