What's News

BETO: Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) “officially entered the 2020 presidential race Thursday, ending months of speculation that began after the Democrat narrowly lost a Senate seat in reliably red Texas.” He is “the second Texan to enter the race,” “the first prominent El Paso politician to” run for president, “and the only candidate in the race who lives on the U.S.-Mexico border.” O’Rourke, in an interview: “I want to be president because I feel that we can bring this country together. We can unify around our ambitions, our aspirations, the big things that we know we are capable of when all of us have the opportunity to contribute.” (El Paso Times)

AZ SEN: Sen. Martha McSally (R) “said Wednesday she will support President Donald Trump's declaration of an emergency along the Mexican border and vote against a Democratic-led measure to terminate it.” (Arizona Republic)

NH SEN: Asked in a radio interview Wednesday if he would challenge Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D), Gov. Chris Sununu (R) said “I don’t rule anything out”—a shift from his past assertions that he had no interest in the Senate—and called the incumbent “very vulnerable.” “It’s doubtful Sununu will make any decisions about the 2020 election until after the current legislative session is over and the state’s next two-year budget has been signed.” (Concord Monitor)

NC SEN: Rep. Mark Walker (R-06) “said he ‘won’t rule out’ a challenge” to Sen. Thom TIllis (R). Walker “put out a poll last month to measure the name recognition and favorability of every member of the North Carolina congressional delegation,” with Walker saying the polling found him with the second-highest name ID behind Rep. Mark Meadows (R-11). “Tillis allies think Walker may be trying to stir up attention to boost his name ID in anticipation of” 2022, when Sen. Richard Burr’s (R) seat is expected to be open. (The Hill)

MN-05: “Some Minnesota Democrats, aghast at controversial comments made by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D), are taking initial steps to recruit a candidate to run against her in next year’s primary election. Several party leaders said they have had discussions about finding a candidate to take on Omar,” but have yet to land a challenger.” One name they’re eyeing: state Sen. Bobby Joe Champion (D), “who has served in the legislature for a decade.” (The Hill)

KY GOV: Former state Auditor Adam Edelen (D) “appears poised to benefit from a new super PAC, started by a supporter of his race for Kentucky governor. … Kentuckians for a Better Future formed in December 2018, and will raise money ‘supporting or opposing candidates’ through the May election, according to paperwork filed with the state's campaign finance agency.” (Louisville Courier Journal) The group placed its first ad buy, which will start on March 15. The group is working with a new Democratic firm, Sena Kozar Strategies. (Medium Buying)


Our Call

Chris Sununu's apparent openness to a Senate bid threatens to also shake up next year's governor race. An open seat and lack of a popular Republican incumbent would likely draw several more competitive challengers on the Democratic side. State Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes is expected to run regardless of Sununu's decision, while his absence could entice 2018 Democratic nominee Molly Kelly to take another swing as well. Democrats held the governorship for 12 years before Sununu, now in his second two-year term, was first elected in 2016. The DGA has already highlighted it as a top 2020 target. -- Madelaine Pisani


Fresh Brewed Buzz

“All of us make bad decisions in high school. Sometimes those decisions involve bleach.” -- Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA 15), on a yearbook photo of him with spiky blonde hair. (Twitter)

Rudy Giuliani’s bitter divorce may be heading for a long and 'unpleasant' trial, an exasperated judge said, as the former New York City mayor bickered with his soon-to-be ex-wife over issues including how to share their house on Long Island this summer.” (Bloomberg)

“When" Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) "votes on the resolution" of disapproval for Trump's emergency declaration, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-20), who crafted the resolution and is "a potential Democratic challenger, plans to be among those watching from the Senate floor.” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

O'Rourke "discussed the campaign manager job for 90 minutes with a Democratic strategist, Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, but even on the eve of his announcement it was uncertain who would be at the helm of his organization.” (New York Times)

"Jimmy Fallon Gets a Rap Recap of 2020 Presidential Candidates" (The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon)

Howard Schultz is a jackass.” -- Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA 02). (Twitter)

“State and federal law enforcement officials had Bladen County political operative McCrae Dowless under surveillance as far back as last May, according to newly unsealed search warrants. Before arresting Dowless last month in" the NC-09 "election fraud case, authorities went after his phone records, ATM transactions and bank records for his political action committee, according to the warrants.” (Raleigh News & Observer)

“The Campaign Legal Center ... filed a federal complaint Monday against a political action committee created by” former Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), “saying the group spent Crenshaw’s leftover donations on Apple products, expensive dinners and a $5,000 trip to Disney World.” (Tampa Bay Times)

2016 VA-02 nominee Shaun Brown (D) “who was convicted of fraud is now facing three years in prison. The federal prosecutor called her a public menace” and “the judge said she showed no remorse.” (WAVY)

”Presidential Hopeful Andrew Yang Is a Hit With the Alt-Right” (Daily Beast)

“He has ranged between avenging angel and vigilante, but he is [always] trying to do the right thing.” -- Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) on Batman; the longtime fan wrote the foreword for a new hardcover collection of Batman comics. (Washington Post)

“Spotted: Patrick Dempsey — sans his ‘Grey's Anatomy’ scrubs — hustling through the halls of the Capitol on Wednesday alongside Sen. Angus King (I-ME).” (The Hill)

2018 FL GOV candidate Adam Putnam (R) "has been named CEO of the conservation nonprofit Ducks Unlimited," which is based in Memphis. (Orlando Sentinel)

Former Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) is joining law and lobbying firm Akin Gump as a partner. (release)

Former Maryland Gov. Harry Hughes (D) “died Wednesday. ... He was 92.” Hughes served from 1979-87. (Baltimore Sun)

“Terrible, terrible, terrible!” -- Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, on the New York Giants trading Odell Beckham Jr. (Washington Post)

“Capitol Hill is buzzing: Architect of the Capitol rehomes bee colony” (Roll Call)


Rooster's Crow

The House is in at 9 a.m. The Senate is in at 10 a.m.

Trump meets with Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at 10:50 a.m. and attends the Friends of Ireland Luncheon at the Capitol at noon.


Swizzle Challenge

President Franklin Roosevelt was the target of an assassination attempt in Miami’s Bayfront Park in which Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak was killed.

Jim Ellis won yesterday’s challenge. Here's our challenge: Which freshman representative was a dermatologist?

The 3rd correct email gets to submit the next question.



"Saying I’m sorry I got caught is not an inspiring plea for leniency.” -- Judge Amy Berman Jackson, to Paul Manafort. (Vox)


"Why should you go to jail for a crime someone else noticed?" -- Bob Loblaw (Arrested Development)


Alex Clearfield, Wake-Up Call! Editor

Editor: Kyle Trygstad
Digital Editor: Justice Gilpin-Green
Staff Writers: Ally Mutnick, Hanna Trudo, Madelaine Pisani, Drew Gerber
Fellow: Matt Holt


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