— Many describe the attacks of Friday the 13th as France’s September 11. But the national unity that propelled George W. Bush’s approval rating to 90 percent has not even lasted a week for President Francois Hollande.

With regional elections in three weeks, the strikes constitute what we know as an “October Surprise.” And virtually every analyst expects that the carnage will benefit the opposition at the ballot box.

The respite from partisan politics was remarkably short, considering that 129 people were killed and more than 350 were wounded. “While on Monday both houses of parliament stood to sing the national anthem after the attacks, … Prime Minister Manuel Valls was booed in the house on Tuesday,” Agence France-Presse reports.

A 61-year-old Socialist who has been president since 2012, Hollande was already unpopular before the attack. Reuters flags a poll that pegged his approval rating at 13 percent at the start of this year, “the lowest in the history of France’s 57-year-old Fifth Republic.” Hollande’s bounce after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January “did not last long” as his Socialists lost big in March elections. And the president has not benefited from the slow uptick in France’s economy.

Hollande has tried unsuccessfully to change the dynamic. After the attack, he invited his two main rivals in the 2017 presidential election — ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy and National Front leader Marine Le Pen — to the Elysee Palace for briefings. Hollande then unveiled a proposal before parliament that co-opted many of their most popular ideas. The assembly is debating a bill today to extend the state of emergency for three months and allow the government to close “any association or gathering,” including mosques.

Le Pen’s party is likely to make the biggest gains in December’s regional elections, when presidents and councilors for each region will be elected to six-year terms. There is precedent for this: In 1995, 20 years ago last month, a bomb that exploded on a Paris train allowed Le Pen’s anti-immigrant father, Jean-Marie, to make big gains in elections a few weeks later. Jean-Marie was exiled from the party by his daughter in an effort to make it more mainstream.

–Despite the olive branch, Hollande’s opponents are stepping up their attacks. Both are accusing him of incompetence and weakness:

  •  Sarkozy slammed Hollande yesterday for not doing more after the Hebdo attacks and for “failures” in government security. He praised the president for embracing policies he’s called for all year but said he should go much further. Asked why he’s criticizing Hollande now, Sarkozy said it is the opposition’s duty. “The risk of new attacks is unfortunately very high,” he said during a sit-down with Le Monde editors. “We must move from words to deeds. Too much time has been lost. … Why has this not been done before?” Sarkozy also said France should have increased domestic security with the intervention in Syria. [Sarkozy, meanwhile, is under attack by former Prime Minister Alain Juppe, a rival inside his party, over cutting more than 13,000 law enforcement jobs while president.]
  • Le Pen calls Hollande’s proposals “baby measures” and even said Hollande and his government should resign. Victims of past Islamist attacks “died for nothing” because successive governments have “done nothing,” she said, per Reuters. Le Pen wants an immediate halt to any new refugees and says undocumented immigrants should be immediately deported.

–The specific circumstances of the attacks don’t help Hollande. The mysterious Syrian passport found near the remains of a suicide bomber gives leaders on the right additional fodder. So do revelations that some of the suspects were on the radar of intelligence agencies before the attacks. It emerged yesterday that Belgian police even had close contact with some of the suspects.

Ironically, ISIS claimed the attacks were in retaliation for France intervening in Syria after Hebdo. The president was inside the soccer stadium when a suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance. And a witness at the rock concert that was hit said that the attackers blamed Hollande by name. “This was the fault of your president,” one of the attacker yelled, according to the New York Times. “He didn’t have to intervene in Syria.”

— Conventional wisdom a week after the attacks is that Hollande won’t even make the runoff if he runs for reelection in 2017: “As with all French elections, the presidential race will take place in two rounds; the first stage will determine the top two candidates, who will then face off in the second stage,” Foreign Policy explains. “The signs are telling. In most every possible permutation, Hollande will finish a distant third in the first round, leaving the field to the right and extreme right. Regardless of the conservative candidate … Le Pen finishes first, registering between 28 percent and 30 percent.”

