CNN's POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for August 28, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
LATEST ON SYRIA: A congressional source tells CNN’s Dana Bash the classified intelligence report on Syria went to key members of Congress Tuesday afternoon. A version of that report is expected to be made public this week. LINK
THE DREAM: President Barack Obama speaking on the National Mall on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington: “I'm convinced that same imagination, same hunger of purpose stirs in this generation.” LINK
BILL CLINTON: “This march and that speech changed America. They opened minds, they melted hearts and they moved millions including a 17-year-old boy watching alone in his home in Arkansas.”
OVERLOOKED: CNN’s Lisa Desjardins reports that Sen. Tim Scott (R-South Carolina), the only African American in the U.S. Senate was not invited to speak at the event. Scott, however, did write an opinion piece in the State newspaper, “When people ask what motivates me or drives me to serve the public good, I have a simple yet complex answer: I am living my mother’s American Dream.”
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end higher a day after Syria fears sparked sharp sell-off. Dow gains 48 points.
THE BUZZ: “‘Twerk,’ a provocative dance move, and ‘selfie’ a photograph taken of oneself using a phone, are two new words added to the Oxford English Dictionary on Wednesday. – Reuters LINK
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: How Syria attack could plunge U.S. into open-ended quagmire
Haven't we heard this before? With President Barack Obama examining how - not whether - the United States will respond to what it calls a major chemical weapons attack in Syria, some are warning of another potential open-ended war if America launches an expected military strike. - Tom Cohen LINK
Leading Drudge: 'Brief And Limited'
An American military attack on Syria could begin as early as Thursday and will involve three days of missile strikes, according to "senior U.S. officials" talking to NBC News. The Washington Post has the bombing at "no more than two days," though long-range bombers could "possibly" join the missiles. "Factors weighing into the timing of any action include a desire to get it done before the president leaves for Russia next week," reports CNN, citing a "senior administration official." – The Wall Street Journal LINK
Leading HuffPo: ‘The stakes are high’
Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) on Wednesday morning announced an ambitious plan to reform the criminal justice system, promising to make it his focus if he wins a U.S. Senate seat in October. - Amanda Terkel LINK
Leading Politico: Obama, Clinton embrace King's legacy, call for more progress
Three presidents, civil rights leaders, Oprah Winfrey and tens of thousands of people descended on the National Mall on Wednesday to mark the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s revolutionary “I Have a Dream” speech. – Glueck, Breanna Edwards And James Arkin LINK
Leading the New York Times: Hacked
New York Times hit with 'malicious attack'
The New York Times' website went down for several hours on Tuesday and some users were still having problems Wednesday after it was hit with a "malicious external attack." – Julianne Pepitone LINK
What metaphor did Martin Luther King Jr. use in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech to describe his fellow participants in the civil rights movement?
MICHELLE (@mjaconiCNN) & GREG (@gregorywallace)
What caught our eye today in politics
The Los Angeles Times caught our eye today. Reporters Kathleen Hennessey, Michael A. Memoli and Christi Parsons write about Obama’s foreign policy debate about Syria:
“One U.S. official who has been briefed on the options on Syria said he believed the White House would seek a level of intensity ‘just muscular enough not to get mocked’ but not so devastating that it would prompt a response from Syrian allies Iran and Russia.
“‘They are looking at what is just enough to mean something, just enough to be more than symbolic,’ he said.” LINK
The article quotes Obama’s interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo last Thursday in which the president questioned America’s legal position in attacking a country without a U.N. mandate. The Times notes, “over the weekend, as more evidence of a chemical attack surfaced, the White House dramatically changed its language. Aides decided to clip references to a ‘U.N. mandate’ and ‘international law’ from the administration's talking points.”
The political bites of the day
–Obama: the Dream requires vigilance -
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA AT THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON: “To secure the gains this country has made, requires constant vigilance, not complacency. Whether by challenging those who erect new barriers to the vote, or ensuring that the scales of justice work equally for all, and the criminal justice system is not just a pipeline from under-funded schools to overcrowded jails.”
