It's Time for CNN's Political Gut Check
December 7th, 2012
05:46 PM ET
1 year ago

It's Time for CNN's Political Gut Check

CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for December 7, 2012 | 5 p.m.
- n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BREAKING: The Supreme Court said it will tackle the issue of same-sex marriage and hear two constitutional challenges to state and federal laws dealing with the recognition of gay and lesbian couples wishing to legally wed. The one-page order issued Friday by the justices comes weeks after voters approved same-sex marriage in three states. Oral arguments in the high court appeal will likely be held in March, with a ruling by late June. – CNN

TRAIL TRIVIA
(Answer below)

On this day in 1787, delegates from Delaware met in what building to vote on ratification of the U.S. Constitution?

MARK (@PrestonCNN) & MICHELLE (@MJaconiCNN)
What caught our eye today in politics

Senior campaign advisers for President Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and the Republican presidential nominee’s rivals for the GOP nomination recently convened at Harvard University's Institute of Politics to discuss strategy and reveal secrets about the 2012 race for the White House. CNN’s Kevin Bohn wrote about the forum, and the IOP has released an audio recording.

In today’s edition of What Caught Our Eye, we asked IOP Director Trey Grayson what his main takeaways were from this unique breaking of the bread between presidential campaign operatives that has taken place every four years since 1972.

GUT CHECK: What did the Romney campaign advisers say about a specific strategic political decision that surprised you the most?

GRAYSON: How much debate preparation the Romney team actually conducted. Romney fully participated in over a dozen intensive debate preparation sessions and constantly travelled with debate prep materials. That showed a real focus – which paid off in the first debate.

GUT CHECK: What did the Obama campaign advisers say about a specific strategic political decision that surprised you the most?

GRAYSON: That the Obama team wasn’t going “all-in” in Florida until after the Democratic Convention, at which point the data convinced them they could win there, and that they intentionally spent more money after the primary but before the conventions to define Romney without knowing if they would have enough money in the closing months of the campaign as a result.

GUT CHECK: How difficult was it to convince these campaign operatives to agree to participate in this candid debriefing right after the election? Did you find it harder to convince the losing campaign to attend?

GRAYSON: Fairly easy. The Romney team was enthusiastic to send many of their top advisers. They believed it was important to preserve the strategy and decision making process for the historic record. We were in contact with both campaigns before the election and didn’t know who was going to win, so that outreach may have helped. Also, the Romney team was local.

GUT CHECK: What are the three bullet points that future campaign advisers are going to take away from the lessons learned in the 2012 presidential campaign?

GRAYSON: 1. Even with all the analytics and data that campaigns have and use, the individual contact of going door-to-door or friend-to-friend on Facebook is still the most effective way to reach voters 2. Utilizing social media to reach those voters that you otherwise could not reach. For example, Obama supporters were Facebook friends with 98% of U.S. voters. 3. Diminishing returns of television advertising late in the campaign.

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Why might a 'grand bargain' be reachable this time?
President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner have been here before: A high-stakes showdown over the debt, visions of a grand bargain and a looming deadline. - Halimah Abdullah

Leading Drudge: Detroit Planning Bankruptcy
Even as the state treasury prepares to begin another financial review of Detroit's books, a plan is being solidified in the governor's office that would guide Michigan's largest city through what is being called a managed bankruptcy. - Daniel Howes

Leading HuffPo: Back Off! Poll: Americans Want Feds To Leave States That Legalized Marijuana Alone
A survey out Friday shows what Americans want the federal government to do about the states whose drug laws clash with national laws: Leave them alone. – Emily Swanson

Leading Politico: Obama, Romney both topped $1 billion
Obama: $1.123 billion vs. Romney: $1.019 billion. That’s the final fundraising tally in the most expensive presidential election ever, according to reports filed Thursday with the Federal Election Commission by the rival campaigns and party committees. - Kenneth P. Vogel, Dave Levinthal and Tarini Parti

Leading The New York Times: U.S. Adds 146,000 Jobs; Jobless Rate Falls to 7.7%
The gain in November was sharper than expected in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, but the Labor Department also revised downward previous gains for September and October. - Nelson D. Schwartz

TRAIL MOMENTS
The political bites of the day

– Fiscal Cliffhanger –-
HOUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER AT A NEWS CONFERENCE: “Reports indicate the president has adopted a deliberate strategy to slow walk our economy to the edge of the fiscal cliff.”
HOUSE MINORITY LEADER NANCY PELOSI AT A NEWS CONFERENCE ONE HOUR LATER: “Boehner says Democrats are slow-walking the economy to the fiscal cliff, yet this is the same Republican leadership that had the House in session barely a full day this week.”

– Jobs number conspiracy returns -
RUSH LIMBAUGH ON HIS SHOW FRIDAY: “Well, it turns out we got the new numbers today. Heh, heh, heh, heh (laughter). Guess what? Heh, heh, heh (laughter). It turns out that the regime's estimates were a little off after all. Yes, by about 49,000 jobs on the plus side they were wrong. October's jobless number, which was announced right before Election Day, was off by 33,000. Now, the revisions are in, and there were 33,000 fewer jobs created than we were told in the days immediately before the election. Now, you can be sure it was just an innocent mistake. I mean, anybody can make a mistake, especially if your bureaucratic job depended upon it.

