CNN's GUT CHECK | for April 2, 2012 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
TOP OF THE MORNING FOR YOU: Bill Clinton on “Good Morning America” talking to Jake Tapper about Hillary Clinton running for president in 2016: “It's entirely up to her. I miss her. I'm glad she's coming home. We have fun together. She wants to come home and decompress and relax and I believe she's been honest when she says she doesn't think she'll go back to politics. But, if she comes home and we do this foundation stuff for the rest of our lives, I'll be happy. If she changes her mind and decides to run, I'll be happy. But I think that's light years away.”
In what town was the Republican Party founded?
NBC’s “first family” goes rogue.
On Tuesday morning, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin is guest hosting NBC’s “Today Show” in what appears to be a calculated move designed to blunt Katie Couric’s guest hosting of ABC’s “Good Morning America.” The Huffington Post calls the Couric-Palin ratings stunt as “the return of the morning show wars” under the banner “The Brawl for it All,” while Breitbart has the more personal: “The Rogue Warrior" vs. "The Perky One.” Drudge describes it as the “REMATCH: PALIN VS. COURIC...” (in an
allusion to the 2008 Couric-Palin interview that many think temporarily derailed Palin’s rising status).
Palin herself sees this as a battle of sorts. "I see this as a good opportunity to bring an independent, common-sense conservative perspective to NBC. We’re 'going rogue' and infiltrating some turf for a day,” she told Breitbart News.
Veteran media reporter Howard Kurtz, host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources” sees it this way, “What the Today show is doing with Sarah Palin isn't journalism, it's a stunt - a clever one, to be sure, and one clearly aimed at her old antagonist Katie Couric, but a stunt nonetheless. And while the curiosity factor will undoubtedly boost ratings, the bigger curiosity is why Palin is willing to team up with the dreaded lamestream media.”
There is no doubt that the Palin gift for showmanship is part of her political power. Palin’s daughter Bristol Palin sums it up on her blog: “She’ll be a totally unique presence, won’t she? (Just try to think of anyone else like her on television!) (LINK)
In 1985, Neil Postman wrote a brilliant criticism of television culture titled “Amusing Ourselves to Death.” On the eve of the morning show showdown, we wanted to reread the book, which makes a great case for how the medium of television has made public policy and public discourse more difficult. This one graph stands out today:
“The nature of [television’s] discourse is changing as the demarcation line between what is show business and what is not becomes harder to see with each passing day. Our priests and presidents, our surgeons and lawyers, our educators and newscasters need worry less about satisfying the demands of their discipline than the demands of good showmanship. Had Irving Berlin changed one word in the title of his celebrated song, he would have been as prophetic, albeit more terse, as Aldous Huxley. He need only have written, there’s No Business But Show Business.”
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: GOP has work cut out when it comes to gender gap
Even Mitt Romney admits that he's got his work cut out for him to reach out to female voters as he transitions from the Republican presidential nomination battle to what will most likely be his general election matchup against President Barack Obama.
Leading Drudge: US draws up plans for nuclear drones
American scientists have drawn up plans for a new generation of nuclear-powered drones capable of flying over remote regions of the world for months on end without refueling.
Leading HuffPo: Supreme Court OKs Strip Searches Without Suspicion For New Jail Inmates
The Supreme Court on Monday decided that jails may perform suspicionless strip searches on new inmates regardless of the gravity of their alleged offenses.
Leading Politico: Mitt Romney gets boost from unified Wisconsin GOP
Wisconsin Republicans are so focused on preventing Gov. Scott Walker’s June recall that they’re also poised to hand Mitt Romney a victory in Tuesday’s primary here.
Leading New York Times: Aides With Candidate’s Ear, if Not Title or Paycheck
It is the season of the “informal adviser.” Every four years, when a likely party nominee emerges, so do the informal advisers. Right now, Mitt Romney is swimming in them.
