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“After two months in Washington, it’s great to be back in America,” Sen. Ted Cruz told 800 enthusiastic, red-clad attendees at the Texas Federation of Republican Women in San Antonio on Saturday. “It is tremendously uplifting to be back home. I’ve got a job, and it’s not to work for the party bosses in Washington, it’s to work for 26 million Texans.”

Meanwhile, Texans borrowed from the Granite State at an event not far from the hotel where Mr. Cruz appeared. “Live free or die” was the official crowd chant during a Second Amendment rights rally by some 1,500 participants toting their firearms. The “Come and Take it San Antonio: Line in the Sand” demonstration was on the grounds of the Alamo.

“Live free or die,” of course, has been the motto of New Hampshire since 1945, adopted from a toast written by Revolutionary War officer General John Stark in 1809: “Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils.”

BUSH COUNSEL

“The best way to repeal Obamacare is to have an alternative. We never hear the alternative — that we could do this in a much lower cost with improved quality based on our principles, free market principle. And two, show how Obamacare, flawed to its core, doesn’t work,” former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told ABC News on Sunday.

Some observers might say that House Republicans did that, but no matter. Mr. Bush is counseling Sen. Ted Cruz and company to ramp down their quest to repeal Obamacare. Let it fail, then see what happens.

“Have a little bit of self-restraint. It might actually be a politically better approach to see the massive dysfunction,” Mr. Bush advised.

THE COAL CONNECTION

Former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton are both campaigning for Terry McAuliffe in his quest for Virginia governor. “You won’t hear them brag about the years of Bill Clinton’s presidency when Terry McAuliffe sold seats on Air Force One and was the booking agent for the Lincoln Bedroom,” predicts Richard T. Cullen communications director for Cuccinelli for Governor.

Powerful friends aren’t always the solution, some say.

“Voters face a critical decision Nov. 5 when it comes to the future of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Two men are vying to succeed Gov. Bob McDonnell. Republican Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Terry McAuliffe are worlds apart when it comes to what is best for the coalfields of Southwest Virginia,” points out the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, in its endorsement for Mr. Cuccinelli published Sunday.

“Cuccinelli is actively campaigning for coal — and for coal miners and their families. He correctly refers to President Obama’s war on coal as also a war on Virginia’s poor and middle class. Cuccinelli has stumped across the coalfields of deep Southwest Virginia. The same can’t be said for McAuliffe, the former Democratic National Committee chairman who also headed up Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful 2008 presidential bid.”

POLL DU JOUR

73 percent of Americans overall have a favorable impression of NASA; 76 percent of Republicans and 74 percent of Democrats agree.

72 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of the Defense Department; 77 percent of Republicans and 77 percent of Democrats agree.

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