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Buzz Cut:
• Rubio puts his mentor out of his misery
• Mr. Ryan’s moment
• Boehner bids adieu with many tears but no regrets
• Take Five: Tough battles, north and south
• So, maybe a pumpkin next time?

RUBIO PUTS HIS MENTOR OUT OF HIS MISERY
Six months from now, when the conventional wisdom is a burbling brook of lamentations for Jeb Bush not being the Republican nominee, it will be said that it is too bad that his party was too conservative, too racist and too angry for him.

They will say that if only the GOP had picked Bush instead of whomever that the discourse would be finer, the talk would be more substantive and Hillary Clinton would have a moderate peer to face, rather than a right-wing ideologue.

No doubt, the very same moderators who made a complete hash of Wednesday’s debate – the one where the blood drained out of the Bush restoration – will be among those tut-tutting the party’s pick and lamenting that Republicans are so crazy that they couldn’t even pick the sensible choice.

They will be wrong.

Bush is considerably more conservative than the last GOP nominee and the current frontrunner. And the ascendency of Ben Carson, now poised to overtake the leader, would seem to disprove the allegations of racist rage.

The reason Jeb Bush will not be the Republican nominee will be that he doesn’t want to be. His heart was never in this, and so he was bound to fail.

You could see his prep-school spirit pushing him through at the start of his campaign, repeating over and over again about “joy” and “heart” and convincing not even himself. But he would not let down the side. He would be worthy of his heritage.

And then came the weeks of attacks, delivered without conviction but rather bitterness. He was right when he said on Wednesday that his weakness was not being able to be mean. He meant to chide his party, but it was also something of a cry for help.

The picture Bush painted in recent weeks was that of an angry, expensive slog to the nomination, slashing at the very candidates he would be championing if he were happily basking in Florida with his family. Young and Hispanic, female, brimming with ideas on issues like education and entitlement reform – the very rebirth of the Republican Party for which he had once pleaded.

After those shoots of grass were mowed down, Bush would then immolate the surviving candidate from the other side of the party and rule the wasteland of his creation.

Sounds like a blast…

One could say that the swift, deadly stroke from his former pupil Marco Rubio was what did Bush in. But that would be like saying that “oops” was what ended Rick Perry’s hopes in 2012. It was not the cause, but rather the coup de grâce.

Rubio delivered the blow not with anger, not with glee, but with the air of cold, clinical truth: “Someone has convinced you that attacking me is going to help you,” he told Bush. “It’s not.”

It seemed almost like an intervention.

WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE…
Can you taste that sound? An experimental psychology professor at Oxford University, Charles Spence, showed that people form their judgements on food from more than taste, but also sound. The New Yorker tells the tale: “Would a potato chip taste different if the sound of its crunch was altered?…Over the next few weeks, Spence invited twenty research subjects to his basement lab and sat them in front of a microphone in a soundproof booth. There they were handed a pair of headphones and instructed to bite, one by one, into nearly two hundred Pringles original-flavor chips. After a single crunch, each subject spat out the chip and gave it a rating: crisper or less crisp, fresh or less fresh… the Pringles that made a louder, higher-pitched crunch were perceived to be a full fifteen per cent fresher than the softer-sounding chips. The experiment was the first to successfully demonstrate that food could be made to taste different through the addition or subtraction of sound alone.”

Got a TIP from the RIGHT or the LEFT? Email FoxNewsFirst@FOXNEWS.COM

POLL CHECK
Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval:
Approve 45.3 percent//Disapprove – 51.2 percent
Directions of Country: Right Direction 27.3 percent//Wrong Track – 63.5 percent

MR. RYAN’S MOMENT
In another scene from the GOP’s generational shift… WaPo: “Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) is ready to begin a ‘new day in the House of Representatives’ after being elected to be the body’s 62nd speaker. Ryan won the support of 218 House members in a vote Thursday morning, assuring his election… Ryan began his remarks to the House following the vote with a call for unity — not only among the divided Republican conference. 'Let’s pray for each other,' he said. 'Republicans for Democrats, and Democrats for Republicans. … And I don’t mean pray for a conversion. Pray for a deeper understanding.' 'We are not settling scores,' he added. "We are wiping the slate clean.'"

Boehner bids adieu with many tears but no regrets - Fox News: “Retiring House Speaker John Boehner tearfully reflected on his more than two decades of experience in Washington Thursday morning as he bid farewell to his colleagues. ‘I leave with no regrets, no burdens,’ he said as he prepared to hand over the gavel to his successor. ‘I leave the way I started – a regular guy humbled to do a big job.’”

[Watch Fox: Chief Congressional Correspondent Mike Emanuel is on Capitol Hill with the latest on Ryan’s quest to the speakership.]

TAKE FIVE:  TOUGH BATTLES, NORTH AND SOUTH
In the latest edition of “Power Play with Chris Stirewalt” Republican strategist Sean Noble shares his picks of the top five GOP-held seats Democrats are trying to turn blue and win control of the Senate. Illinois and Wisconsin top Noble’s list, followed by Florida, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. Wisconsin’s Republican Sen. Ron Johnson faces a tough climb given the state’s presidential year voting trends, but Noble says don’t surrender the cheese yet: the problem for Democrats he says is that Russ Feingold has lost before. And ranking Florida high in his list, Noble forecasts a tight, high-dollar race in which the Republican candidate might get a boost if Marco Rubio is the GOP’s national nominee. WATCH HERE.

[PolitiFact tags Feingold with a “full-flop” over his reversal on receiving campaign contributions from out-of-state donors.]

Your picks - The current tally of Fox News First reader votes on the top five battlegrounds for control of the Senate: 1) Illinois; 2) Wisconsin; 3) Pennsylvania; 4) Ohio; 5) Florida.

D.C. pals fork over for Strickland - Wash Free Beacon: Ted Strickland, a Democratic candidate for Senate in Ohio, has raised more than $170,000 in campaign contributions from individuals in the Washington, D.C., metro area in the first three quarters of 2015…Strickland, who served as governor of Ohio for one term between 2007 and 2011, has accepted thousands from D.C.-area attorneys, consultants, lobbyists, and government workers, according to aWashington Free Beacon analysis of campaign finance reports.”

Portman gets an ad boost - AP: “A conservative nonprofit linked to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has bought $850,000 in television ads across Ohio favoring a jobs bills sponsored by Republican Sen. Rob Portman. The One Nation spots will air for 10 days starting Wednesday on broadcast and cable stations in Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown and on cable only in Lima and in Wheeling and Charleston, West Virginia.”

Uh-oh Joe - Former congressman Joe Sestak, D-Penn., was bested by rival Democrat Katie McGinty in third-quarter fundraising, The Beaver County [Penn.] Times reports. Republican incumbent Sen. Pat Toomey leads Sestak by 10 points and McGinty by 12 points in RealClearPolitics’ average of polling.

You should be heard - Which races do you think are prime turf in the battle for control of the Senate? We want to know and share your analysis here in Fox News First.

Share your top five picks. Email them – just five, please – to FOXNEWSFIRST@FOXNEWS.COM or tweet @ChrisStirewalt.

THE JUDGE’S RULING: HILLARY’S LIBYA LIE
Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano looks at Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi testimony about her role in Libya and notes, “Every four years, we entrust awesome power to a person who swears to protect the Constitution. How could we give that power to a consistent public liar who, for personal political gain, midwifed terror and chaos in a country that was our ally and whose words and behavior have continually demonstrated that she is utterly unworthy of belief?” Read more.

SO, MAYBE A PUMPKIN NEXT TIME?
WCHS: “LOGAN, W.Va. -- A Logan County assistant prosecuting attorney has been suspended indefinitely after a bizarre incident involving a pistol and fake spiders. According to Logan County Prosecutor John Bennett, assistant prosecutor Chris White was suspended on Wednesday due to an alleged incident that happened in early October. …The alleged incident happened on October 5th after several secretaries in the office decorated for Halloween. The decorations included many fake spiders that were throughout the office. Apparently, White has arachnophobia and became irate over the decorations. ‘He said they had spiders everyplace and he said he told them it wasn’t funny, and he couldn’t stand them, and he did indeed get a gun out. It had no clip in it, of course they wouldn't know that, I wouldn’t either if I looked at it, to tell you the truth,’ Bennett explained. Bennett says it’s his understanding that White didn’t point the gun at anyone or wave it around but did threaten to shoot all of the spiders.”

Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.

Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as digital politics editor based in Washington, D.C.  Additionally, he authors the daily "Fox News First" political news note and hosts "Power Play," a feature video series, on FoxNews.com. Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on the network, including "The Kelly File," "Special Report with Bret Baier," and "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace."  He also provides expert political analysis for Fox News coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.