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Obama Admin. Pushes Syria Case on the Hill; McCain, Graham on Board; Final NYC Dem Debate Tonight Obama Admin. Pushes Syria Case on the Hill; McCain, Graham on Board; F...

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Obama Admin. Pushes Syria Case on the Hill; McCain, Graham on Board; Final NYC Dem Debate Tonight

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


  • Sec/State John Kerry, Defense Sec. Chuck Hagel and JCos Chair Gen. Martin Dempsey will make the Obama admin.'s case to lawmakers for a military strike against Syria before the Senate Foreign Relations Cmte on Tuesday (National Journal Daily).
  • "Emerging from a closed-door session" with Pres. Obama at the WH on Monday, Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) "said Congress needed to authorize the use of force to address the Syrian crisis or risk undermining the credibility" of Obama and the U.S. (Washington Post).
  • The Obama admin.'s "public case for attacking Syria is riddled with inconsistencies and hinges mainly on circumstantial evidence, undermining U.S. efforts this week to build support at home and abroad for a punitive strike against" Bashar al-Assad's regime (McClatchy).
  • Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) will visit NJ "next week" to campaign for NJ SEN Special nominee Steve Lonegan (R) (Politico).
  • In VA GOV '13, AG Ken Cuccinelli (R) released a new TV ad on Tuesday that "highlights" how Cuccinelli "personally took on the case that ultimately exonerated Thomas Haynesworth, a man who spent 27 years in prison for a crime he did not commit" (release).
  • In NYC Mayor '13, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio (D) launched a new TV ad on Monday, touting his support for higher taxes on the wealthy to fund early childhood education (release). City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D) and '09 nominee Bill Thompson (D) "fighting for second place" in next Tuesday's Dem primary, "are expected to train their fire on ... de Blasio on Tuesday night in the campaign's final televised debate" (Wall Street Journal).
  • Ex-Williamson Co. GOP Chair Kevin Kookogey (R) "is calling himself an 'unannounced candidate'" for TN SEN, "fueling speculation" that Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) "is soon likely to get another primary challenger from the right" (Nashville Tennessean).
  • A new Charleston Daily Mail poll of WV adults, conducted 8/15-22 by R.L. Repass & Partners, shows Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R) leading the WV SEN race over Sec/State Natalie Tennant (D), 45-40% (release).
  • GA state schools Supt. John Barge (R) said last Friday that he will run for GA GOV, "setting up what will likely be a heated" GOP primary against Gov. Nathan Deal (R) "in which education and school funding will be major issues" (AP).
  • IL state Sen. Kwame Raoul (D) announced last Thursday that he won't run for IL GOV, a move that leaves Gov. Pat Quinn (D) and ex-WH CoS Bill Daley "as the major contenders" in the Dem primary next March (Chicago Tribune).
  • IA state Sen. Jack Hatch (D) "will officially enter" the IA GOV race later this month (Des Moines Register).
  • Winnebago Co. Exec. Mark Harris (D) "says he won't run" for WI GOV unless ex-Trek exec. Mary Burke (D) and state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D) "opt out" (AP).
  • Ex-San Diego city Councilor Carl DeMaio (R) "is ditching" his CA-52 campaign to run in the San Diego mayoral special election, "according to a source with direct knowledge of his plans" (Politico).
  • '12/'02 ME-02 nominee Kevin Raye (R) will run again next year, with Rep. Michael Michaud (D) vacating the seat to run for ME GOV (AP).


Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day


• Early whip counts on the Syria vote have divided Congress between hawks and doves. But to get military authorization passed in the House, the big test for Obama will be convincing members in battleground districts. These members are acutely sensitive to public opinion, and intervention in the Middle East isn't popular with their constituents. Indeed, in a sign of the tough slog Obama faces, most of the swing-district GOPers and Dems who have reacted so far aren't (yet) sold on the president's plan.

