Bachmann Will Retire; Joe Miller Running Again; Dems Say They Didn't Endorse Baca

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WHAT'S NEWS

  • MN-06: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R), in an 8 1/2-minute video posted early this morning, said she will not seek re-election next year (Minneapolis Star-Tribune). The announcement gives Republicans a better chance to hold her suburban Twin Cities district (Hotline analysis).
  • During a visit to the Jersey Shore, Pres. Obama and NJ Gov. Chris Christie (R) held a "drizzly reunion," 7 months after Hurricane Sandy struck the coastline. Christie "received Mr. Obama with unrestrained gratitude" (New York Times).
  • AK SEN: 2010 nominee Joe Miller (R) has filed papers with the FEC to run against Sen. Mark Begich (D) next year, indicating he has received more than $5K in contributions toward a bid (Politico).
  • CO SEN: Rep. Cory Gardner (R) has decided against challenging Sen. Mark Udall (D) in 2014, he said Tuesday. The GOP still hasn't found a top recruit to challenge the freshman Dem (Denver Post).
  • MA SEN: Rep. Ed Markey (D) is out with a new ad attacking businessman Gabriel Gomez (R) for opposing tax hikes on the wealthy (YouTube).
  • KY SEN: Sec/State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D), Dems' best recruit against Senate Min. Leader Mitch McConnell, hasn't been returning Dem leaders' phone calls, according to Rep. John Yarmuth (D). Her foot dragging, Yarmuth said, is "a disservice to the party" (ABC News).
  • AL-01: Businessman Dean Young (R) entered the race to replace exiting Rep. Jo Bonner (R) (Montgomery Advertiser), and ex-Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) has endorsed blogger/activist/ex-Bob Livingston spokesman Quin Hillyer (AL.com).
  • CA-31: Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) says he has not endorsed ex-Rep. Joe Baca (D) over DCCC favorite Pete Aguilar (D) in the race for Rep. Gary Miller's (R) seat (Washington Post). Baca, who had included Clyburn's name among a list of former colleagues endorsing him on Friday, says he has Clyburn's endorsement in writing (Roll Call). Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL) also says she didn't endorse Baca, though he claims she did (Roll Call).
  • IA-01: IA House Speaker Kraig Paulsen (R) says he's considering running for Rep. Bruce Braley's (D) open seat. He'll make a decision this summer (Cedar Rapids Gazette).
  • WH '16: Sen. Rand Paul is visiting eBay headquarters and will give a speech at a Reagan Library Foundation dinner that 950 people are expected to attend (BuzzFeed).

NUMBER BRUNCHING

  • A new Marist College poll shows NYC City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D) leading the Dem field with 24%, followed by ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner (D) at 19%, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio (D) at 12% and ex-Comptroller Bill Thompson (D) at 11%. Quinn leads runoff matchups with every rival, including a 48%-33% lead over Weiner (Hotline On Call).

OUR CALL

Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day

• Bachmann's decision to step down is a relief to the GOP -- not only those trying to hold her seat (an easier challenge now), but to those trying to rebrand the party. Bachmann's influence in the House was virtually nonexistent, but she was Dems' favorite fundraising tool.

• Endorsements don't win votes like they used to, but that doesn't mean they have no effect. Joe Baca's endorsement struggles -- first, his semantic arguments over whether he "endorsed" or "supported" Rep. Gary Miller (R) last fall, and now the controversy over whether he's touting congressional endorsements he never got -- challenge his credibility, and he doesn't have the Dem establishment to protect him.

• A new PPP poll, paid for by a Dem super PAC, shows Grimes tied with McConnell in a hypothetical matchup. But look beyond the head-to-head tie to see opportunities on both sides: Grimes is still largely undefined; 42 percent of voters said they don't know enough about Grimes to even have an opinion. Mitch McConnell, his allies and the nearly $9 million he has on hand could change that quickly. But McConnell isn't terribly popular himself; his job approval numbers are upside down.

HAIR OF THE DOG

FRESH BREWED BUZZ

  • "Additional scrutiny of conservative organizations’ activities by the IRS did not solely originate in the agency’s Cincinnati office, with requests for information coming from other offices and often bearing the signatures of higher-ups at the agency," according to documents obtained by lawyers for a number of the conservative groups targeted (NBC News).
  • Obama went 0-for-5 in TouchDown Fever, a carnival game on the Point Pleasant, NJ, boardwalk. Christie threw a football through a tire on his first try, and gave Obama the stuffed bear he won as a result (Time's Swampland blog). The misses added "to a litany that includes a string of botched basketball free throws, ... a horrifically ugly first pitch at a Washington Nationals game in 2010 and a display of bowling incompetence" in 2008 (New York Times).
  • Meanwhile, NJ state Sen. Barbara Buono's (D) campaign retracted a claim that she would have a private meeting with Obama during his trip to the shore. Buono met with Obama as part of a group of 30 state and local elected officials. "There was a photo line but no separate meeting," the WH pool report said (Daily Caller).
  • "So, after the midterm election cycle, we’ll look into getting back into the political framework in 2016. There’s no doubt about it" -- Ex-Rep. Allen West (R-FL), hinting at a comeback on the Tammy Bruce radio show (Sunshine State News).
  • "Immigration is a federal issue, it’s a federal problem. It’s something that’s important to get right. ... Politically, it is more a statewide and presidential issue." -- NRCC chair Greg Walden, saying his candidates don't need to address immigration to win re-election (Dallas Morning News).
  • ME "Gov. Paul LePage has complied with an order to remove a television from the hallway outside his office, sort of" (Maine Sun Journal). But he's still refusing to work out of his Capitol office.
  • Ex-CNN host Larry King will join RT, the English-language Russian television station, to host a new "mold-breaking political talk show," beginning in June (RT).
  • "I just want everybody to witness. I do not want to be in trouble with Michelle. That's why I am calling you out right in front of everybody" -- Pres. Obama, on a lipstick stain on his collar allegedly from the aunt of "American Idol" runner-up Jessica Sanchez (CNN).
  • In a letter to the FEC, ex-Sen. John Ensign's (R-NV) campaign acknowledges unreported contributions from his parents in the amount of $36K and blames Ensign's ex-treasurer, Cynthia Hampton -- his former lover -- for failing to report the gifts (Ralston Reports). Classy.
  • "Nashua South class experiences 'journalism hell'" (Nashua Telegraph). Or, what it's really like working at Hotline.

SWIZZLE CHALLENGE

  • In 1950, Lee Mackey carded a 64 in the opening round of the U.S. Open at Merion. He followed it up with an 81 in his second round.
  • The winner is Greg Andrews, but we foolishly forgot to let him know that until this morning. So while we let Greg come up with a question today, here's a toss-up, for bragging rights only: Name the longest-running spin-off series of all time. The 7th correct emailer gets a shout-out in tomorrow's Wake-Up Call and a #FF tweet, if you include your Twitter handle.

NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS

SHOT...

"Be assured, my decision was not in any way influenced by any concerns about my being re-elected to Congress." -- Bachmann (YouTube).

...CHASER

"Beginning Thursday, Bachmann's campaign will air 31 30-second spots on KMSP, a local Fox affiliate, for $14,565 over the course of 12 days" -- Hotline On Call, 5/15.

Reid Wilson, Editor-in-Chief

Steven Shepard, Executive Editor