Obama and Putin talk—for a combined 15-20 minutes
Meanwhile, on President Obama's second full day of his trip to Asia, guess with whom he met today at the APEC conference in Beijing: Vladimir Putin. The statement from National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan: "On three occasions throughout the day, for a total of approximately 15-20 minutes, President Obama had an opportunity to speak with President Putin. Their conversations covered Iran, Syria, and Ukraine."
Obama, GOP Congress headed for clash over the environment
The New York Times covers what will be one of the big priorities of the GOP-led 114th Congress next year: standing up to the Obama administration on the environment and energy. "The new Republican Congress is headed for a clash with the White House over two ambitious Environmental Protection Agency regulations that are the heart of President Obama's climate change agenda. Senator Mitch McConnell, the next majority leader, has already vowed to fight the rules, which could curb planet-warming carbon pollution but ultimately shut down coal-fired power plants in his native Kentucky. Mr. McConnell and other Republicans are, in the meantime, stepping up their demands that the president approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline to carry petroleum from Canadian oil sands to refineries on the Gulf Coast."
Isakson is running for re-election in 2016
Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) will announce his bid for re-election on Monday Nov. 17, NBC's Kelly O'Donnell reports. Aides say Isakson has $2.5 million in the bank, hired a campaign manager, and a full digital campaign team. Isakson is "fully appreciative for the opportunity and eager to continue his service as U.S. senator proudly serving on behalf of Georgians for another term." With the retirement of fellow Georgian Saxby Chambliss in January—Republican David Perdue won his seat last week—Isakson will become his state's senior senator.
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The Unresolved Races of 2014
Per NBC's Decision Desk, seven races remain unresolved—Alaska Senate (where challenger Dan Sullivan leads Mark Begich by 8,000 votes), Alaska Governor (where indie challenger Bill Walker leads incumbent Sean Parnell by 3,000 votes), AZ-2 ((Dem incumbent Ron Barber vs. GOP challenger Martha McSally), CA-7 (Dem incumbent Ami Bera vs. challenger Doug Ose), CA-16 (Dem incumbent Jim Costa vs. GOP challenger Johnny Tacherra), CA-26 (Dem incumbent Julia Brownley vs. GOP challenger Jeff Gorell), and NY-25 (Dem incumbent Louise Slaughter vs. GOP challenger Mark Assini). In addition, three races are headed to a December runoff—Louisiana Senate, LA-5 and LA-6. And one race goes to the state legislature—Vermont Governor.