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Kennedy Remembered: Hotline's Wake-Up Call! - Brought to You by the American Medical Association Kennedy Remembered: Hotline's Wake-Up Call! - Brought to You by the Am...

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Kennedy Remembered: Hotline's Wake-Up Call! - Brought to You by the American Medical Association

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


  • "The Senate approved the most fundamental alteration of its rules in more than a generation on Thursday, ending the minority party's ability to filibuster most presidential nominees in response to the partisan gridlock that has plagued Congress for much of the Obama administration." (New York Times)
  • "After the vote," President Obama "told reporters at the White House that Republicans had turned nomination fights into a 'reckless and relentless tool' to grind the gears of government to a halt and noted that 'neither party has been blameless for these tactics.' However, he said, 'today's pattern of obstruction ... just isn't normal; it's not what our founders envisioned." (Washington Post)
  • The League of Conservation Voters "has launched a $1 million ad campaign across five states ... praising" Sens. Kay Hagan (D-NC), Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, as well as Reps. Pete Gallego (D-TX) and Scott Peters (D-CA). (Roll Call)
  • A new Southern Media and Opinion Research poll of LA SEN LVs, conducted Nov. 6-12, shows Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) leading Rep. Bill Cassidy (R), 41-34%, with retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness (R) at 10%. (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
  • In SC SEN, Gov. Nikki Haley (R) "praised" Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) "in an interview Thursday but stopped short of a formal endorsement," one day after Sen. Tim Scott (R) "passed twice on saying whether he would endorse Graham." (Columbia State)
  • In MN GOV, former state House Minority Leader Marty Seifert (R) "jumped into the race ... on Thursday, adding a prominent outstate name to the already crowded field of Republicans vying to unseat" Gov. Mark Dayton (D). (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
  • D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray (D) "acknowledged in a Thursday television interview that the ongoing investigation" into his 2010 campaign "has played a significant role in keeping him from announcing his plans" for reelection, despite the "early January deadline" to file. (Washington Post)


  • According to a new CNN/ORC International poll of national adults, conducted Nov. 18-20, 41% approve of the way Obama is handling his job as president, while 56% disapprove. In the previous poll, conducted Oct. 18-20, 44% approved of Obama, and 52% disapproved. (release)


Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day


• The leading environmental group, League of Conservation Voters, is aiming to protect the Dems' Senate majority even if their favored candidates don't have perfect green records. In its latest ad blitz, LCV is airing ads backing Hagan, who supports the Keystone XL pipeline but is a reliable ally on other issues. It's a critical race for Ds -- if Hagan loses, it's hard to see Dems holding the Senate.

• Bad news for Landrieu: She trails her (combined) GOP opposition, and is stuck at 41%. Silver lining for Landrieu: Her excellent/good rating is still a respectable 47%, and there will be a lot of Republican intraparty fighting to come. But if she can't approach 50% in the first round, a December runoff election -- where the electorate will be whiter and more conservative -- doesn't bode well for her prospects.

One note of caution on that poll: Questions before the ballot test identified Landrieu as "a Democrat from New Orleans who is the incumbent U.S. senator," while Cassidy was was IDed as "a Republican from Baton Rouge who is a medical doctor and a U.S. congressman," and Maness is "a Republican from Madisonville who is a retired Air Force officer and has been endorsed by a tea party group." Those bios won't be on the ballot, and while they'll be a big part of the campaign over the next year, respondents' perceptions of the candidates are probably based more on what the interviewer told them than previously-held impressions.


  • "This is a mistake -- a big one for the long run. Maybe not for the short run. Short-term gains, but I think it changes the Senate tremendously in a bad way." -- Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), on Democrats pursuing the nuclear option (Washington Post)
  • House Speaker John Boehner "officially enrolled" in D.C.'s health care exchange on Thursday, though he did encounter some errors along the way. (Politico)
  • "Pressure for Trey Radel's resignation slowly mounting" (Fort Myers News-Press)
  • Radel "entered a rehabilitation facility" in Florida on Thursday afternoon and "is spending money out of his own pocket to hire Ron Bonjean and Brian Walsh -- longtime Republican crisis communication and political hands -- to help maintain his operation." (Politico)
  • "Then you would say I'm running for president." -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), "[a]sked why he does not appear on television shows like 'Meet the Press,'" instead preferring to make radio appearances in the state (New York Times)
  • "Overworked First Grader Writes to Senator, Gets Results" (Wall Street Journal)
  • The George W. Bush Presidential Center "is selling a limited-edition Christmas ornament that highlights ... a Bush painting of a cardinal." It "is the first reproduction of the former president's work to be available for purchase." (Dallas Morning News)
  • "It was tasty. It was a tasty piece of steak." -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), asked about a lunch Bush attended at the RGA's annual meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz. (CNN)
  • "Mayor Bloomberg Doesn't Remember Criticizing Bill de Blasio" (
  • Vice President Biden "was among the first customers at the opening" of Capriotti's Sandwich Shop, a new Northwest D.C. outpost of the Delaware-based chain, on Thursday morning. (Washingtonian)


Senate Go Boom, Nuclear Edition


  • Dallas will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy "with a solemn ceremony in Dealey Plaza, through which the president's motorcade passed when shots rang out." In Boston, the JFK Library and Museum will open a small exhibit of never-before-displayed items from Kennedy's state funeral and host a musical tribute that isn't open to the public. Here in Washington, Obama "will meet privately at the White House with leaders and volunteers from the Kennedy-established Peace Corps program." (AP)
  • "The scene of the crime" (Washington Post)
  • "For Dallas' children of '63, healing has been a long process" (Dallas Morning News)
  • "Maurice Carroll 'may have shouted the last words' Lee Harvey Oswald ever heard" (Capital New York)
  • "Shaking his head ever so slightly, Jerry Flemmons of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram turned to me and said, "Cochran, if we're gonna write a story about the burial of Lee Harvey Oswald, we're gonna have to bury the son of a bitch ourselves." -- Former AP Fort Worth correspondent Mike Cochran, who joined other reporters to serve as pallbearers for Oswald, after "even the minister failed to show" for the funeral (AP)
  • "I was a 14-year-old kid when I shook John F. Kennedy's hand, just a few hours before he died." -- Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX) (Politico Magazine)

    • Today's weather, from the National Weather Service:
    • The House is back at 10 a.m., while the Senate meets for a pro forma session at 11:15 a.m.
    • Check out the National Journal/Allstate Heartland Monitor Poll briefing, featuring former FDIC chairwoman Sheila Bair.
    • Georgetown looks to bounce back from an upset loss in San Juan when they take on Kansas St. (ESPNU, noon)
    • The Caps and Wizards head north of the border to take on the Canadiens and Raptors, respectively. (Comcast SportsNet/Comcast SportsNet Plus, 7 p.m.)
    • Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!


    • John Grady kept the GOP from winning the 1974 FL SEN race, was nominated by the GOP in 1976 and lost to Lawton Chiles, 63-37%.
    • The winner is Bill Pascoe, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "The Kennedy family did not want books published on the death of JFK but recognized that despite their wishes, authors and publishers would nevertheless write and publish, so they decided to settle on one author and cooperate only with him. They chose William Manchester. On what date did Jackie Kennedy suggest to Manchester that he write the account, and who were the first two people he called upon after that request?" The 1st correct answer gets to submit the next question.


    Steven Shepard, Editor-in-Chief


    CORRECTION: In Thursday's Wake-Up Call!, we incorrectly wrote that prosecutors alleged that Radel told an undercover agent that he had some 'campaign' in his apartment. Prosecutors say Radel said he had cocaine in his apartment.

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