CNN's GUT CHECK | for December 11, 2012 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
DEVELOPING: MICHIGAN LAWMAKERS PASS BILLS WEAKENING UNION POWER… As protesters descended on the Michigan Statehouse Tuesday, legislators passed a controversial "right-to-work" measure that would weaken unions' power. The House approved two bills, which the Senate already passed last week. Both chambers are dominated by Republicans. Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, has said he will sign the legislation, which would allow workers at union-represented employers to forgo paying dues. – Tami Luhby
REPLACING DEMINT: FIRST ON CNN: HALEY FINALIZES SHORT LIST FOR DEMINT SEAT... South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has whittled down the list of people she is considering for Jim DeMint's soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat to five people, a Republican close to the governor told CNN on Tuesday. Her final choices for the seat are Rep. Tim Scott, Rep. Trey Gowdy, former state Attorney General Henry McMaster, former South Carolina First Lady Jenny Sanford and Catherine Templeton, a conservative attorney chosen by Haley to head the state Department of Health and Environmental Control. One thing they have in common: a warm personal relationship with the governor, who is known to prize loyalty. – Peter Hamby
On this day in history, a presidential assassination was attempted. What president was the target and where was it attempted?
More often than not at the end of a presidential campaign the winner drives the narrative, while the loser is forced to explain the defeat, namely to frustrated supporters. We are watching this play out now as Mitt Romney’s campaign advisers are proactively protecting the candidate from critics and defending themselves from fellow Republicans who are second guessing their campaign strategy.
At a CNN/Google post-election forum last week, Romney Digital Director Zac Moffatt explained the GOP nominee’s digital strategy, but told us afterwards he realized that people don’t know about the achievements the campaign made in such a short period of time.
In a Gut Check exclusive, Moffatt shared some of the Romney campaign’s digital highlights, which he has just now posted online. “Elections are zero sum games, but digital is not,” Moffatt wrote in his memo that accompanies the data.
“I think Republicans have a lot to look for as we go forward,” Moffatt said in an interview with Gut Check. “This election has created a foundation to build upon for 2013 and beyond. People have to realize what assets are available to them. There is such a legacy that Mitt has left that has never been there before.”
Here are some of the top line digital data points Moffatt mentions in his memo:
• “The campaign provided to the RNC more than 1,000,000+ online donor contacts with email addresses and over 2,200,000 active new emails. The donor file alone represents a digital community that contributed over $100 million in 2012.”
• “We built a comprehensive online store which launched in June and sold over 900,000 items, as well as pop up stores at every major Romney event around the country that leveraged Square technology. At the Convention we did over $700,000 of sales and ultimately sold an item to over 5% of all Convention attendees.”
• “On the social media front we grew our Facebook community by over 10.4 million between May 1 – November (almost double the growth Obama experienced during this period) to reach a total of 12 million+ with an additional 5.1 million for Paul Ryan (more than Obama experienced in the comparable time and almost 10 times larger than Vice President’s Biden’s page today after 2 general elections).”
• “On Twitter we created a community of over 1.7 million for Mitt Romney and 540,000 for Paul Ryan.”
• “On online advertising we delivered over 32 billion impressions over the course of the campaign and generated more than 55 million clicks on various ad units.”
• “We had over 676 million views of our various online video advertising content which produced an engagement time of over 471 years.”
• “We came out of the primary with a staff of 14 and were immediately given the resources to grow to over 140 including non political staff from technology companies across America. We achieved this growth in less than 60 days.”
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Angry with Obama, GOP threatens political war next year
They are losing the battle over higher taxes on the wealthy, so now Republicans are threatening a political war next year when it comes time to raise the nation's debt ceiling. With cracks appearing in their anti-tax facade and polls showing most Americans favoring President Barack Obama's stance in fiscal cliff negotiations, GOP legislators are starting to advocate a tactical retreat to fight another day. – Tom Cohen
Leading Drudge: 'There Will Be Blood'
“There will be blood,” State Representative Douglas Geiss threatened from the floor of the Michigan House of Representatives today as the body debated legislation that would make Michigan the nation’s 24th right to work state. “I really wish we had not gone here,” Geiss continued. “It is the leadership in this house that has led us here. The same leadership that tried to throw a bomb right on election day, leading to a member switching parties, and came in at the 11th hour with a gotcha bill. For that, I do not see solace, I do not see peace.” – Conn Carroll for the Washington Examiner
Leading HuffPo: 'Recipe For Disaster'
The 2012 election is barely five weeks behind us, but conservative "dark money" groups are already beginning their 2014 campaign. Crossroads GPS, the nonprofit co-founded by Karl Rove, has launched a series of radio ads to pressure five Democratic senators to reject President Barack Obama's outline of a "fiscal cliff" deal, particularly higher tax rates for the wealthy. While these spots bear all the hallmarks of issue ads - they don't call for the victory or defeat of a candidate, they appear nowhere near an election, and they focus on a specific issue currently under debate - the $240,000 radio ad buy targets only Democratic senators who face a potentially tough path to reelection in 2014. – Paul Blumenthal
Leading Politico: GOP mute as SCOTUS tackles gay marriage
House Republican leaders had a uniform response to the Supreme Court’s decision to take up gay marriage: silence. The high court’s decision last week to hear two cases relating to same-sex marriage puts that issue at the center of the national debate. And it does so at an exceedingly awkward time for Republicans, many of whom are trying to downplay or moderate their party’s views on social issues to chart a path back to electoral success. – Josh Gerstein
Leading The New York Times: In Talks, House Majority Weighs Loyalty to Voters
As their leaders inch toward agreeing to higher tax rates, dozens of House Republicans find themselves caught between the will of a larger American public that favors higher taxes on the rich and the wishes of constituents who re-elected them overwhelmingly to oppose the Obama agenda at every turn. – Jonathan Weisman
The political bites of the day
- The three amigos – McCain, Lieberman, Graham – split on Susan Rice -
IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN’S PIERS MORGAN, SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN AND SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM SAY WHETHER THEY BELIEVE RICE COULD REPLACE SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON…
McCain: “I don’t know if she’s even nominated or not. She deserves the process that every nominee goes through. But the fact is, she not only gave wrong information, but she gave the party line, that ... Al Qaeda is decimated – Al Qaeda is not decimated. That our embassies and consulates are secure – they are not secure. So ... we’re all responsible for what we say. So we’ll go through the process if she’s nominated and we’ll see.”
