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Hotline's Wake-Up Call! / WAKE-UP CALL

Admin. Pushes Back on NBC 'Obamacare' Report; Obama Will Campaign Sunday for Frontrunning McAuliffe

October 29, 2013

Wake-Up Call! is Hotline's daily morning briefing on campaigns and elections. Click here to subscribe.


  • "The Obama administration is strongly pushing back ... on an NBC News report that the White House has known for years that millions of consumers would lose their insurance under" the 2010 health care law. "Obamacare supporters say the same consumers can get better coverage through the health law." (Politico)
  • A new Washington Post/Abt-SRBI poll of VA GOV LVs, conducted Oct. 24-27, shows former DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe (D) leading Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R), 51-39%. In the previous poll, conducted Sept. 19-22, McAuliffe led Cuccinelli, 47-39%. (release)
  • President Obama "is set to appear at a Sunday afternoon get-out-the-vote rally in Northern Virginia," his "first campaign appearance for McAuliffe." (Politico)
  • Cuccinelli's camp released a new TV ad on Tuesday, touting Cuccinelli as the candidate to "stop Obamacare and higher taxes." (release)
  • From Oct. 1-23, McAuliffe "raised $8.1 million, compared with $2.9 million for Cuccinelli." (Washington Post)
  • A new Quinnipiac University poll of NJ GOV LVs, conducted Oct. 21-27, shows Gov. Chris Christie (R) leading state Sen. Barbara Buono (D), 64-31%. In the previous poll, conducted Oct. 10-14, Christie led Buono, 62-33%. (release)
  • Christie "will appear in three television ads ... in three state Senate districts where Republicans think they can win," in an effort that "also includes direct mail, robo calls and campaign stops ... during the Christie campaign's ambitious seven-day bus tour that kicks off Wednesday and runs through Election Day." (Newark Star-Ledger)
  • "Even though a host of potential candidates are jockeying to succeed" late Rep. Bill Young (R-FL) in the yet-to-be-announced FL-13 Special, "his widow," Beverly Young (R), "said Monday she still will jump into the race if the right person doesn't come forward." (Tampa Bay Times)
  • In AR SEN, the state Democratic Party will file an ethics complaint against Rep. Tom Cotton (R), alleging that Cotton "violated the laws, rules and standards of conduct that apply to him as a Member of the United States House of Representatives" when he conducted a radio interview about his SEN candidacy from the Capitol last month. (Arkansas Times)
  • "Americans for Prosperity is targeting" Sens. Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA) "in two new health care-related television ads" at a price tag of "around $2 million." (Politico)
  • In LA SEN, Senate Conservatives Fund on Monday endorsed retired Army Col. Rob Maness (R), who is running in the open primary against Landrieu and Rep. Bill Cassidy (R). (The Hill)
  • In MS SEN, FreedomWorks endorsed state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R). (TPM)
  • In AL-06, state Rep. Paul DeMarco (R) "announced Sunday night that he is running ... marking the third Republican candidate to enter the race to replace" retiring Rep. Spencer Bachus (R). (Roll Call)
  • In NM GOV, Fast Company co-founder Alan Webber "filed Monday as the fourth Democratic candidate" to challenge Gov. Susana Martinez (R). (Santa Fe New Mexican)
  • In TX GOV, state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) on Monday "issued a three-sentence statement in reaction to a federal judge striking a key provision of Texas' controversial abortion law," but "nowhere in the statement did she use the word 'abortion.'" (Houston Chronicle)


Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day

• Just a few months ago, it would have been hard to imagine McAuliffe inviting Obama down to the Commonwealth, amid concerns over the Affordable Care Act and new EPA regulations that could hurt the Democrat in coal country. But the calculus for McAuliffe's campaign has changed dramatically as he has continued to gain ground in polls. In fact, despite Cuccinelli's attacks on Obamacare and the Medicaid expansion, when the Washington Post poll asked likely voters who they trust most on issues of health care, McAuliffe had a 19-point lead. With just one week left, McAuliffe is shifting his focus to turnout. Whatever risks Obama brings with him, the benefits of exciting young and African-American voters two days before Election Day far outweigh them.

