CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for April 3, 2013 | 5 p.m.
— n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING: President Barack Obama will put 5% of his paycheck back into the federal government's coffers in a show of camaraderie with furloughed federal workers, a senior administration official said Wednesday. Obama, whose $400,000 annual salary is set in law and can't officially be changed, will write a check made out to the U.S. Treasury every month. – Becky Brittain
SANFORD SURPRISED BY FIANCÉE’S PRESENCE AT PRIMARY VICTORY PARTY: The former South Carolina governor rarely appears in public with his fiancée and said on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper” he did not expect her to attend last night: “She completely surprised me. I was having dinner with my boys. A couple of candidates who had endorsed us in the race, they said time to go in. I go in, I round the corner, there she is to give me a hug and surprise me. It was a nice event, and it was not at all what I expected. But it was awfully, awfully nice surprise.”
MISSILES TO GUAM: The U.S. military is sending a land-based missile defense system to Guam to defend against possible North Korean ballistic missile launches, a senior administration official told CNN on Wednesday. – Barbara Starr
William Ginsburg, an attorney who represented former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, died Monday at age 70. What does it mean to complete a “full Ginsburg?”
The headline from today’s Quinnipiac University Poll is the race for the Republican presidential nomination is up for grabs. We are not surprised, nor should you be.
But what caught our eye is a set of questions within the survey that shows us each political party still has lots of work to do with key demographic groups they lost in the 2012 election. Heading into the midterm election, Republicans have the most work to do especially when it comes to Hispanic, black, women and young voters, while Democrats need to focus on seeking the support of white, older and wealthier voters.
Not much has changed in the five months since Election Day. See for yourself, here are the crosstabs.
What has got to be particularly concerning for Republicans is that on the generic ballot, voters favor an unnamed Democratic candidate over an unknown Republican candidate by an 8 point margin, 43%-35%. We realize a generic ballot does not take into account loyalty to an incumbent or the political makeup of individual congressional districts, yet it still must set off internal red flags 19 months before the next election.
And if the generic congressional ballot doesn’t concern the GOP – then the party’s dismal congressional approval rating very well should. Only 19% of Americans approve of how Republicans are handling their job in Congress with only 34% of Republicans giving the GOP the thumbs up. Democrats fare only a bit better with 34% of Americans approving of how they’re handling their job in Congress, but have more party support as 68% of Democrats approve of what Democratic lawmakers are doing on Capitol Hill.
While the next election seems light years away, each party is working to try to make inroads with disaffected voters from the last election. The most high profile effort is the Republican National Committee’s recently released “Growth & Opportunity Project,” which is designed to expand the party’s acceptance beyond its traditional base. We now wait and see if the RNC’s effort is enough to win back the voters it lost in 2012 and if Democrats can appeal to older, white and wealthier voters.
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Gun vote unlikely to happen next week
A Senate vote on tighter gun control laws is unlikely to occur next week, according to two Democratic sources, who described a hang-up among Republicans over bolstering rules regulating background checks during gun sales. President Barack Obama has been pressing for new gun laws since December's shooting at a school in Connecticut. He will travel to Colorado on Wednesday to resume his calls for laws he says would prevent the type of violence that left 26 people dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School. – Jessica Yellin
Leading Drudge: Chill Out!
The abrupt set of exchanges came after Pyongyang shut down the last shared link with the South by refusing entry to almost 500 South Korean workers who work in a cross-border industrial park. Zhang Yesui, the deputy foreign minister, outlined Beijing's "serious concern about the present situation", and added that it expects the escalation of tension to cease. – Malcolm Moore, The Telegraph LINK
Leading HuffPo: Tom Coburn Holds The Keys To Obama's Agenda
As President Barack Obama gets set to barnstorm outside the Beltway in hopes of salvaging his gun policy reforms, the prospects of passing legislation of significance rests firmly on a single Republican lawmaker. Sen. Tom Coburn finds himself at the epicenter of the gun debate as it enters a critical stage in the next few weeks. – Sam Stein
Leading Politico: Obama's trash-talkers
A week after leaving the White House earlier this year, David Plouffe took to his new Twitter account to announce that he thinks Karl Rove’s credibility is shot and his understanding of the electorate is “stupefyingly” dumb. – Dylan Byers
Leading The New York Times: House Immigration Bill Is Said to Offer 3 Paths
In the shadow of a bipartisan Senate group preparing to roll out broad immigration legislation next week, shortly after Congress returns from its holiday break, a bipartisan group of eight House members is readying its own bill. – Ashley Parker
The political bites of the day
- Sec Def on today’s security challenges –
SECRETARY OF DEFENSE CHUCK HAGEL AT NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIVERSITY: “Most of the pressing security challenges today give important political, economic and cultural components, and do not necessarily lend themselves to being resolved by conventional military strength. Indeed the most destructive, horrific attack ever in the United States came not from fleets of ships, bombers or armored divisions, but from 19 fanatical men wielding box cutters and one-way plane tickets.”
- Former speechwriter ‘sure’ Hillary Clinton considering run –
CLINTON AIDE DON BAER ON ‘STARTING POINT’: “I'm sure she's seriously considering it. But I'm sure she's also seriously taking her time and trying to get used to life after the State Department, and you know, more than 20 years in the limelight. She's writing a book that I know she's going to be taking seriously because she always takes projects like that very seriously.”
GUT CHECK FULL SERVICE: Clinton adviser Philippe Reines to CNN’s Erin McPike on whether the outpouring of support inspires Clinton to consider running: “That’s not the way she’s wired. It’s just not. She’s been living with this – whatever you want to call it – interest or fascination in her for decades. That’s part of the privilege that comes with having served in higher office, and her husband serving as president, but she doesn’t dwell on these things. She doesn’t fixate on the things that you and I might or that the broader media might or that political professionals might. She goes about her life, and right now that is figuring out how to work on the issues that she cares about most and how to contribute to the country she’s dedicated herself to for her entire adult life.”
- What it’s like being president -
WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN JOSH EARNEST SAYS OBAMA WILL ATTEND OPENING OF THE GEORGE W. BUSH LIBRARY: “It’s difficult to fully comprehend what it’s like to serve as president of the United States unless you’ve done it – and President Obama has developed a good relationship with both President George W. Bush and President George H.W. Bush. He has routinely expressed his deep appreciation for the 43rd president’s commitment to this country we love, and is looking forward to returning to Texas later this month.”
PRESIDENTS’ CLUB CONVENES: All the living former presidents – Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush - will attend, according to spokespersons for each former commander-in-chief.
- Obama pushing background checks –
THE WHITE HOUSE RELEASED EXCERPTS FROM OBAMA’S 5 P.M. ET ADDRESS NEAR THE AURORA, COLORADO, MOVIE THEATRE: “This is, obviously, a state that has suffered the tragedy of two of the worst mass shootings in our history – 14 years ago this month in Columbine, and just last year in Aurora. This is also a state that treasures its Second Amendment rights – a state of proud hunters and sportsmen, with a strong tradition of gun ownership that’s handed down from generation to generation with reverence and respect. I’m here because I believe there’s no conflict between reconciling these realities. There doesn’t have to be a conflict between protecting our citizens and protecting our Second Amendment rights.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Senator Carl Levin (@SenCarlLevin) April 03, 2013
State Dept offering up to $5 million for arrest of Joseph Kony, two other LRA leaders.—
Elise Labott (@eliselabottcnn) April 03, 2013
The inside story of how NBC came to settle the Tonight transition. nytimes.com/2013/04/04/bus…—
Bill Carter (@wjcarter) April 03, 2013
Big credit to @SenJohnMcCain for visiting Mali and highlighting the necessary long-term security commitment. The opposite of a Cong junket.—
Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) April 03, 2013
Obama will write check to Treasury equaling 5 percent of salary. If he's like me, it will take him 2 weeks to find the checkbook.—
Rick Klein (@rickklein) April 03, 2013
Am seriously starting to doubt Dennis Rodman's diplomacy skills.—
Aaron Blake (@AaronBlakeWP) April 03, 2013
T. Boone Pickens (@boonepickens) April 03, 2013
William Ginsburg was known for being one of the first people to appear on all five major Sunday news talk shows during the Lewinsky scandal in the late 1990s, after the intern admitted to sexual activities with then-President Bill Clinton.
Ever since, appearing on CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox on a single Sunday morning has been known as achieving the “Full Ginsburg.”
Ginsburg died Monday at age 70, his family confirmed to CNN.
In the past year, Jeb Bush and Susan Rice both accomplished the “Full Ginsberg” – Bush while promoting his new book, and Rice in the aftermath of the attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.
Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and George W. Bush have also all completed the feat.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
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Congrats to @ProfessorU for guessing the correct answer to today’s trivia question.
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