–Meanwhile, the Socialist’s natural allies on the left are disheartened by his curbs on civil liberties, which could dampen enthusiasm and lower turnout in the impending midterms. Some editorialists have chastised the emergency measures. Others have called Hollande a flip-flopper.

Hollande nodded to his base yesterday by declaring that France will take in 30,000 Syrian refugees over the next two years. Speaking of a “humanitarian duty,” he said: “We have to reinforce our borders while remaining true to our values.” Liberals quickly praised him for showing courage.

Speaking after the seven-hour standoff yesterday that killed the attacks’ mastermind, Hollande warned that French society must not now cave into fear. “Our duty is to carry on our lives,” he said. “We must be implacable against all forms of violence. No xenophobic, anti-Semite, anti-Muslim act must be tolerated.”


In a major undertaking that has spanned months, a Post team led by Matea Gold, Tom Hamburger and Anu Narayanswamy has tracked down old campaign finance records stored at the FEC and in Arkansas, creating a massive database and interviewing more than 100 Clinton donors, fundraisers and aides. They’ve put together an incredible presentation – including cards that pop up with the total contributions for each donor named in the piece.

— The grand total raised for all of Bill and Hillary’s political campaigns, as well as their family’s charitable foundation, reaches at least $3 billion over the years, according to a Washington Post investigation …. The majority of the money — $2 billion — has gone to the Clinton Foundation. …. Separately, donors have given $1 billion to support the Clintons’ political races and legal defense fund, making capped contributions to their campaigns and writing six-figure checks to the Democratic National Committee and allied super PACs.

— The Post identified donations from roughly 336,000 individuals, corporations, unions and foreign governments in support of their political or philanthropic endeavors — a list that includes top patrons such as Steven Spielberg and George Soros, as well as lesser-known backers who have given smaller amounts dozens of times. Not included in the count are an untold number of small donors whose names are not identified in campaign finance reports but together have given millions to the Clintons over the years.

— How the Clintons did it: They kept big contributors in their orbit for decades by methodically wooing competing interest groups — toggling between their liberal base and powerful constituencies, according to donors, friends and aides who have known the couple since their Arkansas days… Bill Clinton used his charisma and intellect to captivate new supporters. And Hillary applied her characteristic attentiveness — sending handwritten notes to celebrate engagements and new babies, and poetry books to comfort those in mourning — to win over lifelong allies.

— Who are the most generous Clinton donors? The couple’s biggest individual political benefactors are Univision chairman Haim Saban and his wife, Cheryl, who have made 39 contributions totaling $2.4 million to support the Clintons’ races since 1992. The Sabans have also donated at least $10 million to the foundation.

— The loyal core at the heart of the network: The Post found that 2,700 loyal supporters — those who have given to both Clintons — have donated more than $129 million for their political races and legal needs. That is a fifth of the $600 million contributed by donors who gave more than $200.

— Lots of Wall Street money: Over her political career, [Hillary Clinton] has maintained close relations with the financial sector, which tops the list of industries that have supported her, according to The Post’s analysis. Other major sectors that have backed her include the entertainment industry, health care and real estate. Since 2000, Hillary Clinton has raised $29.2 million from the PACs and employees of banks, hedge funds, securities firms and insurance companies, according to The Post analysis. During his political career, Bill Clinton raised $39.7 million from the same sector.

Click to find out: Who was the wealthy conservative business leader who backed Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential bid? What a young Democratic finance staffer found when he arrive in Little Rock to help organize Clinton’s fundraising contacts for his White House race. And what happened when Hillary Clinton teamed up with Elizabeth Warren to take on the banking industry. See it all here.


— Belgian police launched six more raids in Brussels linked to Bilal Hadfi, who authorities say was one of the suicide bombers at the Paris soccer stadium.

