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Senate Dems Vent on Health Care Implementation; Trailing, Cuccinelli More Active in Closing Days Senate Dems Vent on Health Care Implementation; Trailing, Cuccinelli M...

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Senate Dems Vent on Health Care Implementation; Trailing, Cuccinelli More Active in Closing Days

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


  • Senate Democratic leaders "summoned White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner and Jeffrey Zients, "the person entrusted to fix" the glitch-plagued health care exchange website to Capitol Hill on Thursday "for a closed-door venting session." Concerns are "mounting" among Democrats "that the troubled start of the insurance program will cut into the political benefit the party received from the government shutdown and cost Democratic candidates in next year's midterm elections." (New York Times)
  • Senate Republicans on Thursday "blocked" the nominations of Rep. Melvin Watt (D-NC) "to become the top housing finance regulator, and Patricia Ann Millett's nomination to fill one of three vacant seats on the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals." (Roll Call)
  • A new Christopher Newport University poll of VA GOV LVs, conducted Oct. 25-30, shows former DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe (D) leading Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R), 45-38%, with Robert Sarvis (L) at 10%. In the previous poll, conducted Oct. 8-13, McAuliffe led Cuccinelli and Sarvis, 46-39-11%. (release)
  • Cuccinelli "is planning a frenetic schedule with a handful of big-name Republican surrogates as the race ... draws to a close." McAuliffe, "by contrast, is spending somewhat less time in the public eye aside from a pair of high-profile events." (Washington Post)
  • In the New York City mayoral race, after a federal appeals court "halted a sweeping set of changes to the New York Police Department's practice of stopping and frisking people on the street," Public Advocate Bill de Blasio (D) said he was 'extremely disappointed' by the decision," while former MTA chairman Joe Lhota (R) "applauded the ruling." (New York Times)
  • In MT SEN, Rep. Steve Daines (R) "will announce his Senate bid next week." He has "a 'special event' in his hometown of Bozeman" slated for next Wednesday "to 'thank supporters.'" (The Hill)
  • In FL GOV, Gov. Rick Scott (R) "is set to launch an ad blitz" on Monday, "the same day" former GOP Gov. Charlie Crist (D) "announces his all-but-assured candidacy in the race." (Politico)
  • In MD GOV, a "new video has emerged, purportedly showing" Attorney General Doug Gansler (D) at a party in South Bethany, Del., "that likely included teen drinking." (WJLA-TV)
  • Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) "will officially kick-off" his reelection campaign in Philadelphia next week, "sources in and close to the campaign said Thursday." (Harrisburg Patriot-News)


Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day


• Tuesday's AL-01 GOP runoff, where a little-known social conservative (Dean Young) could upset a well-connected longtime pol (Bradley Byrne) is another example of how GOP primary voters value style as much as substance. Having experience in politics or government is a distinct disadvantage these days, especially for Republicans. (Paging Mitch McConnell.) The entry bar for complete outsiders to enter the political arena is as low as it has ever been.



  • According to the forthcoming book "Double Down," "President Obama's top aides secretly considered replacing" Vice President Biden with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the 2012 ticket, "undertaking extensive focus-group sessions and polling in late 2011," when Obama's reelection prospects "appeared uncertain." Then-White House chief of staff Bill Daley, who "pushed" the effort "despite the close personal rapport" he had developed with Biden: "You have to remember, at that point the president was in awful shape, so we were like, 'Holy Christ, what do we do?'" (New York Times)
  • The book details former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's (R) "search for a vice-presidential nominee. 'Project Goldfish,' as his vetting team called its operation, was so secretive that researchers referred to the five finalists by aquatic names -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (Pufferfish), former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty (Lakefish), Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio (Filet-O-Fish), Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida (Pescado) and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin (Fishconsin)." (Washington Post)
  • "Christie refused to endorse Romney early and warned him against fundraising in New Jersey if he ever wanted Christie's endorsement," the book reported. "Romney was irritated -- and considered the ultimatum like something out of the Sopranos. But Romney's fundraising team largely complied with Christie's request." (Politico)
  • "I'm tired of you people!!! ... Leave me the [expletive] alone!!!!" -- Christie, to Romney adviser Ron Kaufman after Christie's keynote address at the Republican Convention in Tampa, as quoted in "Double Down" (Washington Post)
  • "The authors reveal the source who told" Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that Romney "had not paid any taxes in 10 years:" Jon Huntsman Sr., the father of former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman (R). (New York Times)
  • A top adviser to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said Thursday night that Paul "would be 'more cautious in presenting and attributing sources' in the future," after Paul's office was "confronted ... with fresh examples of Paul speeches that borrowed language from news reports without citing the original text." (Politico)
  • "The outlier here is clearly Governor Corbett." -- Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA), asked about how her previous experience running a Philadelphia abortion clinic plays into the PA GOV race (National Journal)
  • "It may be little more than a blip on Washington's radar screen, but ... Obama's decision to be a no-show at an upcoming ceremony to mark the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address has touched off a firestorm in Pennsylvania." (Washington Times)
  • "No. Next question." -- de Blasio, asked by the New York Times, in an interview about his management philosophy, whether he would consider Lhota for a job in his administration
  • "No one in the history of our country has ever been in the system with my background, no one." -- Former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik, on his experience in the federal prison system after convictions "for tax evasion and lying to federal authorities" (NBC News)
  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was defiant in the face of revelations that Toronto police have obtained video evidence that appears to show him smoking crack cocaine, brushing off a torrent of questions from the crush of reporters outside his city hall office. (Toronto Star)
  • "FAA allowing most electronic device use throughout flights" (CNN)


Health & Human Skirmishes



  • Today's weather, from the National Weather Service: Mostly cloudy. Showers with isolated thunderstorms early this morning, then a chance of showers this afternoon. Some thunderstorms may produce gusty winds early this morning. Highs in the lower 70s. Southwest winds 15-20 mph with gusts up to 35 mph, diminishing to 5-10 mph with gusts up to 20 mph this afternoon. Chance of rain 80%.
  • A discussion with director, screenwriter and producer Oliver Stone on his career, the 1991 movie "JFK" and the Showtime series "The Untold History of the United States." (Newseum, 2 p.m.)
  • The Wizards host the 76ers in the 'Zards home opener. (Verizon Center, 7 p.m.)
  • Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend, so don't forget to "fall back" early Sunday morning.
  • Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!


  • Frederick Gillett (R-MA) was elected House Speaker after Republicans recaptured the chamber in the 1918 midterm elections.
  • The winner is Rick Sense, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "Name the only U.S. president who enlisted into the military without going on to become an officer." The 2nd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.



"For some reason, people don't like you." -- Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), advising Romney as part of his "war council," as quoted in "Double Down" (Washington Post)


"You get what you see. I am who I am." -- Romney, in an Aug. 2012 interview with Politico, during which he "quoted that Popeye line three times" in 30 minutes

Josh Kraushaar, Editor-in-Chief

Steven Shepard, Executive Editor


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