• Republicans are taking the prospect of a Scott Brown Senate candidacy in New Hampshire seriously. And operatives note that his upset 2009 victory was fueled by the unpopularity of Obamacare. If he runs again in 2014, expect to hear that same message all over again. It's no coincidence that Jeanne Shaheen was one of the first Dem senators to call for an extension of the enrollment period.




  • Obama "is poised to order" the NSA "to stop eavesdropping on the leaders of American allies, administration and congressional officials said Monday, responding to a deepening diplomatic crisis over reports that the agency had for years targeted the cellphone" of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. (New York Times)
  • "I don't think that any of us are satisfied until everyone is back in their home." -- Christie, asked Tuesday about Hurricane Sandy recovery, one year after it made landfall near Atlantic City, N.J. (NBC News)
  • "Chelsea Clinton makes sure Sandy's devastation is remembered" (Yahoo News)
  • Former Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO), "a conservative Democrat" who "served as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee" towards the end of his 34-year House tenure, "died Monday in Arlington, Va. He was 81." (Kansas City Star)
  • "Gansler says 'whether you have a boy or a girl' makes a difference in teen drinking" (Baltimore Sun)
  • Former Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ), "convicted in June of 17 counts of extortion, racketeering and other federal charges, was sentenced Monday to three years in prison." (Arizona Republic)
  • "Nevada lawmaker says he'd vote for slavery if his constituents wanted him to" (Las Vegas Sun)
  • "You may not know that I have an identical twin brother who lives in Honolulu. ... After I became lieutenant governor and then a U.S. senator, he has taken to shaving his head and growing out his goatee so he doesn't have to spend all of his time saying, 'I'm not Brian.'" -- Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) (Roll Call)
  • Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder "is scheduled to meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell this week in advance of the league's planned meeting with representatives of a Native American group that opposes the team's name, according to a person familiar with the situation." (Washington Post)
  • "What If [Politico] Had Covered the Civil War?" (New Republic)


The Website and Surveillance Blues


  • Today's weather, from the National Weather Service: Sunny. Highs around 60. Northeast winds 5 to 10 mph.
  • The House and Senate are back at 10 a.m.
  • George W. Bush, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) address the Mortgage Bankers Association 100th annual Convention and Expo. (Washington Convention Center, 10 a.m.)
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner testifies before the House Ways and Means Committee on Affordable Care Act implementation. (1100 LHOB, 10 a.m.)
  • Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander appear before the House Intelligence Committee. (2167 RHOB, 1:30 p.m.)
  • The Brookings Institution and the Public Religion Research Institute unveil a new poll on "Libertarianism in the 21st Century." (Brookings Institution, 2:30 p.m.)
  • Obama and Bill Clinton join Congressional leadership in a memorial service honoring late former House Speaker Tom Foley (D-WA). (Statuary Hall, 3 p.m.)
  • Ball Night! The Bulls and Heat kick off the 2013-14 NBA season. (TNT, 8 p.m.)
  • Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!


  • Roger Maris hit a home run in Game 5 of the 1967 World Series.
  • The winner is David Billy, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "These two baseball Hall-of-Fame players, who wore the same number, are the only ones to have their number retired by the same team. Name the players and the number they wore?" The 2nd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.



"There's no comity with Harry Reid. I think he's an absolute a--hole." -- Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), "at a gala for the New York Young Republican Club" on Monday (New York Daily News)


"It's just a good thing I can't pack a gun on the Senate floor." -- Coburn, in 2011, as quoted by the Tulsa World (The Hill)

Josh Kraushaar, Editor-in-Chief

Steven Shepard, Executive Editor

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