— Obama huddled with Canada’s new prime minister at APEC: Justin Trudeau, 43, campaigned on a pledge to withdraw Canadian warplanes from the fight against ISIS, but he pledged this morning that his administration will continue other forms of aid. David Nakamura reports from Manila on what sounds like a lovefest: “Trudeau said he looked forward to visiting the White House, noting that his wife wanted tips from first lady Michelle Obama about the White House vegetable garden. … Obama said he told Trudeau: ‘Justin, congratulations … I just want to point out that I had no gray hair when I was in your shoes seven years ago. So if you don’t want to have gray hair like me, you have to start dying it soon.”


— ISIS released a video saying they’re preparing to attack Times Square. Police Commissioner William Bratton described the video as “hastily produced.” “Be aware, but do not be afraid,” he said. “The NYPD will protect you.” Fox News notes that the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is next week, followed by the Christmas tree lighting in Rockefeller Center on Dec. 2.

An ISIS magazine published a picture of the soda-can-sized bomb they claim took down the Russian jet over the Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board. (Andrew Roth and Andrew Katz)

The first American soldier to be killed fighting ISIS was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. (Dan Lamothe)

The hacker group Anonymous says it has now shut down more than 6,000 ISIS-related Twitter accounts. (USA Today)

— Sneak peek at Hillary’s speech on countering ISIS today: A Clinton aide says the former Secretary of State will detail “a blueprint to achieve three overarching objectives”: 1. Defeat ISIS in Syria, Iraq, and across the region. 2. Disrupt and dismantle the growing terrorist infrastructure that facilitates the flow of fighters, financing, arms, and propaganda around the world. 3. Harden our defenses and those of our allies against external and homegrown threats.” She’ll describe combatting “radical jihadism across the globe” as a “longer-term struggle.” Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, explains what it means to be a democratic socialist in a 2 p.m. speech at Georgetown.

— George F. Will says Republican voters should give Chris Christie another look in the wake of Paris: “To the large extent that Trump’s appeal is his forceful persona, no candidate in the Republican field can match Christie’s combination of a prosecutor’s bearing and a governor’s executive temperament,” Will writes in his column today. “In a debate 10 months from now, the Republican nominee will ask a variant of Reagan’s question: Is America safer or more respected today, anywhere in the world, than it was when Clinton became secretary of state? Today, Republican voters need to ask themselves a question: Whom do they want onstage asking that question? It is beyond peculiar, it is political malpractice for Republicans to fritter away time and attention on candidates who, innocent of governing experience, cannot plausibly ask that question with properly devastating effect.”

— Christie’s super PAC is up with a new ad that attacks Obama for saying on the eve of the Paris attacks that ISIS was “contained.” Christie is shown saying, “America is tired of weakness in the Oval Office. We’d better not turn it over to his second mate, Hillary Clinton. We have to stop worrying about being loved, and start caring about being respected again. We need to have strength and authority back in the Oval Office, that’s what America needs right now.” Watch here.

— John Kasich trolls Jeb Bush for following his lead on calling for boots on the ground:

— Kasich’s Super PAC is going on the air in New Hampshire today with an ad that says Kasich was “the first with a plan to destroy ISIS.” Referring to Trump and Carson, the spot says that there should not be “on the job training.” Watch here.

Also: Ted Cruz introduced his bill that prevents any refugee from a country the State Department says is partially controlled by a terrorist group from coming to the U.S. And Ben Carson writes an op-ed in The Post on his plan to defeat ISIS.


The White House threatened to veto a bill that will pass the House today. It would ban Syrian and Iraqi refugees from entering the country unless the FBI and Homeland Security can prove they don’t pose a security risk. (Karoun Demirjian)

A bipartisan group of senators, led by Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), will introduce their own bill today to eliminate visa waivers for anyone that has traveled to Iraq or Syria in the past five years. (Mike DeBonis)

— Roanoke Mayor David Bowers spoke favorably of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II in writing about how to deal with Syrian refugees. He’s now off Hillary’s leadership team in Virginia. (Rachel Weiner)

— The Democratic governor of Washington State, Jay Inslee, invoked Japanese internment as a reason to take refugees: “We regret that we succumbed to fear,” he told NPR. “We regret that we lost moorage for who we were as a country. We shouldn’t do that right now.”

— Officials in more than 30 states have said they would resist any new refugee relocations. North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, up for reelection, is taking heat from local press for missing a White House conference call on refugees during his flight to the RGA meeting in Nevada. He had a top aide phone in and brief him. Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey got flack in home-state press for sending a fundraising email off his efforts to stop the inflow of refugees.

— Two polls show majorities against allowing refugees: 

  • Bloomberg: 53% of U.S. adults say the U.S. should stop taking in refugees; 28% would keep the program with the screening process as it now exists; 11% favor a limited program to accept only Syrian Christians while excluding Muslims. There’s an even split on sending U.S. troops to Iraq and Syria to fight ISIS: 44 percent are for it, and 45 percent are against it.
  • NBC News/SurveyMonkey: 56% of Americans oppose letting Syrian refugees into the country. “About 8 in 10 Republicans disapprove of accepting more Syrian refugees – including 64% who strongly disapprove,” per NBC. “Nearly two thirds of Democrats support the president’s policy, while more independents disapprove (59%) than approve (40%).”


  1. The man who set a CVS on fire during the Baltimore riots was sentenced to four years in prison. (Dana Hedgpeth)
  2. More than 2,000 workers at major U.S. airports, including New York, Chicago and Philadelphia, went on strike to protest poor working conditions. (Luz Lazo)
  3. The last person infected with Ebola in West Africa is cured. (NBC News)
  4. The American Medical Association passed a resolution urging Congress and the FDA to ban pharmaceutical companies from running television ads promoting their products. (Justin Wm. Moyer)
  5. The NIH stopped using chimpanzees for medical research and will send its 50 remaining chimps to sanctuaries. (Darryl Fears)
  6. A judge ruled that the frozen embryos a woman wants to use despite her ex-husband’s disapproval must be thrown out, upholding the couple’s signed agreement from when they were married. (Los Angeles Times)
  7. Princeton students demanded the school president remove Woodrow Wilson’s name from one of the university’s schools because of his racist legacy. (Daily Princetonian)
  8. Yale is creating a new academic center focused on race and ethnicity in the wake of protests on campus alleging racial discrimination, including African-Americans being turned away from a fraternity party. (Susan Svrluga and Isaac Stanley-Becker)
  9. Four U.S. Coast Guard weathermen lost at sea during World War II were posthumously given Purple Hearts for sending important weather reports during the Battle of the Atlantic. (Michael E. Ruane)\
  10. The Justice Department is suing Dubai-owned contractor Inchcape Shipping Services for overcharging the Navy by as much as $50 million. (New York Times)
  11. House Ways and Means Committee staffers must comply with an SEC subpoena that requires them to turn over information about possible leaks to financial investors. (Tom Hamburger)
  12. A top VA official told Congress that the government’s network of private doctors available to veterans is “too complicated” while unveiling the VA’s proposed new private health-care system that would combine seven policies into one. (Lisa Rein)
  13. AAA predicts that the Thanksgiving weekend will be the busiest travel-by-car event in eight years because of low gas prices, with the average gallon costing $2.16. (Luz Lazo)
  14. Sprint will halve your bill and pay up to $650 in cancellation fees if you switch to them from another major wireless carrier. (Hayley Tsukayama)