Lieberman: “On this one, we’re going to prove that the ‘Three Amigos’ can disagree and still be amigos. Here’s what I would say about Susan Rice – I’ve been over all of the intelligence that we had before she went on TV that Sunday morning, I've been over her comments. I don’t think she’s disqualified based on anything she said that morning, but the rest is up to the future and unfortunately I’ll be watching it on TV.”
Graham: “Personally, I don’t believe she would serve the country well in that capacity.”
- Right-to-work ‘a terrible idea’ says Michigan Democrat -
DEMOCRATIC MICHIGAN REP. SANDER LEVIN IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN: “So called right to work will cripple the efforts of a union to represent people in the workplace and that representation helped to create the middle class and look at labor relations in Michigan today, how the big three came back through a cooperative relationship between the union and management, and essentially what so-called right to work will do, is to destroy that kind of relationship, will create immense division. It's a terrible idea.”
- Could the right-to-work fight be good for the unions? -
BOB KING, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED AUTO WORKERS, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN: “I think things like this are waking a sleeping giant. I think that workers and working families are tired of losing. They want a fair share of the prosperity in this state and in this country. And I think that's going to help build the union movement.”
- Proof of a trust gap -
SENATE MINORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL IN A SPEECH ON THE SENATE FLOOR: “The truth is, until the president gets specific about cuts nobody should trust Democrats to put a dime in new revenue toward real deficit reduction or to stop their shakedown of the taxpayers at the top two percent.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Julian Cummings CNN (@JulianCummings)
Protesters filling the balconies of Michigan State capitol against right to work bill. http://instagr.am/p/TGh3ADpKvL/
Thomas Roberts (@ThomasARoberts)
SCJ Scalia says 'If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder?' http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/10/antonin-scalia-book-tour-legal-writings-antigay_n_2274413.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003
Deirdre Walsh (@deirdrewalshcnn)
Boehner: "cordial" mtg/w potus but still waiting for WH to identify spending cuts "where are the President's spending cuts?
Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton)
Important news abt #childhood #obesity today. Small improvements in big cities may signal epidemic is reversing course. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/11/health/childhood-obesity-drops-in-new-york-and-philadelphia.html?hp
David Leonhardt (@DLeonhardt)
It's been 15 years since a white man ran State or Labor. Yet only white men have ever run Treas, Pent, CIA, WH staff. http://nyti.ms/TRHCaG
Chris Mortensen (@mortreport)
Tagliabue's finding that the bounty case was contaminated by Saints organization and coaches appears to be major point of culpability.
Kevin Flower (@KMFlower)
Delta and Virgin Atlantic To Form Strategic Alliance Delta to invest $360 million in acquiring a 49 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic
Pew Research Center (@pewresearch)
Browsers remain more popular than apps for getting mobile news, esp. among more educated users http://pewrsr.ch/Uwnqqg pic.twitter.com/rif4MZ7C
Andrew Wallenstein (@awallenstein)
HBO movie in 3-2-1... RT @eScarry John Heilemann/Mark Halperin's "Double Down: Game Change 2012" to publish fall 2013 http://nyti.ms/VB1xH5
TRIVIA ANSWER from @DanMericaCNN
After winning the presidency in 1928, President-elect Herbert Hoover took a seven-week trip throughout Latin America in order to explain his vision for economic and trade cooperation in the Western Hemisphere.
While in Argentina, the president-elect escaped an assassination attempt when the Argentine authorities arrested anarchist Severino Di Giovanni before he could carry out his plan to blow up a rail car that the president was traveling in. The attempt was especially real because Giovanni somehow received a detailed itinerary for the president.
In learning of the attempt, President Hipolito Irigoyen of Argentina sent this message to Hoover:
“I have learned with the utmost concern of the dastardly attempt on your life and desire to express to you my heartiest congratulations on your very fortunate escape. The people of the United States join with those of Argentina in deploring this unfortunate occurrence and in expressing their great relief and joy that you escaped unharmed.”
Interestingly enough, the president-elect never publicly addressed the assassination attempt.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it)
Today’s question proved to difficult – there were no correct answers. Better luck tomorrow.
Our inbox awaits: email@example.com
Anyone can sign up for Gut Check by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Tips or comments? Send them to Michelle; send complaints to Preston, because he is already in a bad mood. We also want to give a shout out to Dan Merica, who runs our Twitter account @gutCheckCNN and enriches this product every single day.