January 27th, 2014
05:56 PM ET
3 months ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for January 27, 2014

CNN's GUT CHECK | for January 27, 2014 | 5 p.m.
- n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

HILLARY CLINTON: “MY BIGGEST REGRET” IS BENGHAZI:
In a speech to the National Automobile Dealers Association meeting in New Orleans, Hillary Clinton said Monday that the deaths of four Americans in Libya was her biggest regret during her time as secretary of State: “You know, my biggest regret is what happened in Benghazi. It was a terrible tragedy losing four Americans, two diplomats and now it is public so I can say two CIA operatives. Losing an ambassador like Chris Stevens who was one of our very best and had served in Libya and across the Middle East and spoke Arabic.” - Dan Merica

AND SHE MAKES BUZZ … “I CAN’T DRIVE ANYMORE”
“I have to confess that one of the regrets I have about my public life is that I can’t drive anymore. My husband thinks that’s a blessing, but he should talk. Last time I actually drove a car myself was 1996. I remember that very well and unfortunately so does the Secret Service which is why I haven’t driven since then.”

Gut Check Flash Back: In 1996 …
The price of a gallon of regular gas ranged from $1.07-$1.28
The #1 movie was “Independence Day”
The #1 song was "The Macarena”
Tupac Shakur was killed in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas
The Unabomber was captured

SOTU PREP: VINE VS. VINE Forget 140 characters, the new playing field has been narrowed down to just six seconds. President Obama and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Washington, both released SOTU sneak peak Vine videos today. Rodgers showed a video of the set where she will be giving the GOP response to the President’s address Tuesday. The President’s vine showed him looking into the camera saying, “Tomorrow night: It’s time to restore opportunity for all.”
TREY RADEL TO RESIGN FROM CONGRESS … U.S. Rep. Trey Radel, the Florida Republican who pleaded guilty to cocaine possession last November, will resign from Congress on Monday, he wrote in a resignation letter to House Speaker John Boehner. Radel was caught buying cocaine from an undercover federal agent in Washington and spent nearly a month in a substance abuse program in Florida.

Gut Check Full Service: Radel represents Florida's 19th Congressional District, a solidly Republican district in the southwest part of the state. Even before he decided to step down, Radel was already facing a primary challenge from a former state lawmaker in August's GOP primary, and other Republicans were expressing interest in the seat. The decision on when a special election will be held is up to the state's GOP governor, Rick Scott. – Deirdre Walsh

THE BUZZ: BOSTON BOMBING SURVIVORS, OPENLY GAY ATHLETE TO SIT IN FIRST LADY’S BOX DURING SPEECH… Survivors of two 2013 disasters — the Boston Marathon bombings and the deadly tornado that ripped through Moore, Oklahoma — will be honored guests at Tuesday’s State of the Union address alongside Jason Collins, the former NBA center who in 2013 became the first openly gay male athlete in one of the four major American pro leagues.– Kevin Liptak

MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks extend slump. Dow can't hold earlier gains, ends down 40 points. NASDAQ slides 1%. S&P 500 drops 0.5%.

TRAIL TRIVIA
(Answer below)
Who was the only woman other than Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers to give the official GOP response to the State of the Union alone?

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: CNN Exclusive: John Edwards says Dems should do more on poverty
Since then, poverty has held an uneven place in American political discourse even as the number of poor people grew from 37 million in 2007 to nearly 50 million, or 16 percent of the population, in 2012, according to U.S. Census figures. John Edwards, the 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee and 2008 White House candidate, made poverty central to his political platform during both unsuccessful campaigns. But Edwards' political career hit the rocks after his second presidential bid. He admitted to an extramarital affair and lied about having a child out of wedlock. Edwards was shunned from politics and his anti-poverty platform faded. – Leigh Ann Caldwell

Leading CNNMoney: How spending has fallen under Obama
At its height in 2010, "discretionary spending" under Obama reached 9.1% of GDP. That was largely due to the stimulus law intended to dig the country out of a deep recession. But even at that high level, it wasn't that much higher than the 40-year average of 8.4% and was still below the 40-year peak of 10% reached in 1983. Today, levels are well below the long-term average. And the Congressional Budget Office projects that by 2023 discretionary spending will fall to 5.3% of GDP, the lowest since 1962. – Jeanne Sahadi

