The 8 Million Sign-Up Man

By MICHAEL FALCONE ( @michaelpfalcone )


  • MAGIC NUMBERS: President Obama has many times declared victory for the Affordable Care Act, most recently with the announcement earlier this month that 7 million people have signed up in the law's inaugural year. Yesterday, with a slight grin, he added a big exclamation point, according to ABC's DEVIN DWYER. Now, 8 million Americans have signed up for health insurance through the exchanges, Obama announced. "This thing is working," he declared. The White House said 28 percent of sign-ups are between ages of 18 and 34, slightly below insurers expectations but not low enough to break the bank. Millions more signed up for coverage under Medicaid and CHIP.
  • WHAT IS STILL NOT KNOWN: How many people were previously uninsured - and how many have paid for their policies to seal enrollment. Still, what's clear is that the White House feels enrollment is on the upswing and ready to finally turn the page.
  • REPUBLICANS ARE NOT BACKING DOWN: Despite Obama's latest victory lap, yesterday senior GOP leaders were vowing to campaign hard this election cycle on full repeal of the law. "The White House continues to obscure the full impact of Obamacare," said Brendan Buck, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner. "Beyond refusing to disclose the number of people who've actually enrolled by paying premiums, the president ignores the havoc that this law has wreaked on private plans that people already had and liked."

THIS WEEK ON 'THIS WEEK': House Homeland Security Committee Chair Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, discusses security for Monday's Boston Marathon and the latest on the battle over Ukraine, Sunday on "This Week." Plus, GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS goes one-on-one with former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens on his new book "Six Amendments." And the powerhouse roundtable debates all the week's politics, with ABC News contributor and Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, CNN "Crossfire" co-host S.E. Cupp, ABC News contributor and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, and ABC News Senior Washington Correspondent Jeff Zeleny. Be sure to use #ThisWeek when you tweet about the program. Tune in Sunday:

CHELSEA CLINTON: I'M PREGNANT! Former - and potentially future - First Daughter Chelsea Clinton made the big reveal yesterday: She's pregnant. She announced the news during a speech in New York City with her mother, Hillary Clinton, at her side, ABC's LIZ KREUTZ notes. "Marc and I are very excited that we have our first child arriving later this year," she said at the Lower East Side Girls Club at the end of a Clinton Foundation event dedicated to empowering young girls. Clinton did not say if she and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky, are having a boy or a girl. But she later tweeted that her due date is sometime this fall. The news shouldn't come as a complete shock. In an interview with Glamour magazine last year, Clinton said that she and her husband were planned to make 2014 "the Year of the Baby." "We sat down and said, 'Here's what we want to do.' The first thing on the list was simple: We want, God willing, to start a family," Clinton told the Magazine. "So we decided we were going to make 2014 the Year of the Baby."


OBAMA RAISES DOUBTS OVER RUSSIA DE-ESCALATION INTENTIONS IN UKRAINE. President Obama yesterday expressed skepticism that Russia would change its behavior in Ukraine, even after a day full of talks in Geneva, Switzerland, yielded an agreement from the nation to help de-escalate the standoff with its neighbor, ABC's ALI WEINBERG notes. "My hope is that we actually do see follow-through over the next several days, but I don't think, given past performance, that we can count on that, and we have to be prepared to potentially respond to what continue to be, you know, efforts of interference by the Russians in Eastern and Southern Ukraine," Obama said during an impromptu press conference in the White House briefing room. After Russia, along with Ukraine, the United States and the European Union, announced Thursday they had agreed to a framework to reduce tensions in Ukraine, Obama suggested the U.S. would wait to see whether Russia followed through on its commitments before imposing additional sanctions.

IT'S OFFICIAL: SELFIES ARE TURNING POLITICIANS INTO TEENAGERS. The other day, Vice President Biden and his ultra-hip aviators debuted on Instagram. And then, the veep posted his inaugural selfie with social media superstar (and president of the United States) Barack Obama. Pundits believe social media was instrumental in Obama's 2008 win. Perhaps Biden's recent foray into the social sphere is another sign that he is actually mulling a 2016 run. Or perhaps he and other politicians who have co-opted the selfie trend are trying to prove that they're just like the rest of us? Perhaps they're trying to reach millennials - an always sought-after voting bloc - who are spending less and less time browsing traditional media. Or maybe they just want to prove that they are as hip as your average high school student. But even as Biden takes the social world by storm, dozens of other lawmakers are rushing to the web to prove their social media savvy. Is the slew of #selfies an example of political genius? Or are politicians just slowly sapping the cool out of social media? ABC's ERIN DOOLEY takes a closer look at the trend:

WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY OPENS UP TO STUDENTS. With his press briefing book sitting closed next to him, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney didn't have much to refer to when a person asked if he wants to take a "selfie" yesterday. "Absolutely," Carney said, after an audience member at George Washington University promised it wouldn't be taken on a Samsung device - referring to the recent controversy with Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz' selfie with President Obama. Carney opened up in a rare "conversation-style" interview, with a noticeably more candid tone at times than most White House reporters have grown accustomed to. Here are ABC's ALEXANDER MALLIN's seven takeaways from the event:

OBAMA TELLS WOUNDED WARRIORS THEY ARE 'INSPIRATION'. President Obama welcomed Wounded Warriors on their Ride to the White House yesterday calling the participants "an incredible inspiration to me and to our country," according to ABC's SERENA MARSHALL. "Biking nearly 60 miles in three days would be a challenge for anybody, but for all of you, this is a lot more than a bike ride. This is a mark of how far you've come," Obama said to the audience of service members and their families. "Many of you are recovering from devastating injuries," he said. "Some of you have had to learn the basics all over again, how to stand again, how to walk again, how to run again. And now you're here today because that's what Soldiers Ride is all about, seeing each other through the finish line." The White House says the event, which is going on its seventh year, is about encouraging awareness of wounded service members and applauding their service.

PETA ENLISTS KIDS TO TELL FIRST LADY EASTER EGG POLICY IS ROTTEN. While the annual White House Easter Egg Roll celebration isn't one typically embroiled in controversy, three young girls are letting First Lady Michelle Obama know they aren't happy about it. Well, three young girls on behalf of PETA, or the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, ABC's ALEXANDER MALLIN reports. "I'm not mad. I'm just disappointed," says one girl, in the YouTube video released by the group this week titled, "Michelle Obama, We Need to Talk." After some deep sighs and shaking of heads, the girls acknowledge that previous White House celebrations have involved thousands of hard-boiled eggs. The first lady's child critics say they would prefer the use of plastic ones instead.As one girl asks, "If all the other first lady's jumped off a bridge, would you?" The video is a part of a push by PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk to cut eggs from next Monday's 136 th annual Easter egg roll, which Newkirk links to in a letter to the First Lady. The First Lady's Press Office didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.


BIDEN'S SON RUNNING FOR DELAWARE GOVERNOR. The Biden family may have two Bidens running for office in 2016, ABC's ARLETTE SAENZ notes. Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden, announced yesterday that he will not seek re-election as the attorney general and instead will pursue a run for governor in 2016. "Over the past few months, as I've been planning to run for reelection, I have also been giving a great deal of thought to running for Governor in 2016. What started as a thought-a very persistent thought-has now become a course of action that I wish to pursue," Beau Biden wrote on his website Thursday. "After careful consideration, I have concluded that it is not right to ask for your support in 2014, knowing that my focus would be divided between doing my job as Attorney General while at the same time running as a candidate for Governor," he wrote. "Therefore, I am announcing today that I will not seek reelection as your Attorney General this November." Beau Biden, who served in the Delaware National Guard and is an Iraq war veteran, added, "After my term is completed, I look forward to meeting with Delawareans and continuing to discuss my plans as a candidate for Governor."


FOODIE POLITICS: RENOWNED CHEF AND NEW U.S. CITIZEN JOSE ANDRES STIRS UP IMMIGRATION DEBATE. Since he immigrated to the U.S. from Spain 23 years ago, chef Jose Andres has been spicing up the nation's restaurant scene. And now, having recently become a U.S. citizen, he's also stirring up the debate on immigration reform. "The very simple question we need to ask in Congress is: why are we making something so simple so political?" Andres told "The Fine Print" over a lunch of tapas at his popular Jaleo restaurant. While Andres qualifies that food - not politics - is his area of expertise, he said he feels compelled to speak out on the topic. "We have 11 million people - some people would call them undocumented, other people will call them illegals - but people," he said. "They're here, performing duties, working somewhere, in the farms, in the fishing industry, maybe in restaurants, and somehow we don't give them the opportunity to belong is kind of not fair." For more about what's next for Andres, and to see what dishes he served, check out this episode of "The Fine Print" with ABC's JEFF ZELENY.


@dcbigjohn: ICYMI: North Carolina progressives are holding their noses and backing Sen. Kay Hagan … via @katenocera

@costareports: scoop: Huckabee will attend Mitt's Utah retreat in June (as will Paul, Portman, Christie, Ryan)

@TPM: Don't call it a comeback: Dem strategists advise against using the word "recovery" in midterm campaigns

?@JimDeMint: Ronald Reagan's words on Easter:

@BenSherwoodABC: Happy Friday and @ABC birthday wishes to new mom @KateMcCarthyABC, DC ace @GarciaJon, and Monique Brown -

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