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- "The economy generated just" 88K jobs in March -- "the smallest gain in 10 months." Unemployment "fell a tick to 7.6% from 7.7%, the lowest rate" since Dec. '07, "but the decline stemmed from fewer Americans looking for work" (MarketWatch).
- Pres. Obama "next week will take the political risk of formally proposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare in his annual budget in an effort to demonstrate his willingness to compromise" with GOPers and "revive prospects for a long-term deficit-reduction deal" (New York Times). Obama raised $3.25M for the DCCC in CA on Wednesday (Roll Call).
- KY SEN: Ex-Mitch McConnell aide Scott Jennings and American Crossroads Treas. Caleb Crosby have formed a new KY-based super PAC that "could play a role" in the Senate Min. Leader's reelection (Louisville Courier-Journal). Musician Bennie Smith (D) announced "he is running" and will support Obama's agenda (Louisville Courier-Journal).
- LA SEN: Rep. John Fleming (R) announced that he will not run just a day after Rep. Bill Cassidy (R) entered the race, calling on the party to unite against Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) (On Call).
- NH SEN: Ex-Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) is "not ruling out" a bid against Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D), calling NH "'a second home'" in a speech there on Thursday (Foster's Daily Democrat).
- NJ SEN: Rep. Frank Pallone (D) said he is "absolutely interested" in running, but is currently "focused on getting Democrats elected to office on the state level" (PolitickerNJ).
- FL-18: Rep. Patrick Murphy (D) raised more than $550K during the first quarter and ended with "more than" $650K on hand, as GOPers target his seat (Palm Beach Post).
- PA-08: Ex-Army Ranger Kevin Strouse (D), an Iraq War vet, announced that he will challenge Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R) (PoliticsPA).
- CA GOV: Ex-LG Abel Maldonado (R) "filed papers" to explore a bid and "said he would make a decision soon" (Los Angeles Times).
- PA GOV: Businessman Tom Knox (D) says he won't challenge Gov. Tom Corbett (R), but "is instead considering another bid for Philadelphia mayor" (AP).
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• Although it's far too early for Senate Republicans to breathe easy, they're certainly pleased that they now have strong candidates in WV, SD, and LA who may avoid other GOP challengers. Their next priority will be to ensure the same in AK, AR, IA, and NC.
• New Hampshire may be a "second home" to him, but color us skeptical on the idea of Scott Brown running for Senate in the Granite State next year. Besides the obvious obstacles that come with running in a new state two years after losing his seat in Massachusetts, Brown, who is coming off a brutal campaign against Elizabeth Warren, would be up against another formidable female opponent in Jeanne Shaheen.
• We were skeptical yesterday about a report that Tom Price would stay put in the House, while Karen Handel ran for Senate. Though it's true the two are extremely unlikely to run against each other, all reports so far indicate that Handel will wait on Price to make a decision -- and given his recent website redesign he's far from ruled it out. There's good reason: Price would seem to enter the race with the least baggage. Both Phil Gingrey and Paul Broun have a history of questionable comments and Jack Kingston's position on the Appropriations Committee could open him up to intra-party attacks.
• After a frustrating series of failed pension reform plans -- many of which sparked battles with organized labor -- Gov. Pat Quinn has to be relieved with a strong fundraising month that included donations from many union groups. It remains to be seen if a Lisa Madigan candidacy can sway any of that support, but it's a sign Quinn's labor allies haven't completely abandoned him.
HAIR OF THE DOG
"Scientists reportedly discover gate to hell" (Yahoo! News).
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- "Bring it on. If she wants to work until one or two o'clock in the morning as I do everyday, and bring some energy to that, I'd be happy to discuss that with her" -- DC Mayor Vince Gray (D), on mayoral candidate/Councilmember Muriel Bowser (D) saying his admin. "moves too slowly" (Washington City Paper).
- While in CA to raise money for Dems, Obama "lavished praise" on CA AG Kamala Harris (D) "that went beyond her politics and policies to her physical appearance, touching off an eruption of commentary on Twitter and the Internet." Obama: "She also happens to be by far the best-looking attorney general in the country" (New York Times).
- "I don't rule it out, but we're not spending any energy on it" -- ex-House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R), on WH '16 (National Review).
- "A majority of senators now support gay marriage rights" after Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) "became the latest member to issue a reversal on the issue" on Thursday (Roll Call).
- "How a Calif. Legislative Race Complicated DCCC Recruiting Efforts" (On Call).
- Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx (D) will not run for reelection, saying it's time to move on. "There's been wide speculation that Foxx is a leading candidate to become" the next Transportation Sec., though he said "that's not the reason" (WSOC-TV).
- "I ran for God Damn Congress, you are [expletive]!" -- '12 RI-02 nominee Michael Riley (R), while being arrested on drunken driving charges (Providence Journal).
- Singer Lady Gaga "turned down a million dollars to perform at last summer's Republican National Convention, federal court documents show" (New York Post).
- "'Molester Free Zone' Launched After Vito Lopez Files for City Council" (New York Observer).
- A new super PAC, the Bearded Entrepreneurs for the Advancement of a Responsible Democracy (BEARD), "launched this week to support bearded candidates" (The Hill).
- We asked our Friday Feature what his drink of choice is, and he said, "My drink of choice is water. I drink a lot of it. If alcohol is involved, it's usually vodka soda with lime. I love beer but unfortunately look better without the gut..." For more see today's Media Monitor in Hotline's Latest Edition.
- Ten past or current "Saturday Night Live" castmembers are Canadian. They are: Dan Aykroyd, Peter Aykroyd, Robin Duke, Phil Hartman, Norm Macdonald, Mark McKinney, Mike Myers, Tony Rosato, Paul Shaffer and Martin Short.
- The winner is Bill Pascoe, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "Al Kooper -- the musical genius who played with Bob Dylan, founded 'Blood, Sweat & Tears,' and discovered and produced 'Lynyrd Skynyrd' -- once owned a a vintage 1960 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow that was so beautiful his state's Governor's office used to rent it to pick up visiting dignitaries at the local airport. Who was the Governor whose office used to rent Kooper's Rolls Royce?" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- Why the Culture Wars Now Favor Democrats
- One Congressman, Rand Paul, the GOP, and What Ails American Politics
- Who Is Janet Yellen?
- 5 Controversial Measures From GOP Legislatures and Why They Matter
- Obama's 3 Biggest Political Problems
"I went back and looked at a couple of the early Bond films which I love because they're part of, you know, my life" -- Gingrich (Huffington Post).
Sarah Mimms, Editor