The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.
Mark Wilson—Getty Images
November 16, 2015 8:40 AM EST

Friday’s attacks in Paris are reshaping the race for the White House, turning a race focused on personality into one centered on who can best serve as Commander in Chief.

The new seriousness manifested itself at a GOP cattle-call this weekend, where candidates emphasized how they would differ with Obama, and on the Democratic debate stage on Saturday night. But the common thread between the two events is that while politicians of both parties have talking points and outlines, they have few specific policies to take on the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria.

The immediate political fight: whether the U.S. should continue to accept refugees from Syria. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ben Carson are all against taking in additional refugees, while Jeb Bush has called for prioritizing Christian refugees. Republican governors are making a stand as well, with Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley announcing late Sunday said his state won’t accept any refugees and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal asking the Obama Administration pointed questions about the refugee program.

What the Democratic debate means. How the Obama administration’s plans in Syria are being tested. And Hillary Clinton’s 9/11 gaffe.

Here are your must-reads:

Must Reads

Hillary Clinton Attacks Republicans, While Martin O’Malley Attacks Clinton
After the debate, the Democrats focus their efforts, TIME’s Sam Frizell reports

How the Democratic Primary Got Real
TIME’s Philip Elliott and Sam Frizell on the legacy of the second Democratic debate

Hillary Clinton’s Second Debate Strategy: Pull Rank
She condescended regularly and dismissed casually, TIME’s Michael Scherer writes

How the Paris Attacks Upended the Republican Primary
Republicans pivot from personality to terrorism [TIME]

Paris Terror Attacks Pressure U.S. ‘Patience’ Strategy for ISIS
TIME’s Mark Thompson on how the American strategy is being tested to its breaking point

Sound Off

“Let’s remember we’re also dealing with people who’ve suffered the horrors of war, women and children, orphans. We can’t just shut our doors to those people. We need to sort out how to focus on the terrorists that we need to keep out of the country. But I think we do need to do our part to take those refugees who are in need.” — Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes saying Sunday that the U.S. will continue to accept Syrian refugees after the Paris attacks

“When we were attacked, where were we attacked? We were attacked in downtown Manhattan, where Wall Street is. I did spend a whole lot of time and effort helping them rebuild. That was good for New York. It was good for the economy. And it was a way to rebuke the terrorists who had attacked our country.” — Hillary Clinton defending her acceptance of millions of dollars from Wall Street donors

Bits and Bites

Hillary Clinton Invokes 9/11 to Deflect Questions About Wall Street Ties [TIME]

Rand Paul Uses Paris Attacks to Criticize Marco Rubio [TIME]

How Republican Candidates Want to Fight ISIS [TIME]

Cruz Suggests Rubio Supports Iran Getting Nukes as New GOP Feud Heats Up [TIME]

How Bernie Sanders Lost the Debate Before the Debate [TIME]

Joe Klein on the Democratic Debate: Incoherent on ISIS [TIME]

Watch Martin O’Malley Compare Hillary Clinton to Annie Oakley [TIME]


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