• On one hand, Liz Cheney's apparent flip-flop on gay marriage (she's against it now) shows how tough a challenge she faces in a WY GOP primary. On the other hand, her willingness to cross her sister -- Mary Cheney rebuked her sister's position in a Facebook post last week -- shows she's willing to do anything to win. That's more than Enzi has shown, so far.

• Just call it the Bob Bennett Memorial Ballot Measure: A group of prominent UT GOPers, including ex-Gov. Mike Leavitt and major GOP donor Gail Miller, are pushing forward with plans to force a vote strengthening the role of primaries in the state, where ballot access is determined by performance at party conventions. Other states still use caucuses and conventions in their nominating processes, but UT's is by far the most powerful, and now it has a powerful group of people working against it.

• Marco Rubio took hits for his work on the immigration bill at this weekend's Americans for Prosperity summit in Orlando, FL, as anticipated. And though the FL papers seem to have named Ted Cruz the winner of the weekend, it's notable that Rubio's overall reception was "mostly enthusiastic," a sign that his pivot to Obamacare -- a much higher priority for tea partiers than immigration -- is working.


    "An electronic failure may be to blame for a practice bomb that was dropped from a jet onto a tavern's parking lot" last week in Sudlersville, MD, a MD Nat'l Guard official said last Friday (AP).


  • "The president of the United States put himself in a very difficult situation when he said two years ago that Bashar Assad should leave" -- McCain (NBC News).
  • Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV), an Army Reserve col., "is up for what appears to be a routine promotion" to be a brigadier gen. -- but Heck's nomination "is apparently being held up by something or someone, given that it has been languishing on the Senate calendar since May" (Roll Call).
  • "For the record, I love my sister, but she is dead wrong on the issue of marriage" -- Mary Cheney, on WY SEN candidate Liz Cheney's statement on same-sex marriage last week (Washington Post).
  • After only one appearance on Fox Sports Southwest last weekend, '12 TX SEN candidate Craig James (R) "will no longer appear on the network." Fox Sports execs. "were not happy with the hire by the regional network, according to sources, and the hire had not been fully vetted at the highest levels of Fox Sports management" (Sports Illustrated).
  • "I love people. I enjoy people. I go to every neighborhood and do this, whether it's an Italian neighborhood, whether it's a Jewish neighborhood, I love meeting people, and I better win on Sept. 10. You know why? I will miss meeting people" -- NYC mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis (R) (New York Times).
  • Public Policy Polling (D) (IVR) is exploring a significant change to its methodology to include the tens of millions of voters who do not have landline telephones (Hotline reporting).
  • Ex-Strategy Group for Media (R) pres. Nick Everhart has joined the GOP direct-mail firm Majority Strategies, Inc., the firm announced on Tuesday (release).
  • Katie Couric "ecstatically accepted a proposal from her boyfriend of nearly two years, financier John Molner," in the Hamptons over Labor Day weekend (People).
  • "We've had three big ideas at Amazon that we've stuck with for 18 years, and they're the reason we're successful: Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient. If you replace 'customer' with 'reader,' that approach, that point of view, can be successful at The Post, too" -- CEO Jeffrey Bezos, ahead of his visit this week to the Washington Post offices (Washington Post).


  • Two African Americans had served in the Senate when Martin Luther King Jr. marched on Washington.
  • The winner is Wayne Oldham, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "What present day Senator from what state was previously secretly sworn into office as governor three days early in the dead of night by members and leaders of the opposing political party?" The 4th correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.



"For the record, I love my sister, but she is dead wrong on the issue of marriage. ... Freedom means freedom for everyone" -- Mary Cheney, on WY SEN candidate Liz Cheney's statement on same-sex marriage last week (Washington Post).



"I think that freedom means freedom for everyone" -- Dick Cheney, in '09 (C-SPAN).

Josh Kraushaar, Editor-in-Chief

Steven Shepard, Executive Editor

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