Rodney Alexander Will Resign; Ken Buck Returns; De Blasio's Son Sports Afro, Touts Dad in TV Ad

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WHAT'S NEWS

  • "Already faltering," Pres. Obama's "five-year effort to reboot U.S.-Russian relations finally crashed Wednesday," when the WH "abruptly canceled his planned face-to-face summit with" Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin (AP).

  • "One day after announcing he won't seek a seventh term in Congress," Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-LA) was named LA Sec. of Vets Affairs by Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) and will resign effective 9/26. "A special election to fill his unexpired term is set for" 10/19 (Monroe News Star).

  • A new Quinnipiac Univ. poll of NJ RVs, conducted 8/1-5, shows Gov. Chris Christie (R) leading state Sen. Barbara Buono (D), 58-30%. In the previous poll, conducted 7/2-7, Christie led Buono, 61-29% (release).

  • NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio (D) released the first TV ad of his mayoral campaign on Thursday, featuring his 15-year-old son, Dante, calling his father "the only Democrat with the guts to really break from the Bloomberg years" (release). "The focus on family, which is expected to intensify ... is a deliberate attempt to humanize and distinguish a candidate who remains relatively unknown" (New York Times).

  • '10 nominee Ken Buck (R) "filed paperwork" with the FEC on Wednesday to run again for CO SEN "and will officially launch his campaign with an announcement tour around the state" in early Sept. (Denver Post).

  • Rep. Colleen Hanabusa's (D-HI) dep. CoS "resigned Wednesday after he was named in a complaint that alleges federal campaign finance violations" for offering "to put PhRMA executives in touch with Hanabusa's advisers" on her HI SEN campaign (Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

  • Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) will run for reelection next year. Inhofe: "I went home and I talked to my wife and I said you know we've got a serious problem here, we're going to have [Obama] around for four more years. I just can't bail out now" (KRMG-AM).

  • HI state Rep. Mark Takai (D) joined "a growing field" of Dems running for Hanabusa's HI-01 seat (Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

  • IA state House Speaker Kraig Paulsen (R) "will not run" for IA-01, leaving "the GOP without a marquee name in the race to succeed" Rep. Bruce Braley (D) (Des Moines Register).

  • "Amid rumors that he would be dropping out" of the MA GOV race, state Sen. Dan Wolf (D) said Tuesday "his campaign and state Senate term would continue as he fights a potentially damaging State Ethics Commission conflict of interest ruling" (Cape Cod Times).

NUMBER BRUNCHING

  • According to a new Fox News poll of nat'l RVs, conducted 8/3-5 by Anderson Robbins Research (D)/Shaw & Co. Research (R), 42% approve of the job Obama is doing as POTUS, while 52% disapprove. In the previous poll, conducted 7/21-23, 46% approved of Obama, and 47% disapproved (release).

OUR CALL

Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day

• With Buck's entrance into the CO SEN race and Joe Miller's presence in AK SEN, several of the most infamous 2010 Tea Party All-Stars are making their comeback bids next year. Paging Christine O'Donnell...

• More and more public figures are trying to muddy the waters on what an endorsement is, including Joe Baca (D) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) drawing distinctions between "supporting" and "endorsing" candidates and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) co-hosting a McConnell fundraiser but saying that doesn't mean he endorses the Kentuckian. But "endorse" is a just a simple verb, and it accurately describes the actions they've taken. Lee and company don't get to redefine the English language to fit their purposes.

HAIR OF THE DOG

FRESH BREWED BUZZ

  • George W. Bush "returned home early Wednesday from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas ... after having a stent implanted in his heart Tuesday to clear blockage in an artery." Laura Bush said he "was 'doing great'" (Dallas Morning News).

  • "Come on Yoda. ... Come on Mimi. Somebody's got to go first. Come on kids. It's just like any other job" -- Goat handler Brian Knox, instructing his "kids" as they "eat more than an acre's worth of poison ivy and English ivy" at the Congressional Cemetery (Washington Post).

  • "A onetime top aide" to ex-IL state public health dir./Obama friend Dr. Eric Whitaker "was indicted Wednesday in what federal authorities said was" a $433K-grant "kickback scam she then tried to cover up" (Chicago Tribune).

  • "[T]his miniseries is a total nightmare for NBC News. We know there's this giant firewall, we have nothing to do with it, we know that we’d love probably to be as critical, or whatever it is going to be, if it comes out. But there's nothing we can do about it. And we’re going to only own the negative. Whether it's negative because it's the Clinton people are upset that it's too tough on them, or negative because the Republicans think it's this glorification of her -- no matter what, only we are going to own it, because people are going to see the peacock and NBC and see NBC News and think: 'Well, they can't be that separate'" -- NBC News chief WH corr./political dir. Chuck Todd, on the planned NBC Hillary Clinton docudrama (Mediaite.com).

  • Ret. Army Gen. Wesley Clark (D), 68, "has won yet another esteemed decoration -- he is dating 30-year-old Shauna Mei, the founder of online retailer AHAlife.com" (New York Post).

  • "I'm not naming any names, but one senator got up from a Southern state and said, 'Well, you've got to understand that to my people down here, Obama seems like' -- he thought for a second and he said -- 'like he's exotic'" -- Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), on last month's closed-door Senate conference on filibuster rules (Des Moines Register).

  • "After a week in which both [t]he Boston Globe and [t]he Washington Post were purchased by new owners, the publisher of [t]he New York Times emphatically declared Wednesday night that the publication was not for sale" (New York Times).

  • "Lisa and I had spoken about that on several occasions, and she knew very well that I did not plan to retire. She knew what my position was. She knew" -- IL state House Speaker Michael Madigan (D), on his daughter, IL AG Lisa Madigan (D), and her deliberations over whether to run for IL GOV (Chicago Tribune).

  • We're off on Fridays in August, but we'll see you back here on Monday!

SWIZZLE CHALLENGE

  • Henry Stimson served as sec/State and sec/War for administrations of different parties.

  • The winner is UVA's Kyle Kondik, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "A quote: 'We have always recognized the obligation of a government to provide free medical care to those unable to pay for it themselves.' Name the speaker, who has a prominent monument near the U.S. Capitol. Additional hint: He was hardly a RINO." The 4th correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.

NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS

SHOT...

"This is how we go on a date. We campaign together" -- de Blasio, on his family's involvement in his campaign (New York Times).

...CHASER

"We are a very conventional, unconventional couple" -- de Blasio wife Chrilane McCray (Essence).

Josh Kraushaar, Editor-in-Chief

Steven Shepard, Executive Editor