CNN's GUT CHECK for September 3, 2013
September 3rd, 2013
05:44 PM ET
6 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for September 3, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for September 3, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

KERRY TO CONGRESS: THIS IS NOT LIKE IRAQ… Secretary of State John Kerry at a meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: "I remember Iraq. Secretary Hagel remembers Iraq...We were here for that vote. And so we are especially sensitive, Chuck and I, to never again asking any Member of Congress to take a vote on faulty intelligence. That is why our intelligence community has scrubbed and re-scrubbed the evidence. We have declassified unprecedented amounts of information.”

CONGRESS TO KERRY: MAKE YOUR CASE… Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of California on whether the intelligence community agrees: Did they all come to the same conclusion, the various intelligence agencies?
Kerry: To my knowledge, I have no knowledge of any agency that was a dissenter or anybody who had, you know, an alternative theory.

THE BUZZ: HAGEL TOOK IT ON THE CHIN THIS WEEKEND Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived Tuesday at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Syria sporting a noticeable bruise on his chin. CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr reports Hagel’s injury was a result of exercising his green thumb. According to an aide, “Secretary Hagel slightly bruised his chin while doing a little yard work at home over the weekend.”

MARKET WATCH: Tech mergers boost stocks, sending major U.S. indexes higher. Dow adds 23 points. NASDAQ gains 0.6%, S&P up 0.4%.

(Answer below)
President Wilson's League of Nation's tour started on this day in 1919. Where was his first stop?

DAN (@DanMericaCNN), MARK (@PrestonCNN) and MICHELLE (@mjaconiCNN)
What caught our eye today in politics

It isn't often that you get to write this sentence: President Barack Obama got a big boost today from House Speaker John Boehner. But that is exactly what happened today.

"This is something that the United States as a country needs to do," Boehner said about military action in Syria after a meeting with the president at the White House. "I'm going to support the President's call for action. I believe that my colleagues should support this call for action."

Boehner decision is big, but will it tip the balance?

According to CNN's current count, the House and Senate are still very much undecided on military intervention in Syria. Here is our latest tally for the House:

No – 60 (16 Democrats and 44 Republicans)
Undecided – 254 (131 Democrats and 123 Republicans)
Unknown – 97 (36 Democrats and 61 Republicans)
Yes – 23 (18 Democrats and 5 Republicans)

As more proof of the Republicans split, study how Kevin McCarthy, the number three Republican in the House votes. Mike Long, McCarthy’s spokesman says the congressman is still “weighing the information and intelligence presented to him.”

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Public opinion still against strikes
Two new national polls indicate the same thing: More Americans oppose rather than favor U.S. military strikes against Syria. According to an ABC News/Washington Post survey released Tuesday, 36% of the public supports launching missile strikes against the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad if the U.S. has determined that Damascus has used chemical weapons against its own citizens, with nearly six in ten opposing such a move. – Paul Steinhauser

Leading Drudge: Boots Or No Boots?
Secretary of State John F. Kerry refused Tuesday to rule out putting U.S. troops on the ground in Syria, saying the president needs to retain the ability to send in forces in very select circumstances as the Obama administration officially began to make its case for retaliatory military strikes on the Assad regime. – Stephen Dinan

Leading HuffPo: Unintended Consequences: Obamacare Triggers Abortion Restrictions
President Barack Obama's health care reform law may bring new benefits and coverage to women. But Obamacare has also unintentionally provoked a slew of new restrictions on insurance coverage of abortion. – Jeffrey Young

Leading Politico: House leaders back Obama call for action in Syria
House Speaker John Boehner is on board with President Barack Obama’s call for military action in Syria. – Reid J. Epstein

Leading The New York Times: Vote on Syria Sets Up Foreign Policy Clash Between 2 Wings of G.O.P.
The Congressional vote will offer the best insight yet on which wing of the Republican Party — the party’s traditional hawks, or a growing bloc of noninterventionists — has the advantage. – Jonathan Martin

The political bites of the day

- Obama’s ‘vindication’ -
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA DURING A PHOTO-OP WITH CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS AT THE WHITE HOUSE: “I think it vindicates the decision for us to present this issue to Congress. As I've said last week, as Kerry made clear in his presentation last week, we have high confidence that Syria used in indiscriminate fashion chemical weapons that killed thousands of people including over 400 children in direct violation of the international norm against using chemical weapons.”

- McCain: President open to sending more arms to Syrian rebels -
REPUBLICAN SEN. JOHN MCCAIN OF ARIZONA IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN: “That means providing them not only weapons but the kind of weapons they need: anti-armor and anti-air. AK-47s don't do very well against tanks, so we discussed that and that that would be a course of action that the president would seriously consider, I guess is the best way to describe it.”

- Christie: Wife comes before Rand Paul -
NEW JERSEY GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE ON WHY HE WON’T BE ABLE TO MEET WITH SEN. RAND PAUL WHEN HE COMES TO NEW JERSEY NEXT WEEK: “I had to choose - it was a very tough choice, Terry - but I had to choose between my wife and Rand Paul. And it’s Mary Pat’s 50th birthday that weekend and I’m taking her away, just the two of us for her 50th birthday. We’re leaving Friday morning, we won’t get back until Sunday night. And in a choice between Mary Pat Christie and Rand Paul, it’s no choice for me. So, I’ll be with Mary Pat.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Dana Bash (@DanaBashCNN)
Just in: source familiar with @SenHarryReid thinking tells cnn he is confident Syria authorization will pass the senate.

David Freddoso (@freddoso)
"On Sunday @repjustinamash showed up for a closed-door Capitol Hill classified briefing on Syria wearing a Darth Vader T-shirt" #wapo

Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke)
Pretty astonishing money imbalance in the Colorado recall elections:

Sean Sullivan (@FixSean)
Think the Christie-Paul feud has simmered down? It hasn’t. Here’s why.

Daniel Burke (@BurkeCNN)
#Rodman playing down reports that he's going to North Korea to advocate for release of #Christian missionary

Jake Tapper (@jaketapper)
Psyched to welcome @jimsciuttoCNN as our new National Security Correspondent! smart guy + great reporter - we at CNN are lucky to have him

Chris Moody. Yahoo! (@Chris_Moody)
Watch this Florida Democrat get trapped in a super awkward hippy singalong about a river and manatees.

Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton)
Flying to 112 countries is a lot until you consider swimming between 2. Feels like I swim with sharks – but you actually did it! Congrats!

Rob Lockwood (@RobLockwood)
"Hillary" tweets about travel & swimming while POTUS talks war. Answers @PeterHambyCNN thesis ? about her team understanding social media.

SNEAK PEEK INTO LIFE ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Peter Hamby’s “9 secrets from the 2012 race” – including a look at the dominance of Twitter among the political class… “It's the gathering spot, it's the filing center, it's the hotel bar, it's the press conference itself all in one,” said Jonathan Martin of The New York Times. “It's the central gathering place now for the political class during campaigns but even after campaigns. It's even more than that. It's become the real-time political wire. That's where you see a lot of breaking news. That's where a lot of judgments are made about political events, good, bad or otherwise.” – Peter Hamby LINK


On this day in 1919, Wilson left Washington, D.C. for a 22 day, over 9,000 mile trip around the country aimed at advocating the upstart League of Nations.

After signing the Paris Peace Conference in December 1918, Wilson returned to advocate for the League of Nations – an international body that Wilson said would help advert world war.

When it became apparent that passage of the treaty would be difficult – if not impossible – Wilson decided to take his message to the people and deliver a number of speeches on why the United States should join the league of nations.

His first speech happened on September 4 in Columbus, Ohio. In the next three weeks, Wilson delivered over 40 speeches in 29 cities, according to the Miller Center at the University of Virginia.

The trip is widely credited with nearly killing Wilson. He collapsed in Colorado on September 25 and suffered a stroke on October 2 after returning from Washington.

As for his effort – it proved futile. The Senate rejected the treaty 38 to 53.

(why aren’t you in it)

Congrats to Steve Liguori (@SteveL3877) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question.

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soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Marie MD

    The turkey (?) from KY doesn't have an opinion. Just lustening to him turns my stomach. If we do this or don't do this what will happen.
    You moron. Kerry is putting him down as the idiot that he is. If this guy thinks grandstanding is going to make him look presidential he is sadly mistaken.
    He reminds me if a petulant tantrum child.
    Thank you Jerry for reminding US that this no civil rights for all fool us just that. First Hillary now Kerry.

    September 3, 2013 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  2. granny

    Please listen to the people on this one, and vote no on Syria. This administration lies on every single thing in the past 5 years. Don't get snookered again.

    September 3, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  3. Susan

    I don't think we should attack Syria. If you think about what happened at the American embassy in Libya and
    what happening in Egypt, would this attack really help?. I think it will make things worse. Also there are terrorists working with the rebels.

    September 3, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "President Barack Obama got a big boost today from House Speaker John Boehner"

    No he didn't. Boehner can't control his caucus and hasn't said whether he will apply the Hastert Rule. No...what this is, is Boehner & Co. trying to set up a situation in which the vote goes negative and Obama gets no authorization...all while the Teatrolls drag it out, demagogue it and make the fallout even worse. Then, they'll essentially dare him to act unilaterally with his authority under the War Powers Act, responding to it by threatening or even trying to impeach him for it (one or two of them are already saying that they can impeach Obama if he enacts cruise missile strikes without congressional approval). It's all a joke and a game to them. The biggest things making America "look weak" at this point are the GOP/Teatrolls' displays of abject disrespect for our elected POTUS, their obstructionism that prevents any decisive action and their constant search for partisan political advantage and point-scoring via shenanigans like moving the goalposts or bait and switch legislative promises.

    September 3, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  5. IowaMan

    What's with CCNs obsession with the leading story on Drudge?
    Kind of disrespectful to those who actually write news artcles for a living.

    September 3, 2013 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  6. Thomas

    What is an Aqua Buddha ?

    September 3, 2013 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  7. Dixie

    The debate about what will happen if.... The answer is who knows? We won't know till we get there. We can't know if boots will be on the ground till the responce from Syria is given.

    September 3, 2013 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  8. Michael, Chapel Hill

    Marie is very tolerant. Our own died in Benghazi without support from the military. our own died. Now why the war cry. Want to help Islamic Terrorists again. Have we not learnt from, Tunisia, Libya & Egypt?

    September 3, 2013 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  9. Marlene Wilkinson

    More than 60% of Americans have stated clearly they do not want an attack! Not of any kind! but yet they are still going to.
    These are elected officials, they have jobs because we put them there. They are there to do our bidding, yet they do as they want not us. It is about time America speaks up stand up and tell them all They are fired!
    How does anyone think we can go and have limited strikes and just leave? It doesn't stop there it never does.
    My Question is who will be willing to come here and free us?

    September 4, 2013 04:11 am at 4:11 am |