CNN's GUT CHECK | for May 2, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
DEVELOPING: TENTH STATE SET TO MAKE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE LEGAL… Rhode Island was set to become the tenth state in the nation, and the last in New England, to legalize same-sex marriage Thursday as final legislation cleared procedural hurdles in the state legislature. Gov. Lincoln Chafee, an independent, has pledged to sign the bill immediately following its final passage.
REPEALED: O’MALLEY SIGNS DEATH PENALTY REPEAL… Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, a potential Democratic presidential candidate, signed legislation into law today that ends his state’s use of the death penalty. In those cases in which the state has filed a notice to seek a death sentence, "the notice shall be considered withdrawn and it shall be considered a notice to seek a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole under specified circumstances," according to O'Malley’s office.
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks rally on positive jobs data at home and a rate cut abroad. NASDAQ adds 1.3% to close at 12-year high.
How much money did President Andrew Johnson offer for the capture of Confederate President Jefferson Davis on this day in 1865?
A new campaign was launched today to help women break the ultimate glass ceiling in politics: ascending to the U.S. presidency. To the average Jane and Joe it appears to be a non-partisan effort to help tear down one of the final walls that has held back our mothers and wives, daughters and sisters, friends and relatives.
But you only have to dig a little deeper to see it is a move by an influential political campaign organization to elect a Democratic, not a Republican woman to the White House.
We are not here to take sides in the policy battles that separate Democrats and Republicans on women’s issues, but rather to try and detangle the politics from the underlying issue that the country is indeed ready for a woman to be president. It is just not clear whether she will be a Democrat or a Republican.
Emily’s List, which announced the ‘Madam President’ campaign this morning at a news conference, is an effective fundraising and advocacy organization for liberal and progressive (we will let you decide the terminology) women candidates. And it is very clear in its political goal.
“The mission is simple, really: EMILY’s List is dedicated to electing pro-choice Democratic women to office,” Emily’s List says in its mission statement posted on its web site.
In an op-ed on CNN.com, Emily’s List President Stephanie Schriock makes the argument for a woman president and emphasized that a woman president would “put families ahead of politics and end partisan bickering.” Schriock even floated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s name as a possible contender in her op-ed.
In a brief interview with a CNN colleague after the news conference, Schriock made it clear that Emily’s List is not favoring one woman candidate over another, yet she only mentioned Democrats as possible contenders for the White House such as Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, former Washington state Gov. Christine Gregoire, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, and Sen. Jean Shaheen of New Hampshire. And she noted that the Democratic candidates Emily’s List is supporting now could potentially run for the White House in the future. The women "we elect next year are our bench for the presidency for 2020, 2024, 2028,” Schriock said. “This is a constant movement and a campaign that isn't just about one election."
Schriock was asked during the news conference about encouraging Republicans to put a woman on their presidential ticket – and she answered in what can only be described as bipartisan and partisan tones.
“EMILY’s List, as many of you know, supports Democratic women for office, but we do see the importance of seeing more women running for office across the board,” she said. “Now, we believe the Democrats are stronger on issues that are facing women and families in this country and why we push so hard to elect more Democratic women. But I think this is the time to encourage all women to step up and run, and we need to see a lot more of that.
“The United States Senate for the first time has 20 women senators — 16 of them are Democrats, four of them are Republicans. I disagree with those Republicans on a vast majority of issues, but I will say this: Those 20 women stood up together and voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, while 22 Republican men in the Senate did not. So it does matter to have more women.”
We agree it does matter “to have more women” in public office and it falls on each of us to encourage our mothers and wives, daughters and sisters, friends and relatives to run for office including the White House. We just wonder if this ‘Madam President’ campaign would be stronger had politics been cast aside and likeminded Democratic and Republican groups joined together to help break the final glass ceiling in politics.
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: National Review on 'Rubio's Folly'
The latest example of conservative backlash against Sen. Marco Rubio for his role as one of the Senate leaders pushing for comprehensive immigration reform came Thursday on the cover of the right-leaning publication “National Review.”
Leading Drudge: May Freak: Historic Snow Hits Heartland
The list of locations that have received record May snowfall from a storm that brought up to 2 feet of snow over the central Rockies continues to grow. The storm is still going on Thursday and could reach even more unlikely locations over the Plains, Midwest and the South before it is all said and done. – Alex Sosnowski for AccuWeather
Leading HuffPo: 'Step Backwards': Allies Decry Plan B Betrayal
The Obama administration's decision to appeal a court order lifting age limits on purchasers of the morning-after pill set off a storm of criticism from reproductive rights groups, who denounced it as politically motivated and a step backward for women's health. – Lauren Neegaard and Josh Lederman for the AP
Leading Politico: Ted Cruz for president?
What you just heard was the sound of a thousand eyeballs rolling in Washington and Austin, where the freshman senator’s transparent ambition and self-regard have earned him more than a few detractors during his first few months in office. – Alexander Burns
Leading The New York Times: Politics and Vetting Leave Key U.S. Posts Long Unfilled
A backlog of vacancies in top posts throughout the Obama administration, especially in the State Department, has slowed policy making in a capital already known for inaction. – Michael D. Shear
The political bites of the day
– DC mayor proposes driver's licenses for undocumented residents –
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA MAYOR VINCENT GRAY IN A WRITTEN PRESS RELEASE: “This legislation is the right thing to do for our undocumented residents and our entire community. With this legislation, undocumented District residents will be able to obtain a driver’s license by submitting the proper documentation and taking the same tests the DMV requires of all drivers. This promotes the safe operation of motor vehicles on our streets, and reduces incentives for criminals to sell fake IDs on the black market. Most importantly, it alleviates burdens on immigrants by opening the door to legal automobile ownership – an economic lifeline for many hard-working families.”
– Daughter of slain principal to head to NRA convention –
ERICA LAFFERTY, DAUGHTER OF SANDY HOOK PRINCIPAL, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN: “This isn't a political issue not about not wanting to agree with Obama, giving him a win. It's about people, it's - it's the moral issue. It's not political. It's common sense and about caring and being human.”
– Obama nominates commerce secretary, trade representative –
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA AT A WHITE HOUSE ROSE GARDEN EVENT: “I've had the chance to get to know Penny and Mike not just as leaders and professionals, but also as friends. One of the reasons I'm proud to nominate them is they don't forget what matters. They know this is not about just growing balance sheets, it's about growing opportunity for people, it's about growing a sense of security for the middle class. And most of all, they operate with integrity and they understand that that public service is a privilege and you've got to do it right when, when you get involved on behalf of the American people.”
Gut Check Full Service: Obama's Commerce pick, Penny Pritzker, could rile labor… President Obama's allies in the labor movement may not be happy with his choice for commerce secretary. Some on the left are unlikely to welcome her nomination. UNITE HERE, a union representing workers in hotels, casinos and other industries, calls Hyatt "the worst hotel employer in America." – James O’Toole
– Grassley intends to investigate Pritzker’s taxes –
REPUBLICAN SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY OF IOWA IN A WRITTEN PRESS RELEASE: “Every nominee's offshore tax avoidance activities should be examined as part of the nomination process. If the Commerce Committee doesn’t explore these questions with the nominee, I plan to do so, but I hope the committee will give the tax history a serious look. This is the second nominee in a row, Jack Lew being the first, who’s associated with the kind of tax avoidance activity that the President dismisses as fat cat shenanigans for others. It’s hypocritical to overlook tax avoidance when it’s convenient.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
My thoughts turn to all who are unemployed, often as a result of a self-centred mindset bent on profit at any cost.—
Pope Francis (@Pontifex) May 02, 2013
Ayotte keeps telling constituents she opposed background checks because it could lead to a natl. registry, which the bill explicitly forbids—
Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) May 02, 2013
Warren is in the house.—
Warren Buffett (@WarrenBuffett) May 02, 2013
TRIVIA ANSWER from @DanMericaCNN
President Andrew Johnson, in a written proclamation, tied Confederate President Jefferson Davis to the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln and offered $100,000 for his arrest.
"Whereas it appears from evidence in the Bureau of Military Justice that the atrocious murder of the late President, Abraham Lincoln, and the attempted assassination of the Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, were incited, concerted, and procured by and between Jefferson Davis," the proclamation read.
In addition to Davis' capture, Johnson offered smaller sums of money for lower level Confederate officials.
Davis, who at that time was on the run from Union soldiers, was captured just a few short days later, on May 10, 1865, near Irwinville, Georgia by a small group of Union Cavalry. Though the Confederate's defeat was all but sealed at that time, Davis refused to accept it and was considering forming a government in exile in either Britain or France.
After being imprisoned for two years in Virginia, Davis was indicted for treason but never tried. He received bail in May 1867 and retired to his home near Biloxi, Mississippi. He died in 1889.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it)
Congrats to Larry Shaughnessy on Facebook, Gut Check’s lousy neighbor, for correctly answering today’s question. The fact that Larry won should be proof that everyone else needs to step it up.
Tips or comments? Our inbox awaits: email@example.com
Anyone can sign up for Gut Check by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
WANT TO SIGN UP?
Do you have a friend who wants to sign up for GUT CHECK or our new CNNPolitics Breaking News Alerts? Click here, log on and scroll down.