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Pres. Obama, at the WH, "tried to shame the nation and Congress into action against gun violence," invoking the Newtown shooting (CNN). Later, he signed an executive order forming an election reform commission to "shorten lines at the polls" and increase efficiency (NPR). Today in Miami, Obama will push for investment in infrastructure (AP).
SC-01 Special: In their first one-on-one debate, ex-Charleston Co. Councilor Curtis Bostic (R) characterized ex-Gov. Mark Sanford (R) "as a 'compromised candidate'" and a "'Mr. No' with a record of failing to bring people together to accomplish reforms" (Hilton Head Island Packet).
Boston Mayor '13: "At least a dozen would-be successors" of retiring Mayor Tom Menino (D) "are either running for mayor or strongly considering it, colleagues and strategists said" (Boston Globe).
HI SEN: Sen. Brian Schatz (D) will kick off his special election campaign on Saturday, holding a grassroots organizational meeting as he tries to establish a ground game (Honolulu Civil Beat).
KS SEN: Sen. Pat Roberts (R) ended talk of a potentially competitive primary in announcing his honorary campaign committee, which includes two of his most likely challengers: Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R) and Sec/State Kris Kobach (R) (On Call).
SD SEN: Ex-LG Steve Kirby (R) is not ruling out a bid, but "doesn't have a timeline for his decision" (The Hill).
VA SEN: Sen. Mark Warner (D) confirmed that he will seek reelection, despite his frustration with the chamber (Staunton News Leader).
FL GOV: Gov. Rick Scott (R) has raised $1M over the last month, including a "whopping" $500K check from the William L. Edwards Trust (Miami Herald).
PA GOV: Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D), "emboldened" by a poll commissioned by EMILY's List, has decided to run and will open a "state-level campaign account early next month," according to a source close to her (Politico).
TX GOV: As Gov. Rick Perry (R) "weighs whether to run" for reelection, TX "politicos say it's largely unclear who would steer another reelection campaign -- or a second Perry attempt" at the WH (Politico).
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• 2014 will be the first electoral test of whether Democrats supporting gay marriage can win re-election in red states (e.g. Hagan, Begich, Baucus). Almost certainly, their calculation is that, win or lose, their fates will rest far more on other issues come next fall, so they may as well follow their consciences (and campaign pocket books) and align themselves with their blue-state brethren.
• The "Draft Brendan Johnson for Senate" campaign has drawn plenty of skepticism, but the senator's son has nothing on Nina Turner when it comes to fake shows of "organic" support. The new website that sprang up urging the Ohio state senator to run for secretary of state is paid for by her own campaign committee.
• Last night, Curtis Bostic laid out the strongest version yet of his argument against Mark Sanford: that he is a "compromised candidate" who would more easily fall to Elizabeth Colbert Busch -- and the national Dems backing her -- in a general election. While it appears to be true that there are anti-Sanford votes out there, if Bostic can't attract enough to overcome him now it's hard to imagine Colbert Busch accomplishing that feat in an 18-point GOP district in May.
HAIR OF THE DOG
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
"I used to own -- my father had a ranch. We used to hire 50 to 60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes. You know it takes two people to pick the same tomatoes now" -- Rep. Don Young (R-AK), who later said he "meant no disrespect" in using the slur (Anchorage Daily News).
Reps. Jim Matheson (D-UT) and Justin Amash (R-MI) voted against their parties more than any other House members over the first three months of the 113th Congress (National Journal Daily).
"When the Revolutionary War was over, the Founding Fathers said 'Take your assault rifle home with you'" -- Bostic, asked for his position on gun control (Columbia Patch).
Ex-AK Gov. Sarah Palin (R) released a two-minute web video, "Loaded for Bear," that makes it clear "she intends to be involved in the selection of Republican and Tea Party candidates in Congressional and Senate contests across the country" (New York Daily News).
"I'm the assemblyman of sorrow. Why do they hate me so much? Fill in the blank: I'm so angry I could (blank) myself" -- NV Assemb. Steven Brooks (D), after being expelled from the state Assembly for threatening his colleagues (Ralston Reports).
A court has refused to dismiss a FEC lawsuit against ex-Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) for misusing campaign funds in attempting to "overturn his 2007 guilty plea for disorderly conduct in an airport bathroom" (Idaho Statesman).
"Dale Peterson explains 'bizarre' arrest for eating '22 cents worth of peanuts'" (Daily Caller).
Businessman Herman Cain (R) will "cohost a private retreat" for business leaders and GOP "power brokers" in Palm Beach, FL, next month. Ex-FL Gov. Jeb Bush (R) will attend and "is expected to speak on education reform" (National Review).
"Brazil clown will leave big shoes to fill in Congress" (Los Angeles Times).
Ex-SCOTUS Justice Wiley Rutledge is interred in the Green Mountain Cemetery in Boulder, CO, the westernmost burial site for any Justice to date.
That last one stumped the Wake-Up Call! community, so here's a toss-up: "What is the Harlem Globetrotters' theme song?" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
"Steve King Blasts Obama Daughters For Going On Spring Break" (Huffington Post).
"Oh my God, Malia. He did not say that! Let's text him now" -- Devon Banks ("30 Rock").
Sarah Mimms, Editor