CNN's GUT CHECK | for May 22, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
TAKING THE FIFTH: IRS official says she has ‘not done anything wrong’… The Internal Revenue Service official who headed the division involved in targeting conservative groups invoked her constitutional right against self-incrimination Wednesday and refused to answer questions from a congressional committee. “I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules and regulations,” Lerner said. – Tom Cohen
OBAMA TO MOORE: President Barack Obama will travel to tornado ravaged Moore, Oklahoma on Sunday, the White House announced today.
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks lose big gains on news of Fed dissent over stimulus. Dow falls 81 points.
What unique transport invention did future President Abraham Lincoln patent on this day in history?
Anthony Weiner's odds at winning the 2013 race for New York City mayor – only two years after a sexting scandal sunk his congressional career – are long.
Polling shows that nearly half of New York City voters wish Weiner would have stayed out of the public light and not run for mayor this year (although he places second among a list of candidates). And he is entering into a race with cadre of candidates, including New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, the prohibitive favorite.
Weiner is particularly struggling with women. According to a Quinnipiac University poll released today, 52% of women said Weiner should not run for mayor, compared to 35% who think he should.
Despite the odds, the former congressman announced today that he will run for mayor in a video posted on his website. His announcement, long expected by New York politicos and members of the media, paints the former congressman as a champion for the middle class who acknowledges his past transgressions.
The fact that Weiner's chances of winning are long should not be a surprise. The 2013 race will be the disgraced congressman's first time facing voters since he resigned his seat in 2011.
But perhaps that doesn’t bother Weiner.
Sure he wants to win – anyone who has seen this video of then-Rep. Weiner knows he is passionate. But in terms of elected office, at age 48, Weiner is young and it is safe to say that if he were to lose, the 2013 mayoral election would not be his last run at elected office.
If he runs a disciplined race and doesn't implode, the 2013 campaign can serve two purposes for those future runs.
Firstly, the race can serve as a test balloon for future political endeavors. What worked and what didn't are two questions every campaign look to answer after a race is over. But for Weiner, in particular, how he communicated with voters and the kind of politician he hopes to be post-scandal will be fine-tuned in the 2013 race.
Secondly, and possibly most importantly, Weiner's run will likely blunt future references to the sexting scandal that sunk his congressional career. There is no doubt his lewd pictures will come up in this mayoral run, especially if Weiner becomes a legitimate candidate. But say he loses and decides to run for office again, it is unlikely that scandal references will carry the same weight.
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: The investigator: Why Darrell Issa is sounding the alarm on Capitol Hill
He is best known as the Viper car alarm voice that instructs would-be thieves to “Please step away from the vehicle.” But in political circles, Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is a man who, after years of sounding the alarm about perceived Obama administration misdeeds, has struck a chord that is shaking up Washington. – Halimah Abdullah
Leading Drudge: Administration Clams Up
For the second straight day and the third time in one week, IRS officials will testify Wednesday in front of Congress about the agency’s improper targeting of conservative groups. Highlighting today’s House Oversight Committee hearing is IRS official Lois Lerner’s decision to invoke the Fifth Amendment and not answer questions. Lerner is still under subpoena to testify, meaning she will have to invoke her rights in person — and likely repeatedly. – Aaron Blake
Leading HuffPo: Split: GOP Divide Threatens To Hinder Momentum
A string of unrelated events is highlighting divisions among Republicans just when they'd like to show a united front and take full advantage of President Barack Obama's latest political problems. – Charles Babington
Leading Politico: 'I have not done anything wrong'
Lois Lerner, the director of the scandal-plagued IRS division that oversees nonprofit groups, struck a defiant tone in her first public appearance since the agency acknowledged that it wrongly targeted conservative groups applying for a tax exemption. – Lauren French and Kelsey Snell
Leading The New York Times: I.R.S. Official Denies Misleading Congress
The Internal Revenue Service official who first disclosed that the agency had targeted conservative groups, and in doing so ignited a controversy that has ensnared the White House, denied on Wednesday that she had ever provided false information to Congress. She then invoked her Fifth Amendment right not to testify. – Jeremy Peters
Leading CNN Money: The U.S. economy is like a horse... and should be playing baseball
As usual, today's congressional hearing featuring Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke didn't disappoint when it comes to tortured metaphors for the U.S. economy. – Annalyn Kurtz
The political bites of the day
– Congressmen use tax standards against tax organization –
REPUBLICAN REP. DARRELL ISSA, CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE AT A HEARING: “I paid a lot of taxes in my life. Most people on the dais have. We know one thing – you cannot just say you are doing the right thing and expect the IRS to take your word and the check you send in. Documentation and the ability to verify it is essential when dealing with the IRS. We can expect no less when we deal with the IRS.”
– Congressional Democrat warns of special prosecutor for the IRS –
DEMOCRATIC REP. STEPHEN LYNCH OF MASSACHUSETTS AT A COMMITTEE HEARING: “If we don’t get, if this committee is prevented by obstruction or by refusal to answer the questions that we need to get to the bottom of this you will leave us no alternative but to ask for the appointment of a special prosecutor or appointment to special counsel to get to the bottom of this. This is a very serious matter. We would like to handle it in this committee. … I hope that is not the approach of the IRS going forward because there will be hell to pay if that is the route that we chose to go down.”
– E.W. Jackson: Nothing 'to rephrase or apologize for' –
E.W. JACKSON, VIRGINIA'S REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE FOR LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, AT A FREDRICKSBURG CAMPAIGN STOP: “I say the things that I say because I'm a Christian, not because I hate anybody, but because I have religious values that matter to me. Attacking me because I hold to those principles is attacking every church-going person, every family that's living a traditional family life, everybody who believes that we all deserve the right to live. So I don't have anything to rephrase or apologize for. I would just say people should not paint me as one-dimensional.”
– ‘I don’t trust the Republicans. And I don’t trust the Democrats’ –
REPUBLICAN SEN. TED CRUZ OF TEXAS IN A SPEECH ON THE SENATE FLOOR: “Let me be clear, I don't trust the Republicans. And I don't trust the Democrats. And I think a whole lot of Americans likewise don't trust the Republicans and the Democrats because it is leadership in both parties that has gotten us in this mess.”
– Misquoting Wolf –
PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY AT THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS BRIEFING: “Before I take your questions I wanted to mention something that I think is breaking now, as Wolf Blitzer would say, and that is that on Sunday, May 26th the President will travel to the Oklahoma City area to see firsthand the response to the devastating tornados and severe weather that have impacted the area on Sunday night and Monday.”
Gut Check Fact Check: Excuse me Mr. Carney, Wolf’s phrase of choice is “Happening Now.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
TRIVIA ANSWER from @DanMericaCNN
On this day in 1849, Abraham Lincoln, who would become president just 12 years later, filed for a patent on what he called a device for "buoying vessels over shoals."
"I, Abraham Lincoln, of Springfield, in the County of Sangamon, in the State of Illinois, have invented new and improved manner of combining adjustable buoyant air chambers with a steamboat or other vessel for the purpose of enabling their draught of water to be readily lessened to enable them to pass over bars or through shallow water," Lincoln wrote on the patent submitted to the U.S. Patent Office.
Lincoln, who regularly worked with merchandise as a young man in Illinois, had a great deal of experience with ships needed to be moved over shallow water. While traveling by boat on the Great Lakes, a younger Lincoln's ship ran afoul of a sandbar and was stuck. It was experiences like this that led Lincoln to patent his buoying device.
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No winners today. Poor Lincoln.
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