The political bites of the day
- Clinton: Obama will win handily -
FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON ON “GOOD MORNING AMERICA”: “I think that his argument will be, ‘We put a floor under a recession and kept it from becoming a depression. We've begun to dig our way out.’ I think he is going to win handily, and I have for a long time.”
- Shockingly, a Romney surrogate disagrees with Clinton -
SOUTH CAROLINA GOV. NIKKI HALEY ON “GOOD MORNING AMERICA”: “I think that President Clinton is saying what he's supposed to say, but it's just not true. If we look at the record of President Obama, if we look at the fact that we lost our credit rating, look at the debt that's happened in just these three years as opposed to Bush's eight; if we look at the unemployment situation or just the economy right now. If we simply look at his record … I would say it would be hard to see how President Obama does win.”
- Santorum guarantees Pennsylvania victory -
RICK SANTORUM IN AN INTERVIEW WITH FOX NEWS: “Absolutely, I mean we feel very, very comfortable that they in the Republican primary know us. … It is a tough state. There is a large moderate wing, particularly in the southeast of the state. You know, we have upset the apple cart there in Pennsylvania. We were the first conservative to really break that strangle hold of the Republican Party, and we are part of the movement to change the Republican Party in Pennsylvania to a much more conservative party. We have been successful winning elections doing that.”
- Former governor, Senate hopeful: I don’t have a political career -
MITT ROMNEY AT A CAMPAIGN EVENT IN GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN: “I'm in this race not because it's the next step in my political career. I don't have a political career, all right? I was in business for 25 years. I never thought I'd be doing this.”
- “We better unzip him” -
ANN ROMNEY ON WBAL RADIO RESPONDS TO QUESTION ABOUT WHETHER HER HUSBAND IS TOO STIFF WITH VOTERS: “Well, I guess we better unzip him and let the real Mitt Romney out, because he is not. It is so funny to me that that is the perception out there, because he is funny, he is engaging, he is witty.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Peter Hamby (@PeterHambyCNN)
Vetting Nikki Haley for V.P. would be a "waste of their time," top adviser says http://on.cnn.com/H9Ruor
Michael Falcone (@michaelpfalcone)
No signs of a kinder, gentler Rick Santorum on the eve of the Wisconsin primary http://abcn.ws/HIPMNd
Alexander Mooney (@AWMooneyCNN)
Santorum's performance Tuesday will NOT affect when Obama ramps up campaign rhetoric, White House officials say
Ethan Klapper (@ethanklapper)
Hillary Clinton will not be joining President Obama on the campaign trail this year http://huff.to/Hf8BWl
Embassy of Israel (@IsraelinUSA)
On meeting @GovChristie in #Israel, @IsraeliPM Netanyahu: "Israel & NJ have a lot in common (size, population). We seek closer cooperation."
The Fix (@TheFix)
"Like the characters in that famous scene in 'Star Wars,' all the walls around Lugar seem to be closing in." Oomph. http://ow.ly/a1zN3
It all depends on whom you ask. But for the purpose of the Wisconsin primary and Rick Santorum’s travel schedule Monday, the small town of Ripon, Wisconsin, isthe birthplace of the Republican Party. On February 28, 1854, a small Republican meeting took place at a schoolhouse in Ripon. According to historians, about 35 people proclaimed their opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska Act, a law that opened the two new states for settlement and allowed them to determine whether they would allow slavery within each territory. At the meeting, the group called for the organization of a new political party.
Ripon is not the only city that claims the GOP birthplace mantle. Two later but larger Republican meetings in Jackson, Michigan (July 6, 1854), and Madison, Wisconsin (July 13, 1854), are also touted as the birthplace of the GOP. And to make matters more complicated, Exeter, New Hampshire, and Crawfordsville, Iowa, also bill themselves as the “Birthplace of the Republican Party.”
Rick Santorum will travel to Ripon on Monday as part of a campaign swing across the state in the leadup to the Wisconsin primary on Tuesday. Santorum is scheduled to speak at the historic schoolhouse in Ripon at 5:30 p.m. EST.
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