  1. Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “Between the World and Me” won the nonfiction National Book Award.
  2. President Obama said the Paris terror attacks will not deter his bid to close Guantanamo before he leaves office, arguing that it is not necessary to continue to hold suspected terrorists there to keep the United States safe. (Nakamura)
  3. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro will “reevaluate” his country’s relationship with the U.S. after the Intercept published an internal NSA memo showing that it spied on Venezuela’s state oil company.
  4. Mike Huckabee is being sued by a member of the band Survivor for copyright infringement after playing the rock group’s hit song “Eye of the Tiger” at a rally for Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis. (AP)
  5. Billionaire donor Frank VanderSloot endorsed Marco Rubio. (Sean Sullivan)
  6. Bernie Sanders, who eschews the role of super PACs, is getting $570,000 of help from the National Nurses United for Patient Protection super PAC. (CNN)
  7. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) threatened to subpoena the Commerce Secretary in order to get internal NOAA emails related to its research into climate change. (Lisa Rein)
  8. Carly Simon revealed that the second verse of “You’re so Vain” is about Warren Beatty. (People)


— It’s on: Rubio and Cruz clash over immigration and the GOP’s future,” by Sean Sullivan and Katie Zezima: “Over the past week, an increasingly nasty fight has broken out between Cruz and Rubio, producing the deepest one-on-one debate over policy and voting records in the 2016 race so far. The conflict has revealed measurable differences between the two on national security and immigration issues … During their escalating spat, Rubio has accused Cruz of being soft on national security because he voted earlier this year for the USA Freedom Act, which imposed more limits on government surveillance … For his part, Cruz has repeatedly accused Rubio of being too soft on immigration  because he co-sponsored a comprehensive Senate bill that would have created a path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants.”

— “As France seeks a grand coalition, Obama is wary of allying with Russia,” by Carol Morello and Karen DeYoung: “In recent days, Russia and the United States have seemed almost to be competing with each other to strike militant targets in Syria. This week, the U.S. Central Command said it hit 116 tank trucks used to transport smuggled Islamic State oil in Syria, and various targets in and around Raqqa, the de facto militant capital. On Wednesday, the Russian general staff said that its airstrikes had destroyed 500 oil tankers and that its TU-22M3 long-range bombers, flying over Iraq and Iran from a base on the border of Georgia, struck six sites in northern and eastern Syria. But so far, U.S.-Russian cooperation extends only to ‘deconfliction’ notifications to ensure that their warplanes are not operating in the same airspace at the same time.”


— ZIGNAL VISUAL: November has been a roller coaster for Ben Carson. The brain surgeon emerged as a frontrunner in the GOP race for president, but with it has come some increased media scrutiny. In all, our analytics partners at Zignal Labs have tracked more than 1.5 million crossmedia mentions of Carson this month — more than any other GOP candidate besides Trump. Here is a look at the major media moments of Carson’s November:

–Pictures of the day:

Here’s a new picture of Bei Bei, the National Zoo’s panda cub:

President Obama wore a traditional Filipino shirt known as a barong for the APEC family photo:

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) signed a prenatal opioid abuse bill in this show-of-unity photo op:

The Texas House delegation gave Ryan a special jersey to let him know “we’ve got his back”:

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who endorsed him this week, spoke to reporters outside the Capitol Hill Club:

–Tweets of the day:

Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) was among the lawmakers who slammed the mayor of Roanoke, Va., for citing Japanese internment camps during World War II as a justification for rejecting Syrian refugees:

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) tweeted about his interaction with Syrian refugees in Turkey in April 2013:

With his governor’s race closing in, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) is taking every chance to hammer the refugee issue:

Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) held his head high after being passed over for People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive.” David Beckham won:

–Instagrams of the day:

Women senators gathered at the White House for a bowling night:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) ran into Burt Reynolds, 79, at the Fox News studios:

Rep. Janice Hahn (D-Calif.) met with the real Erin Brockovich to discuss an environmentally-contaminated neighborhood in Carson, Calif.:


— New York Times, “Chicago police rarely penalizes officers for complaints, data shows,” by Timothy Williams: “In 18 years with the Chicago Police Department, the nation’s second-largest, Jerome Finnigan had never been disciplined — although 68 citizen complaints had been lodged against him, including accusations that he used excessive force and regularly conducted illegal searches. Then, in 2011, he admitted to robbing criminal suspects while serving in an elite police unit and ordering a hit on a fellow police officer he thought intended to turn him in. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison. ‘My bosses knew what I was doing out there, and it went on and on,’ he said in court when he pleaded guilty. ‘And this wasn’t the exception to the rule. This was the rule.’ Mr. Finnigan is one of thousands of Chicago police officers who have been the subject of citizen complaints over the years but have not been disciplined by the department, according to data released this month by the Invisible Institute, a nonprofit journalism organization, and the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic of the University of Chicago Law School.”


