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Unemployment Rate Falls to 5-Year Low; New Ad Defends Hagan, Attacks Tillis; Remembering Mandela Unemployment Rate Falls to 5-Year Low; New Ad Defends Hagan, Attacks T...

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Unemployment Rate Falls to 5-Year Low; New Ad Defends Hagan, Attacks Tillis; Remembering Mandela

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


  • The U.S. economy added 203,000 jobs in November, "nearly matching October's revised gain of 200,000. The job gains helped lower the unemployment rate" to 7%, "a five-year low" and "encouraging sign for the economy." (AP)
  • In the FL-13 Special, lobbyist David Jolly (R) "has released his first television commercial, which features endorsements" from former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker (R) and from Beverly Young, widow of the late Rep. Bill Young (R). (Tampa Bay Times)
  • In NC SEN, Senate Majority PAC "is spending $750,000" on a new TV ad "defending" Sen. Kay Hagan (D) on health care "while attacking" state House Speaker Thom Tillis (R). (Raleigh News & Observer)
  • In MD GOV, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D) "took some responsibility Tuesday [sic] for the dismal performance of Maryland's online health insurance exchange," after Attorney General Doug Gansler (D) "issued a statement Thursday accusing Brown of 'ducking responsibility' for the problems that have plagued the state's health insurance website." (Baltimore Sun)
  • In TX GOV, former state GOP chairman Tom Pauken (R) announced Thursday he won't run, after struggling "to raise money" against "well-funded" Attorney General Greg Abbott (R). (Dallas Morning News)
  • "A team of Iowa pastors will meet privately with" former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) "at an event in Arkansas next week to talk to him about running for president in 2016." (Des Moines Register)


Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day


• Republican primaries get all the attention, but maneuvering for a slate of potentially interesting Democratic House primaries is underway as well. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) looks set to face a cast of long-time antagonists again, should he choose not to retire, Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX) is gathering support that went against him in 2012 in case of another Latino-fueled challenge by Domingo Garcia, and the open Dem contest to replace Colleen Hanabusa in HI-01 looks set to reprise the old guard-versus-new theme pervading Hawaiian politics right now.


  • "Young people in particular have a tendency to vote during presidential years and then just are not excited at all during midterms. These midterm elections in many ways are more important, because that's what's going to determine who's in charge of Congress. And you may agree with me or disagree with me, but don't think that it all ends with me." -- President Obama, in an interview with MSNBC's Chris Matthews at American University (MSNBC)
  • "How Rand Paul Wants to Save Detroit" (ABC News)
  • "I'm in no hurry, there's no timetable." -- Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), on a potential NH SEN run (Londonderry Patch)
  • "Self-reflection and public emotion" are usually "dispensed as if from an eye dropper" by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I), but Bloomberg "became emotional" Thursday in "his first major goodbye speech." (New York Times)
  • "Promising old-school policing with new-age enlightenment," New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio (D) "on Thursday brought Bill Bratton back as NYPD commissioner 20 years after the top cop's first go-round." (New York Daily News)
  • "AP sues [New Mexico] Gov. Susana Martinez, agencies for failing to release public records" (AP)
  • "The holiday message from this focus group is a lump of coal for the president and Congress." -- Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who conducted a focus group in Cincinnati for the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania (Wall Street Journal)
  • "I talked to my U.S. congressman from my home area in west Michigan, Bill Huizenga, who I had gotten to know a little bit. I called him to see if I could propose on the balcony of the Speaker of the House's office, because I had been there before and seen the view and thought it was a great view. He said they could set it up." -- Redskins backup QB Kirk Cousins, who proposed to girlfriend Julie Hampton last month at the Capitol (Washington Post)


  • "Nelson Mandela, who led the emancipation of South Africa from white minority rule and served as his country's first black president, becoming an international emblem of dignity and forbearance, died Thursday night. He was 95." (New York Times)
  • "For now, let us pause and give thanks for the fact that Nelson Mandela lived -- a man who took history in his hands, and bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice. May God Bless his memory and keep him in peace." -- Obama, appearing in the White House Briefing Room late Thursday (mult.)
  • "Nelson Mandela was an unrelenting voice for democracy and his 'long walk to freedom' showed an enduring faith in God and respect for human dignity." -- House Speaker John Boehner (release)
  • "His passion for freedom and justice created new hope for generations of oppressed people worldwide, and because of him, South Africa is today one of the world's leading democracies." -- Jimmy Carter (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
  • "I will never forget my friend Madiba." -- Bill Clinton (USA Today)
  • "I can't remember a time when Nelson Mandela was not my absolute hero and leadership compass." -- U.S. Ambassador to South Africa Patrick Gaspard (Politico)
  • "When Strom met Nelson" (Columbia State)


  • Today's weather, from the National Weather Service: Rain likely. Highs in the lower 50s. North winds 10 to 15 mph with gusts up to 25 mph. Chance of rain 70%.
  • The University of Virginia Center for Politics is hosting its 15th annual American Democracy Conference this morning in Charlottesville, Va. For more information, and to view a livestream, click here. (9 a.m.)
  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be awarded the 2013 Lantos Human Rights Prize. (345 CHOB, 11 a.m.)
  • Watch the 2104 World Cup draw. (ESPN2/WFDC-TV, 11:30 a.m.)
  • The Wizards host the Bucks. (Verizon Center, 7 p.m.)
  • BB&T Classic: George Mason takes on Oklahoma, followed by a Beltway clash between GW and Maryland, all benefiting the Childrens' Charities Foundation. (Verizon Center, SUNDAY 1 p.m.)
  • Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!


  • The three accomplishments listed on Thomas Jefferson's tombstone are: author of the American Declaration of Independence, author of the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom and father of the University of Virginia.
  • The winner is U-Va.'s own Geoff Skelley, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "After the United States, what was the second European colony in the Western Hemisphere to declare its independence? " The 2nd correct answer gets to submit the next question.


Steven Shepard, Editor-in-Chief

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