Leading New Orleans Times-Picayune: Ray Nagin arrives at federal courthouse on first day of corruption trial
Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has arrived at the federal courthouse in New Orleans on the first day of his two-week corruption trial. Federal prosecutors say Nagin accepted bribes - in the form of cash, gifts and vacations - in exchange for issuing lucrative city contracts to businessmen. – Juliet Linderman

Leading Oklahoman: Former Gov. Frank Keating says he won't run for U.S. Senate
Former Gov. Frank Keating on Monday ruled out a run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee … “While I have considered and discussed this possibility with family and supporters, I have concluded that the most important way I can contribute to policy debates in Washington is by continuing my service to ABA and fighting for banks of all sizes.”– Chris Casteel

Leading Drudge: The Gaymmys!
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Same Love" anthem became the theme song for 33 newlyweds during the 56th Grammy Awards on Sunday night. The gay and straight weddings were officiated by Queen Latifah while the hit song about equality was performed by the rap duo with Madonna hitting the stage with them, along with Mary Lambert and jazz artist Trombone Shorty.

Leading HuffPo: Republicans Decry Obama Plans To Bypass Congress To Advance Agenda
U.S. President Barack Obama's strategy to bypass Congress this year with executive orders to advance his policy agenda received a cold reaction on Sunday from Republican leaders, who accused the White House of arrogance and sidestepping the political process. – Jeff Mason

Leading Politico: Ed Gillespie GOP challenger Howie Lind drops out
One of the Virginia Republicans seeking the Senate nomination against favorite Ed Gillespie dropped out of the race Monday, while another conservative was considering jumping in. Howie Lind, a relatively unknown Navy veteran, said fundraising dried up after Gillespie, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, joined the field to take on Democratic Sen. Mark Warner. – Jake Sherman

Leading New York Times: 2014 Elections Likely to Keep Capital’s Split
A review of competitive congressional contests suggests that, at the moment, Republicans will hold on to the House, though Democrats could defy midterm history and gain a few seats. Senate Democrats, at the same time, are defending unfavorable terrain and will almost certainly see their majority narrowed. They are at risk of losing it altogether, an outcome that would leave Capitol Hill entirely in Republican control for the conclusion of Mr. Obama’s presidency. – Carl Hulse

HOT SOTS
The political bites of the day

– Paul: Clinton was ‘predatory’ towards Monica Lewinsky–
SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KENTUCKY, ASKED ABOUT HIS WIFE’S COMMENTS TO VOGUE MAGAZINE, ON NBC’S “MEET THE PRESS” SUNDAY: “One of the workplace laws and rules that I think are good is that bosses shouldn't prey on young interns in their office. And I think really the media seems to have given President Clinton a pass on this … He took advantage of a girl that was 20 years old and an intern in his office. There is no excuse for that.”

– Deeds: “The system failed my son” –
VIRGINIA STATE SEN. CREIGH DEEDS IN AN INTERVIEW WITH SCOTT PELLEY ON “60 MINUTES” SUNDAY: "If you've got a heart attack, if you've got cancer, you're going to get treatment. There are protocols developed, but the mentally ill struggle in silence often."

Gut Check Full Service: Deeds will be speaking with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on AC360 tonight at 8pm E.T.

– Stand by for auditions –
VETERAN REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST MARK MCKINNON IN AN INTERVIEW WITH THE NEW YORK TIMES: “There is no clear leadership in the Republican Party right now, no clear direction or message, and no way to enforce discipline … And because there’s a vacuum, and no shortage of cameras, there are plenty of actors happy to audition.”

– Ex-Clinton staffer: Dem. focus in Iowa starting early –
HILLARY CLINTON’S 2008 IOWA STATE DIRECTOR TERESA VILMAIN IN AN INTERVIEW WITH THE WASHINGTON POST: “I’ve been organizing in the Iowa caucuses since 1979 … This early out, with the people in this room getting together — the serious Obama organizers and the serious Hillary organizers — that really never happens.”

TOP TWEETS
What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Peter Hamby (‏@PeterHambyCNN)
Rubio's unapologetic defense of U.S. engagement overseas will be intriguing subplot if he runs against Rand in '16 http://cnn.it/1clEsoQ

Ashley Killough ‏(@KilloughCNN)
Asked who she finds inspiring, Clinton names Angela Merkel and Nelson Mandela, as well as those fighting on the ground for human rights.

Ready for Hillary ‏(@ReadyForHillary)
Happening Now: Take a look inside our packed #Hillary2016 grassroots event in Houston. http://instagram.com/p/jm2ZqltfzU/

Senator Ted Cruz ‏(@SenTedCruz)
We should know why 4 Americans perished in a preventable terrorist attack in #Benghazi http://1.usa.gov/1eaN16h #SOTU pic.twitter.com/o2v8y7DBfb

Rep. Steve Stockman (‏@StockmanSenate)
Rep. Steve Stockman: 'You must be conservative' when the media can't find you – Washington Times: http://wtim.es/1aYiAiy via @washtimes

Ashley Parker (‏@AshleyRParker)
MT @jmartNYT: Just met w Gov Snyder for 2nd time recently — and for 2nd time he didn't rule out looking at prez, deploying usual non-denials

JenniferJacobsDMReg (@JenniferJJacobs)
Senate @MajorityPAC, which fights for Democratic majority in US Senate, buying ad time in Iowa Jan. 28-Feb. 10. Propping up @BruceBraley?

Barack Obama (‏@BarackObama)
Don't miss this chance: Tell @OFA what you're looking forward to hearing during the #SOTU. http://ofa.bo/b2M

Reince Priebus ‏(@Reince)
Video: You might want to fire up a DVD or go out tomorrow night. http://bit.ly/Lfd1Ts Unless you like reruns #SOTU

Chloe Sommers ‏(@ChloePalma)
@PressSec Carney says "I'm very artistic" as he snaps an Instagram pic from the podium today pic.twitter.com/16KIboA4At

Wolf Blitzer (‏@wolfblitzer)
So nice to get a shout-out from Ringo Starr at the #Grammys Thanks @NischelleTurner http://cnn.it/1esol5H

hulu (‏@hulu)
33 couples, gay & straight, got married at the #GRAMMYs... And yet it's still illegal to get married at the Oscars. http://hulu.tv/g6F

Dorsey Shaw (‏@dorseyshaw)
Sir Mix-A-Lot and Jake Tapper talked about butts and honesty on Twitter and it was awesome. http://twitpic.com/dtl6wd http://www.buzzfeed.com/dorsey/sir-mix-a-lot-and-cnns-jake-tapper-talked-about-butts-and-ho

TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer

Former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman is the only other woman to have delivered the official GOP State of the Union response alone. Whitman gave the response to President Bill Clinton’s State of the Union speech in 1995. She was 48 at the time.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers will be the fifth woman to give a GOP response to the State of the Union. At age 44, she is the youngest of the five women who have done so.

The other three women who have given GOP responses to the president’s State of the Union did not give solo addresses. In1968, Charlotte Reid, R-Illinois, gave comments with 15 other Republican Congressmen and Senators. Rep. Jennifer Dunn, R-Washington, delivered a joint response with Rep. Steve Largent, R-Oklahoma, more than thirty years later in 1999. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, gave the response with Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tennessee, in 2000.

GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it)

Congrats to James Gray (@RealJamesGray) and Steve Liguori (@SteveL3877) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia question.

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Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "You might want to fire up a DVD or go out tomorrow night....Unless you like reruns"

    Don't worry, champ...most people will watch Obama and then promptly watch something other than GOPers/Teatrolls try to repackage their misogyny, plutocracy and bigotry agenda by having female salespersons try to sell it to us.

    January 27, 2014 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  2. tom l

    So a white guy wins for best rap album and CNN questions whether the Grammys are racist. The premise alone is disgusting and racist.

    January 27, 2014 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  3. Thomas

    It's good to hear Senator Ted Cruz talking about the mistake over unfound WMD's as the reason to go to war in Iraq.

    However comparing Benghazi too Iraq is a little silly .

    January 27, 2014 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |