CNN's GUT CHECK | for September 9, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
THE BLITZ! PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SITS DOWN WITH CNN’S WOLF BLITZER… Watch the interview tonight on "The Situation Room" at 6 p.m. ET.
CROSSFIRE RETURNS: CNN’s new edition of CROSSFIRE premieres tonight at 6:30 pm ET. You can join the first guests Sens. Rand Paul and bob Menendez in the Crossfire on Twitter (#CrossfireReturns), Facebook.com/CNN, or CNN.com/Crossfire.
KERRY COMMENT LEADS TO POSSIBLE SYRIA SOLUTION: After Secretary of State John Kerry said that Syria could stave off an attack by handing over control of its chemical weapons, Russia quickly pounced on the plan and offered it to Syrian President Bashar al-Asad’s administration. Kerry’s spokeswoman issued a hasty statement saying Kerry did not consider this a serious possibility, but it was too late. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem told reporters in Moscow that his nation “welcomes” a proposal by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during talks on Monday: put Syria's chemical weapons under international control to avert a U.S. military response over an alleged poison gas attack last month.
HILLARY SPEAKS OUT: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday if the Syrian regime immediately surrendered its stockpiles to international control, “that would be an important step but this cannot be another excuse for delay or obstruction.”
MARKET WATCH: U.S. indexes end 1% higher as worries about Syria ease.
Who was the first child of a president ever born in the White House?
A new CNN/ORC International poll released on Monday brought more bad news for President Barack Obama and his supporters who want Congress to authorize military action in Syria.
According to CNN’s John King, here are two key numbers from the poll as Obama attempts to convince Congress and the nation to intervene in Syria:
– Seventy-two percent of Americans say strikes would not achieve significant goals for the United States,
– Sixty-nine percent say use of force in Syria is not in the U.S. national interest.
“A deeper look shows how the president's biggest problem is with Republicans and self-described independents, meaning he is trying to persuade people who are already inclined to oppose the president on many or most issues,” King writes. “For example, six in 10 Democrats say strikes would not achieve any significant goals for the United States. But 74 percent of independents believe that, and 83 percent of Republicans.”
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: CNN vote count: Constituents drown out Obama
As President Barack Obama channels his inner salesman to pitch military action in Syria, he shouldn't be surprised when he finds a number of congressional doors already closed. One common refrain from those who plan to vote against the resolution to authorize military action in Syria is they simply can't support a proposal that their constituents vociferously oppose. – Dan Merica
Gut Check Extra: In Weiner's final days, more curiosity than serious candidate… Weiner today is more of a public curiosity than a serious candidate, despite being the best pure political talent in a Democratic field bereft of charisma and the kind of outsized personalities to which New York voters have become accustomed. – Peter Hamby
Leading Drudge: Hand 'Em Over
In a surprise move, Russia promised Monday to push its ally Syria to place its chemical weapons under international control and then dismantle them quickly to avert U.S. strikes. – Vladimir Isachenkov
Leading HuffPo: 'Gray Area': Latest Obamacare Battle Revealed
For millions of Americans, the face of health reform will be a friendly, eager-to-please customer service representative on the health insurance exchanges whose title will be “navigator.” – Michael Ollove
Leading Politico: U.S. open to Russian chemical weapons proposal
White House and State Department officials said Monday they’re open to proposals by Russia to put Syria’s stocks of chemical weapons under international control, but that such talk is no reason for the U.S. to back away from President Barack Obama’s threat of a military strike. – Josh Gerstein
Leading The New York Times: Obama Tests Limits of Power in Syrian Conflict
President Obama’s approach to Syria is likely to create an important precedent in the often murky legal question of when presidents or nations may lawfully use military force. – Charlie Savage
The political bites of the day
- Assad threatens America with ‘repercussions’ -
SYRIAN PRESIDENT BASHAR AL-ASSAD IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CHARLIE ROSE: “There are going to be repercussions. … You should expect everything. This war is against the interests of the United States. … Not necessarily from the government. ... You have different parties, you have different factions, you have different ideology.”
- Republican no votes pile up -
REPUBLICAN SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER IN A WRITTEN STATEMENT: “I will vote ‘no’ because of too much uncertainty about what comes next. After step A, what will be steps B, C, D and E? I see too much risk that the strike will do more harm than good by setting off a chain of consequences that could involve American fighting men and women in another long-term Middle East conflict. There should be other ways, more appropriate to America’s vital national security interests, to discourage and show our disgust with the Syrian government’s apparent use of chemical weapons on its own people.”
- Senate leader cites Dante to push to Syria -
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID IN A SPEECH ON THE SENATE FLOOR: “Fourteen blocks from here down Constitution Avenue there is a Holocaust Museum. You walk in there and you will see a quote, it is on the wall. It is from Dante’s famous ‘Inferno.’ Here is what it says and I quote: ‘The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crisis maintain their neutrality.’ I repeat: ‘the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crisis maintain their neutrality.’ I have thought about those words very often and very often lately as I have considered whether America should take action to prevent further atrocities in Syria.”
- Rice: All weapons aren’t equal -
SUSAN RICE, UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS, IN A SPEECH AT THE NEW AMERICA FOUNDATION: “Chemical weapons are different. They are wholly indiscriminate. Gas plumes shift and spread without warning. The masses of people they can fell are immense. The torture they bring is unconscionable. Chemical weapons, like other weapons of mass destruction, kill on a scope and scale that is entirely different from conventional weapons. Opening the door to their use anywhere threatens the United States and our personnel everywhere.”
- Rush: John Kerry Gives Assad One Week to Give Up or Face an "Unbelievably Small" Attack –
RUSH LIMBAUGH ON HIS SYNDICATED RADIO SHOW: “Now they're out there saying he's one the biggest reprobates on the face of the earth. At a joint press conference today with the UK foreign secretary, Kerry says, ‘Well, we're not gonna go to war! Come on! I mean, we're not going to war. We won't put boots on the ground. We're not gonna be able to hold him accountable without engaging troops. There'll be no prolonged effort. It'll be something very short-term, targeted, that degrades his capacity to deliver weapons. It's not gonna be a big deal. ‘It'll be unbelievably small,’ and then he tells Assad he has a week to give up! This is some kind of ‘pathic.’ Sociopathic, psychopathic, I don't know, but it's some ‘pathic.’”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Paul Steinhauser (@psteinhauserCNN)
New CNN/ORC Poll: 59% say Congress should NOT pass resolution authorizing force against Syria... 39% say yes http://on.cnn.com/15LptU9
Josh Barro (@jbarro)
Did John Kerry gaffe his way into a diplomatic solution in Syria? http://www.businessinsider.com/russia-syria-chemical-weapons-proposal-john-kerry-2013-9 …
IF Syria were to hand over its entire chemical/biological stockpile to the UN, that'd be a far greater victory than airstrikes could achieve
Andrew Stroehlein (@astroehlein)
So, if Russia's proposal for #Syria's CW works, regime will only be able to slaughter civilians using conventional weapons. Such progress.
jennifer bendery (@jbendery)
Where we are: 1) Kerry randomly proposes Syria give CWs to intl comm 2) Russia: Ok! 3) Syria: Ok! 4) WH: Our bomb threats made this happen!
Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich)
Obama admin confused,conflicted on #Syria.will discuss more on @crossfirecnn tonight w/@stefcutter #crossfirereturns http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/09/opinion/gingrich-obama-administration-syria/index.html?on.cnn=1
Joseph Weisenthal (@TheStalwart)
Can we just skip the whole process and give John Kerry is Nobel Peace Prize now?
Deirdre Walsh (@deirdrewalshcnn)
Senior House GOP aides: WH not reaching out to rank & file House Republicans http://on.cnn.com/15MiB95
TRIVIA ANSWER from @DanMericaCNN
On this day in 1893, Esther Cleveland – daughter of President Grover Cleveland – became the first child ever to be born in the White House.
The child’s mother was Frances Folsom Cleveland – a woman who was 27-years younger than her presidential husband.
While Esther was the first presidential child born in the White House, he was not the first child ever born in the executive mansion.
In 1806, Thomas Jefferson’s daughter gave birth to James Madison Randolph at the White House.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it)
Congrats to Erin (@Erin_in_AR) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question.
Tips or comments? Our inbox awaits: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyone can sign up for Gut Check by emailing email@example.com
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.