Obama Lays Out Counterterrorism Strategy; Weiner's 1st Day on the Trail; Jo Bonner to Resign in Aug

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  • In "the first major counterterrorism address of his second term," Pres. Obama said Thursday the U.S. "has reached a 'crossroads' in its fight against terrorism and that it is time to redefine and recalibrate a war that eventually will end." Obama defended the use of drone attacks "as effective, legal and life-saving," but he "used the depiction of a diminished threat environment to make the case for broad counterterrorism changes, including closing the U.S. military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and finding a U.S. site where military commission trials can be held for eligible detainees" (Washington Post).
  • Senate GOPers joined together in a press conference after the speech to criticize Obama's leadership on foreign policy, but differences emerged among them on how to handle the Gitmo prison, with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) taking a conciliatory tack on that issue (National Journal).
  • MO-08 Special: State House Speaker Pro Tem Jason Smith (R) outraised state Rep. Steve Hodges (D) nearly two-to-one in the pre-special fundraising period. Smith brought in just over $200K and ended with about $228K CoH, while Hodges raised nearly $108K and had $142K CoH (Hotline reporting).
  • MA SEN Special: Rep. Edward Markey (D) "will release his tax returns publicly on Friday, committing to a date after days of fending off pressure" from ex-Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez (R) (Boston Globe). The NRSC has "dispatched staff" to the commonwealth (Roll Call). Markey "has not cast a vote in Congress since May 9, missing the last 40 votes before the chamber ... including legislation to approve the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, a project he has said he strongly opposes" (Boston Globe). According to the Markey camp, Markey and Boston Mayor Tom Menino (D), who has yet to endorse in the race, "are making a major announcement" Friday morning in Dorchester (AP).
  • NYC Mayor '13: Ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner (D) "hit the stump for the first time Thursday, beginning at a 125th St. subway station in Harlem in the morning" -- where "he stood under a campaign sign that simply read 'Anthony Weiner!' as he glad-handed commuters and apologized for the media mob with him" -- and ending at a Dem candidates forum at a Riverdale synagogue at night (New York Daily News).
  • AR SEN: Mayors Against Illegal Guns "is following through with its pledge to air ads against" Sen. Mark Pryor (D), buying $350K "worth of broadcast and cable air time starting Friday and running through June 6, a crushing amount in a state where ad time is fairly cheap" (Politico).
  • IA SEN: Sen. Chuck Grassley CoS David Young (R) "has submitted his resignation and plans to officially enter" the race "sometime in June" (TheIowaRepublican.com).
  • AL-01: Rep. Jo Bonner (R) "announced Thursday that, effective Aug. 15, he was resigning" to become vice chancellor of Gov't Relations and Economic Development for the Univ. of AL System. '10 GOV candidate Bradley Byrne (R) "confirmed his interest in the seat late Thursday" (Mobile Press-Register). Quin Hillyer (R), senior editor of The American Spectator, intends to run" (American Spectator). Gov. Robert Bentley (R) will select a date for the special election once the seat has been vacated (Hotline reporting).
  • NY-24: Obama "intends to nominate" ex-Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R) to serve as a GOP commis. on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Buerkle had "said she would leave the door open" to a third campaign against Rep. Dan Maffei (D), whom she beat in '10 but lost to in '12 (Syracuse Post-Standard).
  • TN-04: Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R) said Thursday that the TN Board of Medical Examiners has fined him $500 and issued "a reprimand for a complaint ... that he slept with patients more than a decade ago" (Nashville Tennessean).
  • CO GOV: Sec/State Scott Gessler (R) "on Thursday filed a candidate affidavit" for GOV, "which his office said was merely a campaign finance requirement" after his political dir. "publicly confirmed last week that Gessler was thinking of taking on" Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) (Denver Post).


Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day

• Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger's (D) potential interest in running for MD GOV could have as much to do with geography as anything else. Ruppersberger would be the only Dem seeking the nomination from Baltimore City or Baltimore Co., with all the leading contenders hailing from the DC 'burbs. LG Anthony Brown (D), who's already in the race, is from PG Co., and two likely contenders, AG Doug Gansler (D) and Del. Heather Mizeur (D), are from MontCo, which has never produced a governor.

• Rep. John Barrow's immigration legislation, filed Thursday, positions him healthily to the right of the Gang of Eight. That's a good place to be in Barrow's perpetually tough district. But we doubt he'll get cosponsorships from Paul Broun, Jack Kingston or Phil Gingrey -- being for any immigration reform that's not enforcement only is dangerous for a Republican in a deep red primary.



  • Dick Cheney daughter Liz Cheney (R), who may be "gearing up for a run" in WY SEN, spoke at a WY Retail Assn event in Casper on Thursday. She "described Obama as 'the most radical man to ever sit in the Oval Office' and said there was no room for compromise" (Casper Star-Tribune).
  • ME Gov. Paul LePage (R) said Thursday "he is moving his office out of the State House" after Dems "raised objections" to LePage placing a TV that "several messages, including the number of days it has been since LePage proposed a budget and a bill to pay the state's" $186M "debt to its hospitals" in a hallway "that is technically part of the Legislature." But state law requires LePage to keep his office at the State House, so "vacating the office might not be an option" (Kennebec Journal).
  • "The Republicans I'm talking to are saying, 'What the hell are they doing in Virginia?'" -- ex-RNC Chair Michael Steele, on the nomination of E.W. Jackson (R) for LG (Washington Post).
  • "Terry's not the comedian of the family. I think some of his book was actually a failed attempt at humor that didn't really work. In fact it probably backfired on him" -- Joseph McAuliffe, brother of VA GOV candidate Terry McAuliffe (D) (Yahoo! News).
  • The ME Supreme Judicial Court "on Thursday dismissed Ralph Nader's lawsuit" against Dems "he had accused of trying to keep him off" WH '04 ballots in ME and other states (AP).
  • "Close associates and City Hall insiders, on and off the record, concur" that L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D), "the highest-paid mayor in the country" at $233K a year, "is broke -- and has next to nothing lined up" when he leaves office in five weeks (LA Weekly).
  • "Obviously the word 'wow' came to mind. Of course, anyone who likes my music means a lot to me but it's even a little more special when it's coming from a very seriously high echelon of thinkers like those cats in the White House" -- "Guided by Voices" lead singer Robert Pollard, frontman for "a cult band whose cult includes Eddie Vedder, Steven Soderbergh, Chloë Sevigny, the Strokes" and WH Press Sec. Jay Carney (Washington Post).
  • DCCC staffers were a half-hour late for a pre-planned happy hour with The Hotline on Thursday evening -- undoubtedly, they were combing through Stephen Colbert's genealogy to see if Colbert had any relatives in Bonner's CD.
  • Wake Up Call! will be off next Monday for Memorial Day. We'll resume publishing on Tuesday, May 28.


  • Melinda Katz, who is running for Queens BP in '13, finished a close second to Weiner in the '98 NY-10 Dem primary.
  • The winner is Andy Philipson, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "On Nov. 6, 1869, the first game of college football was played between two schools. 103 years later to the day, the same two schools faced off in the first intercollegiate game of a new sport. What are the two schools, and what is the new sport they played 103 years later?" The 1st correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.



"How's it going in Wyoming? They have running water and indoor plumbing there yet?" -- Weiner, chatting with a WY transplant on his subway ride Thursday (Politico).


"No, Wyoming, that's not a country" -- "Sonny Wortzik" ("Dog Day Afternoon").

Reid Wilson, Editor-in-Chief

Steven Shepard, Executive Editor