– Colbert stokes speculation –
TELEVISION COMEDIAN STEPHEN COLBERT ON HIS THURSDAY SHOW FOLLOWING SEN. JIM DEMINT’S RESIGNATION: “The decision on who will replace DeMint falls to South Carolina governor and friend of the show, Nikki Haley. But who will she pick? Let’s see, you want somebody young, somebody conservative, somebody from South Carolina, maybe somebody who had a super PAC…. When I look at the U.S. Senate, I say to myself, you know what they could use? Another white guy."
HALEY SHOOTS HIM DOWN ON FACEBOOK: “Stephen, thank you for your interest in South Carolina's U.S. Senate seat and for the thousands of tweets you and your fans sent me.” HALEY, IN A SEPARATE SERIOUS FACEBOOK POST: “Appointing a new member of the U.S. Senate is a solemn duty, and I take this responsibility with utmost seriousness. I will make this decision in a manner that is thoughtful and dignified, but also quickly. I want to make two things clear from the outset: Number one, I will not take the appointment myself. Number two, I will appoint a person who has the same philosophy of government that Jim DeMint and I share.”

– If Lincoln could do it, why not Obama? –
VANITY FAIR’S TODD S. PURDUM ON OBAMA’S RARE APPEARANCES AT HOLIDAY PARTIES: “The White House holiday-entertaining schedule is a horrifying ordeal. Spending three or four hours at a time shaking hands is surely a nightmare. Some 50,000 people troop through the White House every December (including at open houses the first couple does not attend). … But the president’s party protocol is nevertheless a revealing insight into his political style, and an example of the troubles he has had ‘connecting,’ not only with angry old white men but with the capital’s warring tribes. If Lincoln could hold near-constant public receptions during the depth of the Civil War (including one on the night his young son, Willie, lay dying upstairs), surely Obama could put himself out a teeny bit more.”

– Christie on Obama’s leadership –
NEW JERSEY GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE EXPLAINED HIS KIND WORDS TOWARD OBAMA IN AN INTERVIEW ON “THE DAILY SHOW”:
JON STEWART: “The week before the storm you were out there [saying] President Obama couldn't lead his way out of a paper bag with a fistful of 20s. And then right after the storm was over, you were like this man is the leader…. Doesn’t that tell you something about the game?”
CHRISTIE: “What it tells me is that people have different skill sets at different times.” STEWART: “I see. So he wasn't a leader until you needed leadership?” CHRISTIE: “Maybe, maybe until he was presented with a stark opportunity to lead.”

TOP TWEETS
What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Jennifer Scoggins ‏(@JenScogginsCNN)
There it is @alexcast accepted @davidaxelrod's #slashthestachers challenge on @CNNSitRoom to raise $ for CURE.

Michael Beschloss ‏(@BeschlossDC)
Geo H W Bush was 17 when told of Pearl Harbor, defied Dad to join Navy & be its youngest flier & a Pacific hero. Doesn't like to discuss it.

Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis)
71 years ago tomorrow, John Dingell was a page on the House floor watching FDRs "Day of Infamy" speech. He joined the Army in '44 at age 18

Matt Viser ‏(@mviser)
The tab for Romney at the Westin Boston Waterfront, where he was on election night? Nearly $44,500.

Broward Politics (@browardpolitics)
Allen West's losing campaign spends eye popping $110 per vote. http://sunsent.nl/YKlHGs /AM

Ryan Lizza ‏(@RyanLizza)
Spotted in Florence, Italy, last night dining with Florentine Mayor Matteo Renzi: a vacationing @Messina2012 (h/t @marilisap)

Jill Dougherty ‏(@cnnjill)
With all the praise for her contributions to peace in Northern Ireland #Hillary Clinton in Belfast jokes "I feel like I'm at my own wake!"

Sara Goo ‏(@sarakgoo)
New report from @pewforum finds white evangelicals voted as strongly for Romney as they did for McCain, Bush http://pewrsr.ch/VsI6An

TRIVIA ANSWER by @GregoryWallace

Delaware’s delegates met in Dover at the Golden Fleece Tavern, also known as Battell's Tavern, which the state archives describes as a “scene of some of the most important and dramatic events in Delaware history.”

Besides ratification of the Constitution - a unanimous act that made Delaware the first state to do so – the tavern was a communications hub during the American Revolution, then held meetings of the State Assembly’s upper house and the state’s legislative council before the State House was constructed in 1791. In 1790, delegates met again at the tavern to ratify the Bill of Rights.

The tavern does not stand today. It was demolished around 1830 and in its place a hotel was erected.

GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it?)

There were no correct answers today, but take the weekend to recharge, and Gut Check will be back with a new question on Monday.

GOT NEWS?
Our inbox awaits: gutcheck@cnn.com
Tips or comments? Send them to Michelle; send complaints to Preston, because he is already in a bad mood.


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soundoff (One Response)
  1. Jeff

    Colbert would be a great choice for the Senate seat for the simple reason that he would be unpartisan and actually attempt to move the country forward. If you only look at his character on his show as an uber republican and think that is actually his views, than you do not know satire as it is clearly a charcature. The equation of him to Palin I saw this morning on CNN is completely unfair. He is extremely intelligent, and would at least attempt to not only follow party lines, and that is what truly scares the republican party, they would not be able to control him.

    December 8, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |