The Buzz

Brownback is ready to fight for water

Good morning.

“The old western saying is, 'Whiskey is for drinking. Water is for fighting.'” — Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback on Wednesday standing near the Kansas River and vowing to focus on water-supply issues in a second term.

One big challenge is dealing with the depleted Ogallala Aquifer, and Brownback is right to take on the issue. Sacrifices will have to be made, and that will be a challenge for the next governor. Said Brownback: “This is a tough topic. Water is difficult.”

“He left a little ambiguous what the goal is today.” — CNN’s David Gergen, a former adviser to four presidents, speaking about the mixed messages President Barack Obama is sending on how the U.S. will defeat ISIS.

Critics, including Democrats and Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt, are again pummeling the president, noting that he says the goal is to “degrade and destroy,” but later says the goal is to ensure that the group is “manageable.” That’s two different things.

“It's likely that there are some Democrats who think that their state is better off with a Kentuckian running the Senate rather than a Democrat who would rank at the very bottom in seniority.” — CNN Polling Director Keating Holland on his new survey that showed Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell holding a narrow four-point edge over Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes.

This is one of the most closely watched Senate races of the year, and it’s one that could determine which party controls the chamber. Democrats would love to take out McConnell. One of Grimes’ issues is that a good number of Democrats are crossing party lines to back McConnell.

“They become a loser for life.” — Mitt Romney describing the image of anybody who runs for president and comes up short.

But a strange thing is happening. GOP candidates are asking Romney to campaign for them this year, and he won a hypothetical rematch with Obama in a CNN poll in late July by 9 points.