- Clinton: King wouldn’t stand for gridlock -
FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON AT THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON: “Dr. King’s dream of interdependence, his prescription of whole-hearted cooperation across racial lines, they ring as true today as they did 50 years ago. Oh yes, we face terrible political gridlock now. Read a little history – it’s nothing new. Yes, there remain racial inequalities across income, health, wealth, incarceration, and in the victims and perpetrators of violent crime. But we don’t face beatings, lynchings, and shootings for our political beliefs anymore, and I would respectfully suggest that Martin Luther King did not live and die to hear his heirs whine about political gridlock. It is time to stop complaining and put our shoulders against the stubborn gates holding the American people back.”
- Boehner wants answers from Obama on Syria -
HOUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER CALLS ON THE PRESIDENT TO SPEAK BEFORE CONGRESS AHEAD OF ANY MILITARY ACTION: “I am mindful that Syria is one of the few places where the immediate national security interests of the United States so visibly converge with broader U.S. security interests and objectives. … Now, having again determined your red line has been crossed, should a decisive response involve the use of the United States military, it is essential that you provide a clear, unambiguous explanation of how military action – which is a means, not a policy – will secure U.S. objectives and how it fits into your overall policy. I respectfully request that you, as our country’s commander-in-chief, personally make the case to the American people and Congress for how potential military action will secure American national security interests, preserve America’s credibility, deter the future use of chemical weapons, and, critically, be a part of our broader policy and strategy. In addition, it is essential you address on what basis any use of force would be legally justified and how the justification comports with the exclusive authority of Congressional authorization under Article I of the Constitution.”
- Airstrikes may not be effective, top Democrat says -
REP. ADAM SMITH (D-WASHINGTON), RANKING MEMBER OF THE HOUSE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE, ON CNN: “I'm still highly skeptical of how effective it's going to be to do a one-time strike on Syria. Number one, it's not going to be that effective. And number two, what if Syria strikes back? They have said they will defend their interests. … Certainly what Assad is doing is terrible, but we're not in a military position to go in there and fix that. And I'm a little bit leery about us committing ourselves to something that might start us down a path that we shouldn't start down.”
- The Cruz doctrine -
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TEXAS), ON FOX: "The United States armed forces doesn't exist to be a policeman of the world … and I certainly hope the reaction isn't simply lobbing some cruise missiles in to disagree with Assad's murderous actions. … If Assad is toppled and replaced by a radical Islamist regime, what would be truly dangerous for the United States, for our allies like Israel and Jordan, is for a radical Islamic government to seize control of those chemical weapons and to deploy them against us or our allies."
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Steven Shepard (@HotlineSteve)
Everyone assumes the NYC Democratic primary will go to a runoff. That CW might change soon.
Rick Perry's coming back to Iowa. @GovernorPerry will be the guest speaker for @PolkGOP fall dinner, organizers tell me.
TRIVIA ANSWER from @GREGORYWALLACE
One year after the March on Washington, Martin Luther King Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In his acceptance speech, King said those who struggled against oppression were like the “known pilots and the unknown ground crew” necessary for a flight to take off.
“You honor the dedicated pilots of our struggle who have sat at the controls as the freedom movement soared into orbit. You honor, once again, Chief Lutuli of South Africa, whose struggles with and for his people, are still met with the most brutal expression of man's inhumanity to man. You honor the ground crew without whose labor and sacrifices the jet flights to freedom could never have left the earth. Most of these people will never make the headline and their names will not appear in ‘Who's Who.’ Yet when years have rolled past and when the blazing light of truth is focused on this marvelous age in which we live, men and women will know and children will be taught that we have a finer land, a better people, a more noble civilization, because these humble children of God were willing to suffer for righteousness' sake.”
That year – 1964 – was a major one for the civil rights movement. Congress passed significant civil rights legislation and the 24th amendment, which banned poll taxes, was ratified.
GUT CHECK WINNER'S CIRCLE
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There were no correct answers to today’s trivia question. If you’re still scratching your head over today’s, keep your thinking cap at the ready: we’ll have a fresh question tomorrow afternoon @gutcheckcnn. LINK
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