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

GOP Novice Wins La. Special: Hotline's Wake-Up Call - Brought to You by American Medical Association

November 18, 2013

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


  • "The Obama administration will consider the new federal insurance marketplace a success if 80 percent of users can buy health-care plans online" by the end of this month, "according to government and industry officials familiar with the project." (Washington Post)
  • Thirty-nine House Democrats, many from battleground territory, broke from their party Friday to support Republicans' "Keep Your Health Care Plan" Obamacare fix -- which the White House and many Democrats have said would "gut" the law. (Hotline reporting)
  • Most of the Democratic defectors hailed from competitive districts, but the list also included Reps. Bruce Braley (D-IA) and Gary Peters (D-MI), who are running for Senate next year. (Hotline reporting)
  • The DSCC raised $4.8 million in October and has $11.1 million cash on hand and $6.2 million in debt. The NRSC raised $3.8 million and has $5 million on hand with no debt. (Hotline reporting)
  • "The Mark Zuckerberg-funded issues advocacy group is launching a new round of ads with a decidedly different tone than past spots on immigration reform, using quotes from President ... Obama and House leadership to highlight a growing frustration with legislative delays." (Politico)
  • In the LA-05 Special, businessman Vance McAllister (R), "who nobody other than family and friends had heard of three months ago," defeated state Sen. Neil Riser (R) in Saturday's runoff election, 60-40%. "McAllister, a college dropout, former roughneck and astute businessman, stunned the established political landscape with his landslide victory," "helped by the endorsement of prominent Democrats like Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo, who finished a strong third in the primary and openly campaigned for McAllister," and former Rep. Cleo Fields (D). (Monroe News-Star)
  • In MS SEN, former Rep. Travis Childers (D) "says he is considering entering the ... race next year -- particularly if longtime Sen. Thad Cochran (R) opts not to seek another term." (Washington Post)
  • In WY SEN, "Mary Cheney and her wife chided" activist Liz Cheney (R) "for opposing gay marriage during a nationally televised interview" on "Fox News Sunday." (Time)
  • Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) "still hasn't formally announced his candidacy for an unprecedented sixth term," but "when asked by a reporter" on Saturday "if, at 67, he had the energy to run again, he answered with an emphatic 'You bet!'" (Des Moines Register)
  • In MD GOV, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D) on Monday "will pick up an endorsement" from Sen. Ben Cardin (D), "the latest high-profile Maryland Democrat to throw his support behind Brown in a primary next year." (Washington Post)
  • In NY GOV, a new Siena College poll of RVs, conducted Nov. 11-14, shows Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) leading Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino (R), 63-24%. (release)
  • Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) told the New Hampshire Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson dinner on Saturday "that Americans are going through a cynical time when the middle class continues to get squeezed and that the answers come from their party." (WMUR-TV)
  • Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), "in his first visit to Iowa since before the 2012 election" for Branstad's birthday fundraiser, "called on Iowans on Saturday to be 'more skeptical' of big-name politicians breezing through the state" and "suggested he and Mitt Romney would not have lost the 2012 election if voters had known about the problems surfacing now with Obamacare." (Des Moines Register)
  • "During an interview," Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) "dismissed" Ryan and Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) "as the ideal 2016 Republican presidential nominee." Walker: "I think both the presidential and the vice presidential nominee should either be a former or current governor, people who have done successful things in their states, who have taken on big reforms, who are ready to move America forward." (ABC News)


Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day

• There are many reasons for McAllister's comfortable victory against the candidate backed by the D.C./La. political establishment, but his most powerful asset was the fact he was an outsider. At a time when Congress' approval ratings are in the single digits, the biggest vulnerability for any Republican is being too closely tied to politics.

• House GOP strategists have long worried about the down-ticket effects of Florida Gov. Rick Scott's (R) unpopularity. There's a Democratic analogue to the north, though. Now that Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) has a clear path to renomination and the 2014 general, it's worth thinking about his potential role in the state's swing House districts, especially outside Chicago. IL-13's Ann Callis (D) doesn't seem too thrilled.



    "Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford showed up Sunday to watch his hometown team lose a Canadian Football League playoff game, ignoring a request by the league's commissioner that he stay away." (AP)


  • "Documents and interviews show that criticism" of D.C. insurance commissioner William White "was immediate and fierce inside" Mayor Vincent Gray's (D) office last week "when White issued a statement critical of ... Obama's proposed fix to part of the botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act. ... White was fired less than a day later despite a late-night apology in a voicemail left on Gray's cell phone, and a lengthy mea culpa via e-mail to the mayor's senior staff." (Washington Post)
  • "What amazes me is that she says she's running to be a new generation of leader. I'm not sure how sticking to the positions of the last 20 or 30 years is the best way to do that." -- Mary Cheney, on her sister's opposition to same-sex marriage (New York Times)
  • FL-13 Special candidate/lobbyist David Jolly (R) has "given nearly $30,000 to the Democratic Party and Democratic candidates since leaving" late Rep. Bill Young's (R-FL) office in 2006. (Politico)
  • "I think that people over estimate how partisan people are. This is not a Republican state, it's a conservative state. But ten years ago there were Democrats elected all over the place." -- GA GOV candidate Jason Carter (D) (ABC News)
  • "'So consequential an act': 50 years later, JFK conspiracy theories endure" (NBC News)
  • "If someone would have said, came up to me and said, 'Have you ever smoked crack? Have you ever smoked weed? I would have said, 'Yeah, I have.' But when you come and accuse me of being a crack addict and say, 'Do you smoke crack?' No I don't. Have I? Yeah, OK. Have I drank, have I acted like an idiot when I drank? Yeah, I did." -- Ford, who says he "would have admitted to smoking crack cocaine long before his eventual admission," but "no one asked him the right question" (CNN)
  • "Internet gambling battle heats up" (Washington Post)
  • "Some national political stars" -- including Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Rep. Peter King (R-NY) and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) -- came out last week "to celebrate the opening of a new law office" by former Sen. Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT). (Hartford Courant)
  • "Hundreds of Red Line Commuters to Get Refunds After Long Delays [Last] Week" (WRC-TV)


Curing Obama's Second-Term Blues


  • Today's weather, from the National Weather Service: Sunny. Highs in the upper 60s. West winds 10 to 15 mph.
  • The House returns at noon, and the Senate is back at 2 p.m.
  • The Patriots and Panthers clash on "Monday Night Football." (ESPN, 8:40 p.m.)
  • Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!


  • KISS frontman Gene Simmmons was born "Chaim Witz."
  • The winner is Elizabeth Willis, and here's her Swizzle Challenge: "What state has the longest official name, and what is it in its entirety?" The 5th correct answer gets to submit the next question.



"O.K." -- Mary Cheney, "[r]eminded by a reporter that such criticism could complicate her sister's Senate campaign" (New York Times)


"If he dies, he dies." -- "Ivan Drago" ("Rocky IV")

Steven Shepard, Editor-in-Chief

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