Wake-Up Call! is Hotline's daily morning briefing on campaigns and elections. Click here to subscribe.
- Pres. Obama held 2 fundraisers for the DCCC in Chicago and stayed overnight at his home, telling donors "one of the best ways" to work around GOP obstruction "is to have a Democratic House of Representatives." DCCC chairman Steve Israel "got a birthday serenade" from Obama and the audience (Chicago Tribune).
- Obama plans to nominate James Comey, the ex-deputy AG under George W. Bush, to succeed Robert Mueller as FBI director, sources say. Comey met with Obama earlier this month to discuss the job. He beat out WH counterterrorism advisor Lisa Monaco for the job (NPR). So Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) wasn't a finalist for the job.
- AR SEN: Sen. Mark Pryor has spent $30K on a statewide cable buy that will run for a week, according to media tracking sources (Politico).
- RI GOV: Gov. Lincoln Chafee will register as a Democrat at Warwick City Hall today, 3 years after winning election as an indie and 7 years after losing his Senate seat as a GOPer (Providence Journal).
- VA GOV: Ex-DNC chair Terry McAuliffe is out with a new ad that "seeks to position himself as a pragmatic consensus-builder rather than a partisan ideologue" (Washington Post).
- NE SEN: Midland Univ. pres. Ben Sasse "will embark on what he described as a summer listening tour of the state," a likely first step toward running. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry says he won't run for the seat (Lincoln Journal-Star).
- IA SEN: Sec/State Matt Schultz said Wednesday he won't run. Now, all 7 statewide or federal GOP officeholders in IA have decided against running (Des Moines Register)
- CO SEN: GOPers approached retired Gen. Gene Renuart, the ex-head of NORAD, CO Solicitor Gen. Dan Domenico and CO Treas. Walker Stapleton to run against Sen. Mark Udall. All have declined (KDVR).
- MN SEN: Lazard exec. Mike McFadden, a first-time candidate for political office, will challenge Sen. Al Franken. McFadden "said that he would not completely self-fund" his bid (Minneapolis Star-Tribune).
- SD SEN: Sen. John Thune said GOP infighting could hurt the party's chances at the ballot box, but "he's not going to discourage" Rep. Kristi Noem from challenging ex-Gov. Mike Rounds for Sen. Tim Johnson's seat (Sioux Falls Argus Leader). Meanwhile, Rounds is in Israel on a 6-day trip (Argus Leader).
- CA 31: Ex-Rep. Joe Baca (D) sent Roll Call a PDF of a sheet of signatures of members of Congress indicating their endorsements a day after Reps. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) and Terri Sewell (D-AL) disputed that they ever backed him (Roll Call).
- A new PPIC poll of CA registered voters shows 48% approve of Gov. Jerry Brown's job performance while just 36% disapprove (release).
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• Colorado Republicans still have time to find a Senate candidate, though losing potential recruits like Rep. Cory Gardner is never a great feeling. There might be a bigger problem than recruiting on the horizon, though. State GOP strategists are worried -- "scared to death," one said -- that Tom Tancredo will capture the GOV nomination and poison the ticket. It wouldn't just be a problem statewide, either: Tancredo's presence could also cause trouble for his successor, Rep. Mike Coffman, who's now running in a much more liberal seat.
• Chafee's decision to register as a Dem was years in the making, and it's hardly a surprise. But do Dems want him? The DGA has other candidates in the race, and few local observers think Chafee can even win a primary. Chafee faces the very real risk of being Specter-ed.
• Amid all the Anthony Weriner coverage, another important story line in the NYC mayoral contest is getting overlooked: Republicans are already dissatisfied with former MTA chairman Joe Lhota, whose entrance into the race in January was touted as a potential gamechanger. GOP power brokers are urging NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly to run for the Republican nomination, even releasing a polling memo touting the city's top cop as the general election frontrunner. But there's little evidence to suggest that Kelly actually wants the job.
HAIR OF THE DOG
GA Dem chair Mike Berlon will resign from his post amid "mounting legal problems," including a lawsuit alledging he defrauded a firm he once represented out of more than $400K (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- "I love Michelle Obama. She's a real fighter. Just take a look at those biceps" -- Sen. Elizabeth Warren, at a fundraiser with FLOTUS for MA SEN candidate/Rep. Ed Markey (USA Today).
- "What can I tell you? All I can say is we all have mothers, right? ... She is totally liberated, and God bless her" -- Jeb Bush, on his mom's "had enough Bushes" line (AP).
- "Kansas City makes changes after spending $15,000 on an event that didn't occur" (Kansas City Star).
- "Toronto Mayor Rob Ford told senior aides not to worry about a video appearing to show him smoking crack cocaine because he knew where it was," then gave the address of an apartment complex. "Staffers were alarmed by the implication of hearing so precise a location" (Toronto Star).
- Boston Mayor Tom Menino "will be walking in the footsteps of Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, John F. Kennedy, and Mother Teresa" when Harvard grants him an honorary degree (Boston Globe)
- "Mayor Beutler, staff do the Harlem Shake" (Lincoln Journal-Star)
- "Girl bakes Cicada pizza, crunches on cam" (Wilmington News Journal)
- "Pinball game is based on Todd Akin's rape remarks" (Kansas City Star)
- The Simpsons, a spinoff of the Tracey Ullman Show, is the longest-running spinoff in TV history.
- The winner is Christine Pollack, and here's her Swizzle Challenge: "Double Dels are University of Delaware alumni married to other alumni. Name two current elected officials and their wives who are Double Dels, all earning their undergraduate degrees at UD." The 2nd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- Republican Red Flags All Over in Bellwether States
- Switching Parties Is A Sign of Political Trouble
- CBO Details Top 10 Most Expensive Tax Breaks
- Texas Could End Up Leading the Country on Electronic Privacy
- Parties Prepare to Reverse Rhetoric on 'Nuclear Option' for Judicial Nominees
"The minute we start stifling our speech, we might as well go home, roll up our sleeves and get our guns out" -- ME Gov. Paul LePage, still fighting with the legislature, this time over a state Senate committee's refusal to let him address lawmakers (Portland Press-Herald).
"If this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around?" -- Sharron Angle.
Reid Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
Steven Shepard, Executive Editor