CNN's GUT CHECK | for May 30, 2012 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
NOT BREAKING… (But surely intriguing): The Edwards trial finished the eighth day without a verdict. Judge Catherine Eagles notified the courtroom that she received a note from a juror about an issue that came up and the judge said she would discuss the issue with counsel in a closed courtroom. A short time later, the court was dismissed.
DEVELOPING… Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales questions if Marco Rubio has the wisdom to be vice president on CNN’s John King, USA, airing tonight at 6 p.m. ET:
GONZALES: If I were the nominee the person I would look to put on the ticket would be the person I know - they want - could be as president. As I look at the slate of candidates, there are a number of good people from the Republican Party who have more experience (than Marco Rubio) and would be better suited on day one and if you combine that with the principle that I don’t think Hispanics are going to vote for a nominee based upon who is number two on the ticket. I think it behooves Governor Romney to look at other candidates....
KING: But what you’ve said in the past, you’ve just hinted at it in more diplomatic language right now is you don’t think he meets the number one test to be ready to be president, why?
GONZALES: Again he’s extremely talented and I honor his service. But I think the job of president, and I’ve seen it first hand – how hard it can be. And how important it is to have someone with wisdom. Wisdom comes from experience. It comes from living, comes from success, comes from failure. And I think the country needs to have people in positions of leadership who have that level of experience that’s important to serve effectively as president and as vice president.
What book is presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney reading right now?
What color is Wisconsin?
In the red and blue world of presidential politics, Wisconsin is in neon right now, relishing the attention as the political world debates the possibility of its hue in this election year.
“We have to be considered a genuinely competitive state – real purple right now,” Charles Franklin, director of the Marquette University Law School Poll, told Gut Check.
“While we have had a long sweep of Democratic victories, 2000 and 2004 were anything but blowouts, and we’ve had a GOP governor for most of that time and a divided legislature,” Franklin points out. Franklin’s new poll puts Barack Obama 8 points ahead of Mitt Romney leading most news organizations to put Wisconsin in the “lean blue” category, however, Wisconsin does not have voter registration records by party – which adds interest in the state’s June 5th recall election, and what the electorate looks like.
With this in mind, we were struck by one simple question in the Marquette University Law School Poll:
“Generally speaking, do you think of yourself as a Republican, a Democrat or an independent?”
Today, the respondents broke down as: Republicans 28%, Democrats 33%, independents 36%.
In January, the same poll found Republicans 26%, Democrats 28%, independents 43%.
“The January poll was very tight on party id but that has bounced around a lot, tight in January and early May, back to +5 D now.” Franlin said. He then adds, “All in single digits and subject to change.” There you have it: subject to change – with six days to go.
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Will Adelson place a big bet on Romney?
As Mitt Romney leaves Las Vegas, he hopes he hit the jackpot. Following an hour and a half hour meeting Tuesday afternoon with Nevada billionaire Sheldon Adelson and a few aides, the presumptive Republican nominee was assured the casino magnate was fully supportive of him. – Kevin Bohn
Leading Drudge: 20,000 Apply For 877 Jobs At Auto Plant
It should not come as a surprise with unemployment over 8% that good paying jobs in manufacturing are harder than ever to land. At the Hyundai plant in Montgomery, Alabama, more than 20,000 people have applied for one of the 877 job openings. – Phil LeBeau
Leading HuffPo: How Congressman Sylvestre Reyes' Anti-Pot Lobbying Cost Him His Job
In early 2009, El Paso Rep. Sylvestre Reyes (D) warned city council members that, if they approved a resolution calling for a debate on marijuana legalization, the city would jeopardize its federal funding. Instead, what turned out to be at risk was Reyes' seat in the House of Representatives in 2012. – Ryan Grim
Leading Politico: Obama's negative feedback loop
A lot of politicians can go negative without losing too much altitude, but President Barack Obama doesn’t seem to be that guy. The comfy 6-point lead Obama enjoyed over Mitt Romney during the brutal GOP primary season has all but evaporated as the mercury rises, dropping to a 1.6 percent lead in the latest Real Clear Politics average of national polls. – Glenn Thrush
Leading New York Times: Republican Foreign Policy Establishment Slow to Embrace Romney
Reluctance by this group to more quickly come forward reflects an unease over some of Mitt Romney’s positions, including his hard line on Russia and opposition to a new missile treaty. – Richard A. Oppel Jr.
Leading WisPolitics: Walker moves another $100,000 to legal defense fund
Gov. Scott Walker transferred another $100,000 from his campaign account to his legal defense fund, according to his latest campaign finance report. The transfers of $70,000 May 3 and $30,000 two weeks later push his contributions to the Scott Walker Trust to at least $160,000.
The political bites of the day
– Romney talks about paying others more than himself while at Bain –
MITT ROMNEY TALKS ABOUT COMPENSATION IN AN INTERVIEW WITH FOX NEWS: “I couldn't describe that, but I didn't see myself as a boss. I saw myself as someone who would help organize extraordinary people and the people I worked with and the firm I worked in were exceptionally bright, highly motivated with extraordinary insights, a number of them better than I on a series of dimensions and I was not always, I was the guy that set the compensation but I paid other people more than I paid myself because I thought they were doing a better job.”
– Carney: ‘The president misspoke’ about Holocaust death camps –
PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY AT THE WHITE HOUSE NEWS BRIEFING: “The president misspoke. He was referring to Nazi death camps in German-occupied Poland. As we've made clear, we regret the misstatement and that simple misstatement should not at all detract from the clear intention to honor Mr. Karski and beyond that, all those brave Polish citizens who stood on the side of human dignity in the face of tyranny.”
– Sununu charges Obama administration of dumb policies –
ROMNEY SURROGATE JOHN SUNUNU ON CNN’S “STARTING POINT”: “I think it's an effort by the Obama administration not to talk about the laws they passed that are strangling specific segments of the American job market. We have in New Hampshire and Massachusetts up here a great medical device industry. The Obama administration puts a tax on it. About 43,000 jobs can leave the country. And it just shows how dumb those policies are that you impose a tax, those jobs leave, you don't get revenue and you've lost the jobs. That kind of lack of smarts is typical of what the Obama administration has been doing.”
– Holder on voting rights: ‘the achievements that define the civil rights movement now hang again in the balance’ –
ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER AT A CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS SUMMIT ON VOTING RIGHTS: “Despite our nation's long tradition of extending voting rights to nonproperty owners and to women, to people of color, to Native Americans, and to younger Americans, today a growing number of our fellow citizens are worried about the same disparities, divisions, and problems that nearly five decades ago so many fought to address. In my travels across this country, I've heard a consistent drumbeat of concern from citizens who often for the first time in their lives now have reason to believe that we are failing to live up to one of our nation's most ideals and that some of the achievements that define the civil rights movement now hang again in the balance.”
– Colbert doesn’t doubt Obama’s birth certificate, he doubts Hawaii as a state –
STEPHEN COLBERT JOKES ABOUT TRUMP ON HIS COMEDY NEWS SHOW: “Real estate billionaire and basketball with tooth veneers Donald Trump has found some dramatic new evidence that Barack Obama was not born in Hawaii. No surprise to me. I always found that whole Hawaii thing pretty implausible. By that I mean, the state of Hawaii. And their word for hello is the same as goodbye? Bull(bleep) - or as the Hawaiians say, ‘Aloha.’ ”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
MITT ROMNEY: Drove into work today behind his target voter: Swing-stater w/ Obama in '08 but w/ MR sticker now. http://t.co/Cuf41qD7—
Glen Johnson (@globeglen) May 30, 2012
Today is World MS Day. Mitt's support when I was diagnosed got me through the most trying time of my life mi.tt/L3g5vD—
Ann Romney (@AnnDRomney) May 30, 2012
Early Start CNN (@EarlyStartCNN) May 30, 2012
Biggest political news of the day by far is the GOP superpacs spending even more than we thought nymag.com/daily/intel/20…—
Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) May 30, 2012
Ben Smith (@BuzzFeedBen) May 30, 2012
Mitt Romney told members of the traveling press corps Tuesday that he is reading "The Next 100 Years" by George Friedman, according to CNN's Rachel Streitfeld. In the past, Romney has mentioned that he was reading "The Escape Artists: How Obama's Team Fumbled the Recovery" by Noam Scheiber and "Decision Points" by former President George W. Bush.
In "The Next 100 Years," Friedman, the chief intelligence officer and founder of Strategic Forecasting Inc. (Stratfor), analyzes how demographics, economies and war will change in the next 100 years. One of his major predictions is that neither Europe nor China will be major players in the 21st century.
Among Friedman's other surprising predictions is that three countries - Poland, Turkey and Japan - will emerge as the major powers in Eurasia. Friedman writes that Turkey will increase its influence in the Arab world and that Japan will do the same in Oceania and mainland Asia. These new powers, which Friedman called the "Polish Bloc," will grow fearful of United States dominance and eventually, he writes, that there will be a third world war between allies of the United States and the "Polish Bloc."
Other issues Friedman writes about: the Pakistan/India conflict, the increase of renewable energy and the future of the European Union.
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