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- Pres. Obama arrived in Israel to begin a "highly symbolic two-day trip," the first of his presidency, "offering reassurances to a wary Israeli public" (New York Times). Obama: "Peace must come to the Holy Land" (AFP).
- The House Ethics Cmte will launch investigations into long-standing accusations against Reps. Robert Andrews (D-NJ) and Don Young (R-AK) (Washington Post).
- SC-01 Special: Ex-Gov. Mark Sanford (R) will advance to an April 2 runoff, having earned 37% of the vote. Ex-Charleston County Councilor Curtis Bostic (R) narrowly led state Sen. Larry Grooms (R) for second place, 13% to 12%, likely forcing a recount to determine the other runoff contender (On Call).
- Detroit Mayor '13: Wayne Co. Sheriff Benny Napoleon (D) is "expected to formally announce his bid" next week. Mayor Dave Bing (D) has "not announced" whether he'll seek reelection (Detroit News).
- GA SEN: Rep. Tom Price (R) met with the NRSC on Monday, as he continues to mull a bid, "according to two sources" (Politico). Meanwhile, Rep. Jack Kingston (R) hired McLaughlin & Associates for polling and is expected to make a decision in mid-April (Politico).
- KY SEN: Bill Clinton has "privately urged" KY Sec/State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) to run, assuring her that both he and ex-Sec/State Hillary Clinton "would get behind her" (Politico).
- NY-13: Ex-Assemb. Adam Clayton Powell IV (D), who lost a primary to Rep. Charlie Rangel (D) in 2010 by more than 20 points, has filed a statement of candidacy to run for his seat once again. Rangel hasn't announced his '14 plans (Bloomberg).
- WV-02: Ex-state Sen. Steve Harrison (R) said he will form an exploratory cmte for Rep. Shelley Moore Capito's (R) seat and that he expects to run (Hotline reporting).
- WH '16: Ex-Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) will attend two events in IA on April 15 (Des Moines Register). The following month, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) will headline the IA GOP's Lincoln Day Dinner (Wall Street Journal). TX Gov. Rick Perry (R) will "'probably'" make a decision on a bid by the end of '13 (Wasington Post).
- FL GOV: A new Quinnipiac Univ. poll of RVs, conducted 3/13-18, shows ex-Gov. Charlie Crist (D) leading Gov. Rick Scott (R), 50-34%; and '10 nominee/ex-CFO Alex Sink (D) leading Scott, 45-34% (release).
- WI GOV: According to a new Marquette Law School poll of RVs, conducted 3/11-14, 49% approve of the way Gov. Scott Walker (R) is handling his job, while 44% disapprove. In the previous poll, conducted 10/25-28, 49% approved of Walker, and 45% disapproved (release).
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• Kentucky and Georgia may represent the DSCC's only realistic opportunities to go on offense this cycle, but there is a silver lining to the lopsided map: Democrats can devote a ton of time and money to making the two traditionally red states competitive next year.
• The old understanding of South Carolina's ideological landscape was that social conservatives reigned in the Upstate, while the lowcountry was more socially moderate. But, following Tim Scott's election in 2010, last night's second and third place finishers both campaigned heavily on social issues and ended up with a combined 25 percent of the vote, indicating that social conservatives may be regaining their footing in the First District.
• Charlie Crist has got to be smiling this morning, given his 16-point lead over Rick Scott in a new Quinnipiac poll. But the real story may be the 76% of registered Dems who said not only were they not bothered by his three-time party-switch, but actually viewed it as a positive thing, despite concerns that they would be turned off by Crist's seeming opportunism. That's great news for Democrats because, at the moment, he seems to be all they've got.
• Assuming Rick Perry follows through with his plans to announce both his 2014 and 2016 intentions by the end of the year, it seems highly unlikely that he would attempt both a re-election bid and a presidential campaign over the next 3 years. He can hardly admit to running for both offices simultaneously.
• She won't get to measure the drapes, but IA LG Kim Reynolds is in D.C. this week and meeting with her state's congressional delegation -- all except for the senator she hopes to replace, Tom Harkin. We assume Rep. Bruce Braley has less trouble getting time with the outgoing Democrat.
HAIR OF THE DOG
"Republican lawmaker drives 259 miles while having heart attack" (Bangor Daily News).
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) donor/Dr. Salomon Melgen "posed for pictures" with Obama and flew Senate Maj. Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) "on his private jet" for a Majority PAC event. "There is no evidence" that either Dem "inappropriately sought" to aid him (Politico).
- "I'm not going to lay down and play dead" -- Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), after Senate Maj. Leader Harry Reid announced that an assault weapons ban would not be a part of the Senate's gun control package (CNN).
- The Washington Examiner "will cease daily publication in June to become a weekly political magazine and website" and will lay off 87 members of its staff, including the entire Local section (Washington City Paper).
- Obama filled out his March Madness brackets on Tuesday and "predicted that Louisville, Indiana, Ohio State and Florida will reach the Final Four in this year's NCAA tournament" (ESPN).
- Ex-Sec/State Condoleezza Rice is "writing a book that will examine the creation of democracy at home and abroad, drawing upon stories from her career and personal life" (New York Times).
- "For the first time since taking office," both Obama and VP Biden "will be out of the country at the same time (if only for a few hours)." The WH is "adamant this will not affect the day-to-day operation of the government" (CNN).
- "The answer to you is, if it's coming in three weeks, pray" -- NASA Admin. Charles Bolden, asked in a congressional hearing how to prepare for an incoming asteroid (New York Daily News).
- "C-SPAN At 34, Ten Great Moments" (BuzzFeed).
- "Drunken Hunting Bill Clears Public Safety Committee" (Hartford Courant).
- The Indiana Hoosiers were the last NCAA Div 1 men's basketball team to go undefeated during the regular season and win the national championship (1975-76).
- The winner is Michael Wood, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "Which U.S. President is credited with the creation of the original collegiate athletic association?" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- Personal Frictions Loom Over Obama's Trip to Israel
- The First Days of the Iraq War, as Seen Through National Journal Correspondents
- Three Big Questions for Bernanke at Wednesday's Fed Press Conference, Plus One More
- Why the Trader Joe's Model Benefits Workers--And the Bottom-Line
- Stop the Presses: Putting Public Documents Online Has Saved Taxpayers $16 Million
"Oh, no question, I would clean his clock" -- ex-RNC chair Michael Steele, on whether he or RNC chair Reince Priebus would win in a cagefight (Washington Examiner).
"That's how we do it on the street, lunch meat. When a fight comes up, we bibl down" -- Puppet Michael Steele ("The Daily Show").
Sarah Mimms, Editor