CNN's GUT CHECK | for July 24, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING: A KENNEDY IN JAPAN… President Barack Obama nominated Caroline Kennedy as Ambassador to Japan. Kennedy, daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy, was a key backer of Obama in his 2008 successful bid for the White House.
STILL IN TRANSIT: SNOWDEN CAN'T LEAVE MOSCOW AIRPORT… Edward Snowden isn't yet allowed to step outside the Moscow airport where he's been holed up for weeks, despite reports to the contrary, his Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said Wednesday.
BY GEORGE: Prince William and his wife, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, name their baby George Alexander Louis.
FEEL GOOD STORY OF THE DAY: Former President George H. W. Bush shaved his head this week to show his support for a two year-old son of a Secret Service agent who is being treated for leukemia and started losing his hair.
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks close mixed after a slate of corporate earnings. Apple helps NASDAQ stay positive. Dow dips 25 points.
What was the first confederate state to be readmitted to the Union?
Remember when Howard Dean, as head of the Democratic National Committee, said he was going to use a 50-state strategy to expand the Democrats electoral map in 2006?
In Peter Hamby’s recent scoop about the Republican National Committee taking a page out of the Democrats’ playbook, Dean’s strategy – which many Democrats ridiculed – gets revisited with a money quote from CNN political commentator Paul Begala.
“What he (Dean) has spent it on, apparently, is just hiring a bunch of staff people to wander around Utah and Mississippi and pick their nose,” Paul Begala said in 2006.
But according to Hamby’s reporting, “Republicans are now trying to develop a similar bottom-up approach to persuading and motivating voters.”
“The RNC’s 50-state project begins with putting new boots on the ground in the two states with gubernatorial elections this fall, Virginia and New Jersey, said party spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski,” Hamby writes: “In both states, the RNC will be testing voter contact efforts with controlled experiments and fine-tuning their engagement efforts with African-American, Asian-American and Hispanic communities who are firmly entrenched in the Democratic camp.”
“Instead of taking rigid marching orders from Washington, RNC staffers in the states will be given a longer leash in order to understand local players and issues, and adapt accordingly,” Hamby reports. “That may seem like an obvious strategy, but it marks a cultural sea change for Republican get-out-the-vote specialists.”
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Weiner wouldn't have been in race without wife by his side
From the start of Weiner's campaign, Huma Abedin's blessing had been critical. Once Weiner acknowledged a desire to run for mayor, a year after the former New York congressman resigned over a sexting scandal in 2011, Abedin blessed her husband's political aspirations in a number of high profile interviews. And on Tuesday, after another round of sexting allegations emerged, Abedin once again stood beside him and publicly announced her forgiveness. – Dan Merica
Leading Drudge: A Russian Life
A lawyer advising National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden says his asylum status has not been resolved and that he is going to stay at the Moscow airport for now. Anatoly Kucherena, who was visiting the American at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport on Wednesday, said that migration officials are still looking at this asylum request and that this process had been drawn out. – Nataliya Vasilyeva and Laura Mills
Leading HuffPo: 'I Don't Want Anyone To Be Afraid Of Me'
Interviews with African-American congressmen found that discrimination remains prevalent for them. Several were willing to share their difficult struggles with The Huffington Post, opening up about their experiences and emotions in dealing with prejudices that still tarnish their lives, even amid their success, and darken the days of their children. – Michael McAuliff
Leading Politico: Denis McDonough to Democrats: We’ve got this
White House officials knew that selling Obamacare to the public would be difficult, but it wasn’t until Sen. Max Baucus called the rollout a “huge train wreck coming down” that they realized they were losing a key constituency: congressional Democrats. So White House chief of staff Denis McDonough quietly added the job of Capitol Hill confidence builder to his portfolio. – Carrie Budoff Brown and John Bresnahan
Leading The New York Times: Obama Restates Economic Vision at Site That Resonates
President Obama on Wednesday returned to Knox College, the site of his first major economic speech, to lay out his economic goals and his vision for the rest of his presidency. – Michael Shear
Leading CNN Opinion: Why Anthony Weiner's problem is ours, too
We don't know the full story, and honestly, it's hard to say whether we ever will, or how much we should care. But here is what we do know, and this does matter: That Weiner is running for mayor of New York, and that in preparing us for his candidacy in April, he cleverly alluded to the fact that there were more texts with other women. "I did it, with more than one person," he said. "It was wrong. I was doing it for some time, and I'm glad it's behind me." – Gloria Borger
The political bites of the day
– State Pushes Russia on Snowden –
STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN JEN PSAKI: (Secretary of State John Kerry spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov).“He reiterated our belief, which we stated publicly and privately, that Mr. Snowden needs to be returned to the U.S. where he will face a fair trial. As you all know, he's been accused of three felony accounts.”