Muslim activist wearing U.S. flag hijab “swiftly shut down” Megyn Kelly. From TPM: The Fox News host “asked Saba Ahmed, founder of the Republican Muslim Coalition, to respond to research from ‘experts’ that shows ‘the mosques tend to be hotbeds for political activity, not as much religious activity.’ ‘Megyn, we go to the mosque to pray,’ Ahmed, clad in a red, white, and blue hijab, calmly responded.”


“Eight Syrians caught at Texas border in Laredo.” Breitbart News: “Two federal agents operating under the umbrella of U.S. Customs and Border Protection are claiming that eight Syrian illegal aliens attempted to enter Texas from Mexico in the Laredo Sector. The federal agents spoke with Breitbart Texas on the condition of anonymity, however, a local president of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) confirmed that Laredo Border Patrol agents have been officially contacting the organization with concerns over reports from other federal agents about Syrians illegally entering the country in the Laredo Sector.”


–What’s happening today on the campaign trail: Hillary Clinton appears on Live with Kelly and Michael before her speech about national security at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Bernie Sanders speaks about Democratic socialism at Georgetown University. Donald Trump rallies supporters in Newton, Iowa, while Mike Huckabee stops in Bloomfield, Centerville, Albia and Grimes. Jeb Bush campaigns in Manchester, Concord and Londonderry, N.H. Ben Carson makes several stops in Alabama. John Kasich holds town halls in Spartanburg and North Charleston, S.C. 

–On the Hill: The Senate meets at 11 a.m. to resume consideration of H.R. 2577 (HUD appropriations). The House meets at 12 p.m. for legislative business, with plans to vote on a bill to limit entry by Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

–At the White House: President Obama is in Asia. He flies soon to Malaysia for a town hall and meeting with the prime minister. In Washington, Vice President Biden meets with General Raheel Sharif, Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army, and delivers remarks at the Aspen Insitute Summit on Inequality and Opportunity.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Come back and insult me to my face.” – Ted Cruz challenges Obama to a debate over refugees after the president assailed Republican “political posturing”


— Count on rain today: “It is a shame that there are showers at times today since temperatures are so mild, but alas umbrellas are a necessity and you may hear a rumble of thunder,” the Capital Weather Gang forecasts. “The cold front with this system only pushes us back to more characteristic late November readings Friday and Saturday. But, by Sunday, a second cold front reintroduces us to winter. Look at the bright side, it makes it feel more like the holidays!”

The Capitals beat the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 in overtime. (Isabelle Khurshudyan)

A grand jury found that D.C. police framed an innocent man for rape and murder, making the department liable for damages after he was locked up for 27 years. (Spencer S. Hsu)

D.C. residents say that crime is their biggest concern, as a Post poll finds that 1 in 4 people don’t feel safe in the city. (Aaron C. Davis, Peter Hermann and Scott Clement)

Two car thieves in Norfolk gave an 8-year-old a ride to school after they stole his mother’s car while he was sitting in the backseat. (Julie Zauzmer)


Stephen Colbert says we should get used to saying “President Trump” in this six-minute segment:

“Late Night” cut together its own version of a Republican primary debate at the candidates’ expense:

Katie Couric spent a day with Ben Carson in South Carolina:

And, finally, the League of Conservation Voters is releasing a “Funny or Die” video this morning featuring Jeff Goldblum: