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- Pres. Obama will head to CA next month for two fundraisers for the DCCC, kicking off "what is expected to be a robust effort by Obama" to support Dems in '14 (AP).
- CPAC: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) offered "markedly different messages" in "back-to-back speeches" yesterday. "Rubio said it was 'a foolish notion' to talk of infighting" among conservatives. Paul "won hoots of approval when he described 'the GOP of old' as 'stale and moss covered'" (Wall Street Journal).
- MA SEN Special: The SEIU endorsed Rep. Edward Markey (D), in another setback for Rep. Stephen Lynch's (D) campaign (On Call). Ex-Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez (R) said "he 'fully supported'" the GOP nominees in WH '08 and WH '12, despite donating to Obama in '08 and not voting in either presidential primary (MassLive).
- NYC Mayor '13: City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D) and billionaire John Catsimatidis (R) "each spent roughly" $250K since mid-January. Quinn raised $510K during the period and ended with $5.53M CoH (Wall Street Journal).
- AR SEN: Senate Conservatives Action released a 60-second radio ad linking Sen. Mark Pryor (D) to Obama (Roll Call).
- GA SEN: Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips endorsed Rep. Paul Broun (R). Broun: "I hope everyone in the delegation gets ready to stay where they are because I'm gonna beat 'em" (On Call).
- SD SEN: Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R) endorsed ex-Gov. Mike Rounds (R) (Mitchell Republic).
- TN-04: Rep. John Kline (R-MN) is "distancing himself" from Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R) and will not attend a fundraiser for him in DC next week, though he is listed as a host (National Journal). "Asked if Kline wants DesJarlais to win" reelection, a spokesperson "declined to comment" (Chattanooga Times Free Press).
- WH '16: Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) announced that he now favors same-sex marriage after discussing it with his son Will, who is gay. Portman: "I told Mitt Romney everything" (CNN).
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• President Obama's big congressional fundraisers, the first of which is now scheduled for April in San Francisco, will attract some major money. But Obama's fundraising usefulness extends beyond the number of trips he makes and lunches he hosts. The DCCC raised $580,000, setting its single-day online record, on a random day last June when Obama penned an email to the committee's list. Freed of his own electoral obligations, Obama will be able to drive more small donors to the national party committees this year, too.
• It's still very early in the 2014 Senate cycle, so there's plenty of time for the GOP to recruit challengers in the seats they need to target. That said, it's also true that the longer Mike Rounds and Shelley Moore Capito can keep their primary fields clear, the more likely they'll be able to build an aura of inevitability around their nominations.
• While early talk centers around Mike Rounds and Brendan Johnson, the Argus Leader's David Montgomery notes that South Dakota hasn't elected a senator who lacked House experience since 1943 -- a fact that probably isn't lost on Kristi Noem and Stephanie Herseth Sandlin.
• If his upcoming fundraising schedule is any indication, Cory Booker is going to raise a ton of money towards a NJ SEN bid. Booker has a big head-start in the polls, but Frank Pallone has a $3M warchest. Booker's aggressive money-raising tour seems aimed at convincing Pallone that his cash won't be a significant advantage in a primary next year.
HAIR OF THE DOG
"Must Love Burning Bushes: In Honor of Passover, JDate Made Moses an Online Dating Profile" (New York Observer).
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- "Just because I believe that states should have the right to define marriage in a traditional way does not make me a bigot" -- Rubio, at CPAC (NBC News).
- "A federal grand jury in Miami is investigating Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), examining his role in advocating for the business interests" of Dr. Salomon Melgen, "a wealthy donor and friend, according to three people aware of the probe" (Washington Post).
- "I'm either 100 percent for you or 100 percent against you. I can't decide" -- a CPAC attendee, asking American Crossroads pres. Steven Law about the Conservative Victory Project (Bloomberg).
- "Detroit became the largest city in U.S. history to be taken over by its home state" with Gov. Rick Snyder's (R) appointment yesterday of atty Kevyn Orr as emergency financial manager for the city (Detroit Free Press).
- "I reminded him that we are all tasters. If the food had been poisoned, all of us would have keeled over" -- Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), on Obama not eating a bite of the ME lobster and blueberry pie she provided for his meeting with Senate GOPers (Politico).
- The CA GOP has invited Dem strategist Garry South to "a retreat this weekend to tell them, more or less, how bad they are. South: "It's a pretty depressing presentation if you're a Republican. So I may have a doctor on hand to issue Prozac prescriptions." (Sacramento Bee).
- "Just in case you wonder what it's like 'Being Biden'" (CNN).
- Ex-Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) aide David Oliveira "may face criminal charges after police say he left" MA state Rep. Christopher Markey (D) "with a collapsed lung and possible broken ribs in a dust-up outside a youth basketball camp that apparently started over a state job" (Boston Herald).
- "Washington's Creepiest Cartoonist Is Actually a Sweet 73-Year-Old Texan Retiree" (New Republic).
- We asked our Friday Feature what his favorite TV guilty pleasure was and for the last good movie he saw and here's what he said: "I have a wife, a 3 year old and a 5 year old. I haven’t had control of the remote since 2009 and the last movie I saw was Barbie's Mermaid Adventure." For more, see today's Media Monitor in Hotline's Latest Edition.
- New Hampshire is the state with the fewest electoral votes to have produced a president: Franklin Pierce was living there in 1852 when he was elected.
- The winner is Shawn Hanscom, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "Who is the only U.S. President who was elected from Louisiana?" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- In Mississippi, the Mysterious Murder of a Gay, Black Politician
- The GOP Keeps Getting Whiter
- Chickening Out on Medicare
- Can Obama's Energy Trust Fund Idea Gain Traction in Congress?
- Is One Act of Cyber Vandalism Worth 25 Years in Jail?
"It's fine you want to lecture me on the Constitution. I appreciate it. Just know I've been here for a long time" -- Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), raising her voice at Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) during a debate on gun control (Bloomberg).
"We here long 'fore you came -- long after you gone" -- M'Ed ("Blood Diamond").
Sarah Mimms, Editor