– Weiner digs in –
NYC MAYORAL CANDIDATE ANTHONY WEINER IN AN E-MAIL TO HIS SUPPORTERS: “When I decided to run for mayor this year, I knew it would be tough. I knew that the mistakes of my personal life would make things difficult for me and for my family. From the very beginning, some people insisted that I shouldn't even be allowed to run. I believe that question should be left to the voters. This fight is too important to leave New Yorkers without a choice. And I want to give them the power to decide who their mayor will be.”
– A meat cleaver called sequester –
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA IN A SPEECH AT KNOX COLLEGE: “Rather than reduce our deficits with a scalpel, by cutting out programs we need, fixing ones that we do need that maybe are in need of reform, making government more efficient; instead of doing that, we've got folks who've insisted on leaving in place a meat cleaver called the sequester that's costs jobs. It's harmed growth, it's hurt our military, it's gutted investments in education, science and medical research.”
– Why does the president bother? –
SENATE MINORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL IN A SPEECH ON THE SENATE FLOOR: “There is a lot more we could get done if he'd actually pick up the telephone and try to work with us every once in a while. I know Democrats would like to hear from him every now and then as well because every time he goes out and gives one of the speeches it generates little more than a collective bipartisan eye roll. A bipartisan eye roll. It is just a colossal waste of time and energy – resources that would be better spent actually working with both parties in Congress to grow the economy and create jobs.”
– House floor condemnations of King’s immigration comments –
DEMOCRATIC REP. ALBIO SIRES OF NEW JERSEY IN A SPEECH ON THE HOUSE FLOOR: “My parents brought me to this country at the age of 11. They brought me here for the freedom. They brought me here for the opportunities and they never told me to strap 75 pounds of marijuana on my thighs so we can sell it in America. It is disgraceful that a member of this body would demean this House and what this country represents when you make remarks like that. … When you make remarks like one of the members made, it is not only ignorant but, quite frankly, stupid by not recognizing the history of this country.”
Gut Check Full Service: Rep. Steve King: 100 drug runners for every valedictorian 'DREAMer'… Supporters of the Senate immigration bill's path to citizenship are blasting comments Iowa Rep. Steve King made last week where he said that for every young undocumented immigrant who is a school valedictorian, 100 more are “hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.” – Brian Koenig
– Priorities –
STEPHEN COLBERT ON HIS LATE NIGHT COMEDY SHOW: “Over 500 al Qaeda leaders have escaped from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and facing over a thousand sectarian killings a month, experts fear the country is plunging once again into a bloody civil war. For more, go someplace else because there's a royal baby!”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Burgess Everett (@burgessev)
.@marcorubio on 20-week abortion ban: "I feel very strongly about this issue. And I’d like to be the lead sponsor" http://www.politico.com/story/2013/07/marco-rubio-lead-sponsor-anti-abortion-bill-94691.html
Gabriel Malor (@gabrielmalor)
Boehner, Cantor condem Rep. Steve King's "hateful language" calling illegals drug couriers. http://goo.gl/2CNpMJ
Paul Steinhauser (@psteinhauserCNN)
New 2016 poll.. same old story.. Hillary the overwhelming Democrats front-runner & no obvious GOP front-runner http://on.cnn.com/1aIRpGm
Taegan Goddard (@politicalwire)
McDonnell on resigning: "I'm not going anywhere. I love this job... there has been no consideration of that."
Kasie Hunt (@kasie)
KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – Governor Bob McDonnell has traveled to the Middle East as part of an official Department of Defense delegation
Manu Raju (@mkraju)
McConnell already going up with six-figure ad buy slamming primary foe Bevin, calling him "Bailout Bevin." http://politi.co/168mUqb
Rachel Kramer Bussel (@raquelita)
Today's @SpiritAirlines subject line: "The Weiner Rises Again!" Inside, #CarlosDanger graphic. Stay classy! pic.twitter.com/No9QoGAZrN
“@CNNMoney: Facebook shares soar after hours as it reports solid earnings and strong mobile ad revenue. http://cnnmon.ie/bkgnews ”
Tomio Geron (@tomiogeron)
Facebook mobile ad revenue, a closely watched number, was 41% of total ad revenue or ~$656 million http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomiogeron/2013/07/24/facebook-q2-earnings-beat-street-shares-rise/ …
TRIVIA ANSWER from @DanMericaCNN
Tennessee became the first Confederate state readmitted to the Union on this day in 1866.
The state had voted to leave the Union in 1861 and join the Confederate States of America. The decision was controversial in the state, where a number of eastern counties petitioned to remain with the Union.
After the South lost the Civil War, Tennessee was the fastest former Confederate state to adopt the 14th Amendment and formally free all slaves. Both of those points were conditions for rejoining the Union.
For nearly two years, Tennessee was the only former rebel state to reenter the Union. It wasn’t until June of 1868 that Arkansas became the second state to be readmitted.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it)
Congrats to Scot Shumski (@3kidsiseasy) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia question. Nice job Scotito!
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