Obama Presses Pause on Military Action; de Blasio Leads, But Runoff Uncertain; CO Dems Lose Recalls

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


  • Pres. Obama, "facing implacable opposition to a strike in Syria in Congress and throughout the country, said Tuesday that he would hold off on military action for now and pursue a Russian proposal for international monitors to take over and destroy Syria's arsenal of chemical weapons" (New York Times).

  • With 98% of precincts reporting in Tuesday's NYC Mayor Dem primary, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio leads '09 nominee Bill Thompson, 40.19-26.04%, with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn at 15.52%, Comp. John Liu at 7.01% and ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner at 4.91% (AP results). It's not yet certain whether de Blasio will attain the 40% needed to avoid a runoff. Counting the remainder of the ballots "could take several days. The Board of Elections will open the machines on Friday. Officials will start counting paper ballots on Monday" (NY1).

  • In the GOP primary, ex-MTA Chair Joe Lhota defeated billionaire John Catsimatidis, 53-41% (AP results).

  • In "a 'ready, aim, fired' message intended to stop other politicians for pushing for firearms restrictions," CO state Senate Pres. John Morse (D) and state Sen. Angela Giron (D) were "ousted" in recall elections Tuesday fueled by "their support for stricter laws" (Denver Post).

  • A new Rutgers-Eagleton poll of NJ SEN Special LVs, conducted 9/3-9, shows Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) leading ex-Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan (R), 64-29% (release).

  • VA AG Ken Cuccinelli (R) will give $18K "to an unspecified charity, an amount equal to the value of the personal gifts Cuccinelli received from Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams," which Cuccinelli initially "forgot to report" (WWBT-TV).

  • "In their first formal event all on one stage," the 7 Dems vying to succeed now-Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) in the MA-05 Special "together conveyed a clear message to an audience at Watertown Middle School: their positions on many issues are liberal and they are very polite" (Boston Globe).

  • Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) launched a 60-second radio ad on Tuesday that "accuses" primary challenger Bryan Smith (R) "of being a 'personal injury lawyer'" (Roll Call).

  • Cranston Mayor Allan Fung (R) "has taken his first major step toward a possible run" for RI GOV "by assembling a team of more than 50 advisers that includes" ex-RI Govs. Donald Carcieri (R) and Lincoln Almond (R) (Providence Journal).

  • Ex-Sec/State Hillary Rodham Clinton (D) "received the 2013 Liberty Medal during a Tuesday night ceremony" in Philly "at which a small but noisy band of protesters provided a continuous, punctuating soundtrack" (Philadelphia Inquirer).


Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day

• Tuesday night couldn't have gone much worse for NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I). In the race to succeed the mayor, de Blasio is on the verge of securing the Dem nod after largely framing his candidacy as an antidote to Bloomberg's policies. And, in CO, Bloomberg had provided significant financial backing to Giron and Morse.

• At the beginning of '13, there was a very good chance that 3 of the 4 biggest cities would be led by women by the end of the year. But while EMILY's List, other groups, and the candidates themselves put money and messaging behind electing NYC's and L.A.'s first female mayors, women voters didn't respond in kind. Now-L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti ran even with Wendy Greuel among women in both the primary and the general, according to an exit poll, while Quinn finished third among women in NYC last night.

• Last night's successful recalls in CO may prove hugely damaging to the gun-control movement -- not necessarily because it represents a popular opinion groundswell (after millions in spending and lots of attention, even fewer people voted than in the last midterm elections) -- but because it succeeded with such low numbers. With the help of technology and better organizing techniques, recalls have never been easier, and these successes will linger in legislators' minds the next time gun control -- or any other controversial issue, for that matter -- comes up for a vote. Recalls were seldom used until recently; now, the floodgates may open.



  • Obama marked the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks by observing a moment of silence on the WH lawn Wednesday morning (mult.).

  • "It does not complicated the cycle at all; 2014 is not going to be a referendum on Syria" -- DCCC Chair Steve Israel (D-NY) (National Journal).

  • Ex-NY Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) "lost a bid for political redemption on Tuesday as he was defeated" in the Dem primary for NYC comp. by Manhattan Borough Pres. Scott Stringer, 52-48% (New York Times).

  • Pure class, to the very end: "Anthony Weiner Flips Off Reporter After Conceding NYC Race" (Buzzfeed).

  • Ex-Rep. Clay Shaw (R-FL) "died Tuesday night after a battle with lung cancer, his family said. He was 74" (Palm Beach Post).

  • Ex-Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) "has been hired as an adviser" to a FL-based company "involved in manufacturing guns and gathering foreign intelligence to help clients navigate global 'hot spots'" (Boston Globe).

  • "On the eve of a state Senate vote that would give final legislative approval to the idea," CA Gov. Jerry Brown (D) "has come out against renaming the western span of the Bay Bridge in honor of" ex-San Francisco Mayor/ex-state Assembly Speaker Willie Brown (D) (San Francisco Chronicle).


  • Ex-Rep. Ed Foreman (R-TX/NM) was the most recent rep. to represent two different states.

  • The winner is Joe Luchok, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "Who or what was the only non-human to testify before Congress and before what subcmte did he testify?" The 2nd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.



"Hang loose. Give me a chance" -- Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), paraphrasing Obama's pitch to Senate GOPers on Tuesday (Twitter).


"Oh, stewardess? I speak jive" ("Airplane").

Josh Kraushaar, Editor-in-Chief

Steven Shepard, Executive Editor