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- "After playing defense for much of 2013 on questions about the rocky Obamacare debut, government surveillance practices, and his stewardship of global crises, a sunnier, feistier President Obama emerged on Friday, using his final news conference of the year to throw a series of counter-punches at critics of his administration." (CBS News)
- The DNC raised $6.1 million during November and finished the month with $5.2 million on hand and $15.6 million in debts. The RNC raised $5.2 million during November and finished with $7.8 million on hand and no debt. (Roll Call)
- The DCCC outraised the NRCC in November, "bringing in $5 million to the NRCC's $4 million." (Washington Post)
- In MT SEN, Lt. Gov. John Walsh (D) said Gov. Steve Bullock (D) handn't approached him about an appointment to Sen. Max Baucus's (D) seat. Walsh: "I have not thought about that and will not speculate what Gov. Bullock is going to do." (Missoulian)
- In SD SEN, former Sen. Larry Pressler (R) "is preparing to run again but as an independent candidate this time." Pressler has scheduled a press conference for Dec. 30. (Rapid City Journal)
- In CA GOV, former Treasury Department official Neel Kashkari (R) "has lined up a campaign manager for his likely" bid. Kashkari "has hired Pat Melton, a veteran of multiple successful congressional campaigns." (Politico)
- In HI GOV, Obama endorsed Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D), who faces a primary challenge from state Sen. David Ige (D). (Honolulu Civil Beat)
- Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX) announced "that he is seeking re-election ... but stated that this will in fact be his final run for public office." (Rockwall County Herald-Banner)
- In VA-10, former Alabama Democratic Rep. Artur Davis announced Monday he won't run for the Republican nomination to succeed retiring Rep. Frank Wolf (R). Davis: "I know full well that the national political climate is too polarized and ideological to make Congress the forum to achieve the values that drew me into politics in the first place." (Montgomery Advertiser)
- Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) said on "Fox News Sunday" that there's a 50% chance "he will run for president in 2016." (The Hill)
- According to a new CNN/ORC International poll, conducted Dec. 16-19, 41% approve of the way Obama is handling his job as president, while 56% disapprove. In the previous poll, conducted Nov. 18-20, 41% approved of Obama, and 56% disapproved. (release)
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• When the GOP has a bad political month, as it did in October thanks to the government shutdown, you can tell by looking at national Democrats' swelling financial reports. The same is not true for Republicans: Despite a rough November filled with Obamacare troubles, both the DSCC and the DCCC outraised their GOP counterparts. As has often happened, the DCCC's advantage was almost entirely due to its edge in small donations, from a grassroots base that is more motivated to give than are rank-and-file Republicans to their party committees.
HAIR OF THE DOG
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- "De Blasio staffer 'shacking up with ex-boss Spitzer'" ("Page Six")
- "I don't know if that translates into votes in our state." -- Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR), on campaign appearances from Bill Clinton. (New York Times)
- "State attorneys will tell a federal judge on Monday that same-sex couples who marry in Utah may be irreparably harmed if efforts to overturn his ruling succeed and those marriages are later invalidated." (Salt Lake Tribune)
- "Washington Post's Ezra Klein Considering Starting New Venture" (Huffington Post)
- Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), in a tweet Sunday night: "In honor of Festivus, tomorrow I will be airing my grievances, mostly against Washington. Check back here in the morning."
- "When '60 Minutes' Checks Its Journalistic Skepticism at the Door" (New York Times)
- "Redskins owner Dan Snyder makes visits to Indian Country amid name-change pressure" (Washington Post)
- "Man holds 'scumbag' sign to avoid charges" (AP)
- Today's weather, from the National Weather Service: A Flood Watch remains in effect. (until 2 p.m.) Rain. Rain may be heavy at times this morning. Highs around 60. Northeast winds around 5 mph, becoming northwest 10-15 mph with gusts up to 25 mph this afternoon.
- George Mason takes on Oregon St. in the second round of the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu. (ESPNU, 2:30 p.m.)
- Former Caps coach Bruce Boudreau brings his Ducks to the Phone Booth to face his former team. (Verizon Center, 7 p.m.)
- This is our final edition of Wake-Up Call! in 2013. We'll return on Jan. 2, 2014.
- Iowa, Delaware, Nebraska, Vermont, North Dakota, and Alaska are the six states that have yet to elect a woman to the House of Representatives.
- The winner is Eric Feldman, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "What amendment to the Constitution took the longest to ratify and how many years did it take?" The 1st correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- Obamacare Reaches Critical Enrollment Deadline
- Team Obama Cashing Out
- Why 'Duck Dynasty' was the Biggest Story of the Week
- Obama, Congress Bring Guantanamo Bay Prison Closer to Closed
Former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) "said Friday he won't debate his fellow Republican challengers running for governor because he wants to 'reduce the number of self-inflicted wounds' that Democrats can use for campaign fodder." (Denver Post)
"I felt like a third wheel." -- Now-Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) after a debate in 2010 in which Tancredo and 2010 nominee Dan Maes (R) spent most of their time hammering each other. (Colorado Springs Gazette)
Julie Sobel, Editor
Steven Shepard, Editor-in-Chief