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GOP Hopes to Peel Away Democrats on Upton Bill; Northeast La. Voters to Pick New Rep. Saturday GOP Hopes to Peel Away Democrats on Upton Bill; Northeast La. Voters t...

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GOP Hopes to Peel Away Democrats on Upton Bill; Northeast La. Voters to Pick New Rep. Saturday

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


  • "President Obama, trying to quell a growing furor over the rollout of his health care law, bowed to bipartisan pressure on Thursday and announced a policy reversal that would allow insurance companies to temporarily keep people on health plans that were to be canceled under the new law because they did not meet minimum standards." (New York Times)
  • "House Republicans are expected to pass a bill Friday that could dramatically undermine the law. And after years of trying to impale the initiative, GOP leaders are hopeful that the political turmoil over the rollout will provide them the support of a sizable bloc of Democrats." (Washington Post)
  • "Several [health] insurance company CEOs have been called to a meeting with ... Obama at the White House Friday afternoon." (Politico)
  • In the LA-05 Special, state Sen. Neil Riser (R) and businessman Vance McAllister (R) "squared off in their final debate" on Thursday before Saturday's special runoff election. The two candidates "agreed on every major issue presented to them from entitlement spending to the NSA spying controversy," but "one major issue surfaced again as the two disagreed over the approach to the Affordable Care Act." (Monroe News-Star)
  • The polls in LA-05 will be open from 7 a.m. CT/8 a.m. ET until 8 p.m. CT/9 p.m. ET. (Hotline reporting)
  • In LA SEN, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) "intends to push forward with her own" health care legislation, "which would go further than the president's rule change when it comes to letting individuals keep their current health care coverage." (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
  • Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) "will file for reelection on Friday" and "plans to kickoff his ... campaign at a rally in Austin" Friday morning, with Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) "at his side." (Dallas Morning News)
  • In FL GOV, Sen. Bill Nelson's (D) chief of staff, Pete Mitchell, "called some prominent Democrats recently and told them the 71-year-old Nelson, who has been coy about his interest in the governor's race, is considering a bid, according to sources who spoke on background." (News Service of Florida)


Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day


• On Saturday, northeast Louisiana voters will offer a referendum of sorts on Gov. Bobby Jindal's (R) decision not to expand Medicaid in the state. Riser is a Jindal acolyte, and has backed the governor's decision. McAllister has campaigned on Medicaid expansion.

• Sean Trende's piece exploring the relationship between challengers' fundraising and their electoral performance focuses on general elections, but the pattern may be even more important in primaries. Cash has always been a huge barrier to viability for House and Senate primary challengers, but the influx of big money in primaries -- especially super PAC funds -- has shifted some of the balance there. It's a major reason why more and more incumbents find themselves under primary threat each year: The money is finally there.



  • "If you don't like your Democratic House member, you don't have to keep him or her." -- NRCC Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast Friday morning (Hotline reporting)
  • A "variety of conservative thinkers ... believe" 2013 VA GOV nominee Ken Cuccinelli (R) "should run" against Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), a "popular incumbent," next year. (WJLA-TV)
  • Virginia Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe (D) "will divest his interest in GreenTech Automotive and Franklin Pellets as part of a move to place his family’s assets into a blind trust for the duration of his term as governor." (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
  • "True Believers Seek To Bottle Obama Campaign Magic" (Huffington Post)
  • "Groups Mobilize to Aid Democrats in '14 Data Arms Race" (New York Times)
  • CA GOV candidate Tim Donnelly (R) "dislodged a piece of bread from a choking woman's throat last week," and it was captured on tape by a campaign videographer. (Sacramento Bee)
  • "I think history is going to judge that TARP was one of the most successful economic programs in our country's history. And I'm extremely proud of what we accomplished ... for two different presidents." -- Potential CA GOV candidate Neel Kashkari (R), who administered the TARP program for Obama and George W. Bush (San Francisco Chronicle)
  • Former Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY) is trying to terminate his campaign account, but the FEC says he can't because he owes more than $200,000 to creditors. (Center for Public Intergrity)
  • "I've told a lot of people I want to be a greeter at Walmart. ... I feel absolutely energized, not tired at all." -- NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, who isn't expected to stay on the job during Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio's (D) administration, in an interview with Playboy magazine (New York Daily News)
  • "Bill de Blasio donates $8,000 Italian truffle to Manhattan high school" (New York Daily News)
  • "Les Brown, who was one of the first journalists to cover television comprehensively from its early days, reporting on it for The New York Times, founding and editing a groundbreaking magazine about the industry and producing an authoritative TV encyclopedia, died on Nov. 4 at his home in Larchmont, N.Y. He was 84." (New York Times)
  • "[Toronto Mayor] Rob Ford apologizes for lewd language, plows through media" (Toronto Globe and Mail)
  • "It was Ford's worst Fording yet." -- Toronto Star columnist Heather Mallick, on Ford's comment Thursday about oral sex (Toronto Star)


Obama's Sincerest Apologies



  • Today's weather, from the National Weather Service: Mostly sunny. Highs in the upper 50s. South winds around 5 mph.
  • The House gavels in at 9 a.m.
  • Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey address the Federalist Society's 2013 National Lawyers Convention. (Mayflower Hotel, 9 a.m.)
  • Secretary of State John Kerry, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D), former First Lady Laura Bush and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah appear at a symposium on "Advancing Afghan Women: Promoting Peace and Progress in Afghanistan." (Georgetown University, 10 a.m.)
  • The Caps are in Detroit to face the Red Wings. (Comcast SportsNet, 7:30 p.m.)
  • Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!


  • Maryland elected its governor from a rotating number of geographic districts until the 1860s.
  • The winner is Chris Huckleberry, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "This rocker, who was born Chaim Witz in Haifa, Israel, in 1949, was recently named one of the nominees for the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. What is his band and stage name?" The 3rd correct answer gets to submit the next question.



"You know, I'm accused of a lot of things, but I don't think I'm stupid enough to go around saying, this is going to be like shopping on Amazon or Travelocity, a week before the website opens, if I thought that it wasn't going to work." -- Obama, during Thursday's White House press conference (mult.)


"Come on man, dig it." -- The Travelocity Gnome, handling a freezing man a plastic shovel to dig himself out of a shoulder-high snow drift (YouTube)

Josh Kraushaar, Editor-in-Chief

Steven Shepard, Executive Editor


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