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Obama Plans Syria Push Upon U.S. Return; Workers Giving Up Lowers Jobless Rate; GA SEN Heating Up Obama Plans Syria Push Upon U.S. Return; Workers Giving Up Lowers Jobl...

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Obama Plans Syria Push Upon U.S. Return; Workers Giving Up Lowers Jobless Rate; GA SEN Heating Up

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


  • In St. Petersburg, Russia, for the G-20 summit, Pres. Obama "scrambled with senior advisers Thursday to soften resistance to a military strike against the Syrian government among U.S. lawmakers and some of Obama's most reliable global allies." But WH officials "said they are not concerned about the vote trend in Congress so far." They said Obama, who is to return to DC late Friday, "will begin a more public campaign, including perhaps a presidential address, to win support from Congress and the American public for a strike" (Washington Post).
  • "U.S. job growth was less than expected" in Aug. (169K new jobs created), and "the unemployment rate dropped to a 4-1/2 year low" (7.3%) "as workers gave up the search for work" (Reuters).
  • VA GOV candidates Terry McAuliffe (D) and Ken Cuccinelli (R) on Thursday "were in Richmond to address" ex-Gov. Doug Wilder's (D) "public policy class" at VCU and "tout their plans for higher education reform and economic growth" (Richmond Times-Dispatch).
  • NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) "plans to back" ex-MTA Chair Joe Lhota (R) as his successor if Public Advocate Bill de Blasio (D) wins the Dem nod in next Tuesday's primary (New York Post).
  • Ex-GA Sec/State Karen Handel (R) launched a new radio ad on Thursday, becoming the first GA SEN candidate to hit the airwaves (Hotline reporting). Atlanta Dream co-owner Kelly Loeffler (R) "is expected to decide within weeks whether to run," a decision that "has been delayed by her company's recent purchase of the New York Stock Exchange" (Atlanta Journal-Constitution).
  • Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) "says he intends to oppose a Senate resolution authorizing the use of U.S. military force in Syria," joining his HI SEN primary challenger, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI) (AP).
  • "A conservative energy group launched an advertising campaign Thursday that targets" Sens. Mark Begich (D-AK) and Kay Hagan (D-NC) "for allegedly supporting a carbon tax" (The Hill).
  • OR state Rep. Jason Conger (D) "is considering a run" against Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) (Bend Bulletin).
  • Ex-RNC dep. CoS Wells Griffith (R) became the third GOPer on the air in the AL-01 special when he launched his first TV ad on Thursday (Roll Call).
  • Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) Cos Igor Birman (R) "announced Thursday that he is running" in CA-07, making him the third GOPer to declare against Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA) (Roll Call).


Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day


• We've spilled a fair amount of ink on how GA's earlier-than-usual primary affects the SEN contest, but the move could have big implications for Rep. John Barrow (D-GA) as well. Last year, GOPers were tied up in a competitive contest until mid-August. But with a May 20 primary in 2014 that isn't expected to go to a runoff, likely nominee Rick Allen will have nearly six months to recover from any primary campaign spending and focus entirely on Barrow.

• Those who remember former Rep. Doug Ose's (R) knock-down, drag-out GOP primary with McClintock in '08 are already wincing (or licking their chops) at Ose and Birman both run in CA-07. Birman was also McClintock's finance director once upon a time; if he can tap the same network that funded the longtime CA conservative favorite, it could make things interesting. Also of note: Elizabeth Emken (R) may also be able to put some money together, and three-way House fights can get unpredictable in a hurry when they get nasty.



  • "We have a president who is a reluctant warrior. ... Anyone who believes he has some secret plan to put troops in Syria and invade it -- I don't think anyone really believes that about him" -- Rep. Gerald Connelly (D-VA) (Washington Post).
  • DoJ "demanded records from" the National Fiscal Conservative PAC last week "of its finances and its communications" with Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN); Marcus Bachmann, her husband; and former staff members, "according to a grand jury subpoena" that seeks to explore whether the super PAC "improperly coordinated strategy" with Bachmann's WH '12 camp, "including her husband, in violation of election laws" (New York Times).
  • "The only" Dem "currently running" for MT SEN, cattle rancher Dirk Adams (D), "is a career banking executive with a business record that could be problematic for his party if his bid gains steam. In fact, his last bank failed only 18 months ago" (Politico).
  • "Laid-Off Workers: Ken Cuccinelli's Campaign Tricked Us Into Appearing in GOP Attack Ad" (Mother Jones).
  • "Was that Ken Cuccinelli at aquarium? Tale sounds fishy" (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot).
  • "I have four bi-racial children -- Irish-American and black. I've been to Ireland four times. We celebrate the culture in my house. My two oldest sons were baptized in St. Augustine's chapel in South Boston. I'm not just a random black woman who has this seat" -- MA state Sen. Linda Dorcena-Forry (D), a Haitian-American who is in line to become host of the annual St. Patrick's Day breakfast in South Boston (Boston Globe).
  • Ex-KY Ag. Commis. Richie Farmer (R) "will plead guilty to charges that he misused state resources ... and could serve about two years in prison" (Lexington Herald-Leader).
  • Actor Alec Baldwin "will be hosting 'Up Late With Alec Baldwin' at 10 p.m. Friday nights" on MSNBC, starting next month (Huffington Post).
  • "Building a light-rail Purple Line" across DC's MD suburbs "would require condemning 116 homes and businesses and cutting down most trees on a popular walking and biking path between Bethesda and Silver Spring, according to a final environmental study released Thursday" (Washington Post).


  • Richard Nixon was the first sitting POTUS to visit present-day Russia, traveling to Moscow in '72.
  • The winner is Ernest Mercuri, who declined to submit a new question. Here's a bonus Swizzle Challenge: "Who was the first representative of the Russian gov't to address a joint session of Congress?" The 1st correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.



"I called traveling on Michael Jordan. I can deal with it" -- NC Gov. Pat McCrory (R), who once refereed an ACC all-star game, on his bumpy first year in Raleigh (Washington Post)



"You're out of here, Kareem!"
"What are you, nuts? This is my farewell game!"
"Oh, good. Well, let me be the first to say, 'Farewell!'" ("Forget Paris").

Josh Kraushaar, Editor-in-Chief

Steven Shepard, Executive Editor

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