CNN's GUT CHECK | for February 10, 2014 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
DEVELOPING …. A NINETIES FLASHBACK
DOCUMENTS REVEAL HILLARY CLINTON’S PRIVATE REACTION TO HER HUSBAND'S CHEATING SCANDAL WITH MONICA LEWINSKY ... A new report claims that Hillary Clinton told a close friend that Monica Lewinsky was a "narcissistic loony toon," and also discussed in detail why she decided to forgive her husband for having an affair with the White House intern … Clinton ally Dianne Blair writes in papers the report is based off of, “HRC insists, no matter what people say, it was gross inappropriate behavior but it was consensual (was not a power relationship) and was not sex within any real meaning… of the term.” – Dan Merica
Gut Check Full Service: SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KENTUCKY, TO CNN’S PETER HAMBY FRIDAY: Sen. Rand Paul predicted that Hillary Clinton will have to answer questions about her husband’s affair if she decides to run for president in 2016. “It isn’t her fault the way her husband’s behaved …But at the same time, I think that they are a fundraising team. He does a lot of fundraising for candidates. I think if they want to beat up on Republicans and say Republicans don’t like women, I think that one of the big things that we advanced in the last several decades is that women are protected in the workplace … I’m sure Don (referring to Texas GOP Senate candidate and ally Don Hoffines) would tell you he would fire anybody that took advantage of a 20 years old girl … If one of his managers had the same kind of problems that Bill Clinton had with a 20-year old girl, he wouldn’t work for him anymore. It’s not acceptable behavior, and yet they are out there saying they are the great crusaders for women’s rights. I think that’s some hypocrisy that they will have to explain.”
THREE OHIO CITIES CONSIDER GOP CONVENTION BID … ALONG WITH LAS VEGAS AND AT LEAST FOUR OTHERS: Representatives from eight cities met with GOP officials Monday in the nation’s capital to talk specifics about what it would take to host the Republican National Convention in 2016. While the meeting was not a required step in the RNC’s selection process, it provides a look at which cities are seriously considering bidding on the convention where Republicans will choose the party’s next presidential nominee. Representatives from Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Las Vegas and Phoenix all met with RNC officials, a senior GOP source told CNN. – Mark Preston Link
SOURCE TO CNN: THERE IS A BREWING DRONE DEBATE … The Obama administration is in high-level discussions about staging an operation to kill an American citizen involved with al Qaeda and suspected of plotting attacks against the United States, a senior U.S. official tells CNN. The official, who declined to disclose any specific information about the target or the country the suspect presides in, was confirming information first reported by The Associated Press. The debate about whether to undertake a mission is being held with various commanders in the U.S. military, as well as the U.S. national security agencies. The discussion centers on the risk involved and the importance of the target. – Barbara Starr
THE BUZZ: PRESIDENT & FIRST LADY BACK MICHAEL SAM ON TWITTER … Sam, an All-American defensive lineman from the University of Missouri, publicly revealed that he's gay Sunday, creating the possibility he'll be the first openly gay player drafted by the National Football League. Michelle Obama sent a message via Twitter, “You're an inspiration to all of us, @MikeSamFootball. We couldn't be prouder of your courage both on and off the field. -mo” The tweet from the president’s account (@BarackObama) said, “Congratulations on leading the way, @MikeSamFootball. That's real sportsmanship.”
WHOOPS: STAR LEDGER ISSUES A ‘PIECE OF CRAP’ CORRECTION
After publishing a story about Chris Christie’s spokesman Sunday, the Star Ledger issued a correction stating, “An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated [Chris Christie spokesperson Michael] Drewniak referred to the Port Authority’s executive director as a ‘piece of crap.’ While Drewniak did call him a ‘piece of excrement,’ it was David Wildstein who referred to the executive director as a ‘piece of crap.’” #OnlyinNewJersey
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end little changed as investors look ahead to Janet Yellen's testimony. Dow inches up 8 points.
Which car company is responsible for building the bobsleds for Team USA at the Sochi Olympic Games?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNMoney: Obamacare employer mandate eased
The Obama administration is giving employers more time to comply with rules requiring them to provide affordable health insurance for their workers. Companies with 50 to 99 employees will now have until 2016 to provide affordable coverage under Obamacare, a year later than expected. And larger companies are getting a bit of a break too - they must offer insurance to only 70% of full-time workers in 2015, rather than 95%. The higher threshold will begin in 2016. Companies with fewer than 50 people on staff are not subject to the Obamacare employer mandate. – Tami Luhby
Leading Charlotte Observer: Hagan, other vulnerable Democrats try straddling health law
In North Carolina, fast becoming ground zero of the “Obamacare” fight, a Senate Majority PAC ad says Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan “forced insurance companies to cover cancer and other pre-existing conditions.” It adds that one of her Republican rivals, state House Speaker Thom Tillis, “sides with insurance companies and would let insurance companies deny coverage.” Hagan has yet to air her own ads on the subject, although her campaign website makes the claims similar to the commercial by the Senate Majority PAC. – David Espo
Leading Drudge: 'Ruthless'
On May 12, 1992, Stan Greenberg and Celinda Lake, top pollsters for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign, issued a confidential memo. The memo’s subject was “Research on Hillary Clinton.” Voters admired the strength of the Arkansas first couple, the pollsters wrote. However, “they also fear that only someone too politically ambitious, too strong, and too ruthless could survive such controversy so well.” Their conclusion: “What voters find slick in Bill Clinton, they find ruthless in Hillary.”- Alana Goodman
Leading HuffPo: The GOP Thinks Obamacare Is Making You Lazy
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) on Sunday suggested that Obamacare is making people lazy, shifting away from a now-discredited GOP talking point on a recent nonpartisan jobs report update on the health care law. Republicans and several media outlets were pilloried last week for misinterpreting an Obamacare report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.- Zach Carter
Leading Politico: White House's Senate strategy: Keep Obama away
The White House and Senate Democrats are preparing an extensive midterm campaign strategy built around one unavoidable fact: Hardly any candidates in the most competitive states want President Barack Obama anywhere near them. POLITICO spoke with nearly every incumbent up for reelection and aspiring Democratic Senate candidates across the country, but only a handful gave an unequivocal “yes” when asked whether they wanted Obama to come campaign with them. – Edward-Isaac Dovere, Manu Raju and Katie Glueck
Leading New York Times: Amid Christie Scandal, Buono Says Some Democrats Have ‘Buyer’s Remorse’
The former campaign workers who partied at the home of Barbara Buono this month were “just jubilant.” The people she bumps into on the street “are just happier to greet me.” And amid the deluge of supportive texts she receives, there are often pictures of Gov. Chris Christie sitting on the George Washington Bridge. She chuckles but doesn’t reply. – Jason Horowitz
The political bites of the day
– Senator plans to seek 5th term to avoid yelling at the TV –
SEN. PATTY MURRAY, D-WASHINGTON, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH THE SEATTLE TIMES: “A lot of people say to me, ‘Gosh, why do you want to keep doing it?’ It’s a question that deserves to be answered. I’d really rather be in the middle of the debate fighting for the people of Washington state rather than yelling at my television.”
– Dem. candidate in hot House race not optimistic about party’s chances –
DEM. CONTENDER IN FL-13 RACE ALEX SINK IN AN INTERVIEW WITH THE TAMPA TRIBUNE EDITORIAL BOARD ON WHETHER DEMOCRATS WILL WIN BACK THE HOUSE: “Not this year. It's not going this year. So you all shouldn't write about that because that's not happening."
– Bipartisan push against the Washington Redskins name –
SEN. MARIA CANTWELL, D-WASHINGTON, AND REP. TOM COLE, R-OKLAHOMA, IN A LETTER TO NFL COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL: “We are calling on you and the NFL to take a formal position in support of a name change. The NFL can no longer ignore this perpetuate use of this name as anything but what it is: a racial slur.”
– Redskins: Who are you to criticize us? –
REDSKINS SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT TONY WYLLIE IN AN EMAIL TO CNN’S BRIAN TODD: “With all the important issues Congress has to deal with such as a war in Afghanistan to deficits to health care, don't they have more important issues to worry about than a football team's name? And given the fact that the name of Oklahoma means "Red People" in Choctaw, this request is a little ironic.”
– Rice to Palin: It’s Ok to be 50 –
CONDOLEEZZA RICE IN A BIRTHDAY VIDEO TRIBUTE TO SARAH PALIN: “Congratulations to finally making it to 50. I’ve been there a long time. It’s really OK.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Susan Rice (@AmbassadorRice)
President Obama very much looking forward to taking President Hollande to Monticello this afternoon.
Jim Acosta (@JimAcostaCNN)
Senior admin official on conference call on Hollande visit: "We've come a long way from freedom fries."
Rob Engstrom (@RobEngstrom)
Breaking: TAMPA TRIBUNE: Tribune endorsement: David Jolly for U.S. House District 13 http://tbo.com/list/news-opinion-editorials/tribune-endorsement-david-jolly-for-us-house-district-13-20140209/ …
Peter Schorsch (@SaintPetersblog)
Surprising absolutely no one, the Tampa Bay Times endorses Alex Sink. http://wp.me/pShRp-yIT #sayfie
Speaker John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner)
RT to offer the President your pen to approve #KeystoneXL. #UseThePen pic.twitter.com/RXuzQX66wx
Nick Kalman (@NickKalmanFN)
.@SenTedCruz @ Heritage: 'If you're a Birkenstock wearing, tree hugging, green peace activist, you should love the keystone pipeline.'
Jesse Ferguson (@JesseFFerguson)
Op-Ed by DCCC Chairman Steve Israel in The Root – "Why the Black Vote Is Crucial in 2014" http://www.theroot.com/articles/politics/2014/02/black_voters_play_a_key_role_in_the_midterm_elections.html …
Orlando Watson (@orlandowatson)
Penned an op-ed for @CNN on how the #RNC will compete for the black vote. #BHM http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/10/opinion/watson-republicans-black-vote/ …
Matt Canter (@mattcanter)
Rand Paul: I'm Supporting McConnell "Because he asked me when there was nobody else in the race." (AUDIO) http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/rand-paul-mitch-mcconnell-reelection-glenn-beck #KYsen
Beth Reinhard (@bethreinhard)
More GOP infighting: super PAC w/ @FRCdc runs attack ad against Republican Rep. Richard Hanna http://www.thecloakroomblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/hanna-ad-20140207wm.mp3 …
Robert Costa (@costareports)
House R game plan: huddle at Cap over dinner tonight, discuss plan for DL. On Tues, finalize plan at AM conf mtg at Cap Hill Club.
CNNMoney Breaking (@cnnmoneybrk)
GM announces CEO Mary Barra's total compensation: $14.4 million – 55% over her predecessor. http://cnnmon.ie/bkgnews
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
BMW, which has a six-year sponsorship deal with the U.S. Olympic Committee, is responsible for designing the sleds for the U.S. Olympic bobsled team.
Michael Scully, creative director at BMW Group DesignworksUSA, has spearheaded the effort, designing 69 iterations of potential bobsleds over the past two years for BMW to create for the U.S. Olympic team.
Scully admits that he was nervous at first about the chosen design for the Olympic sleds being too small, but U.S. bobsled coach Brian Shimer has reassured him saying: “If the sled's fast, they'll (athletes) find a way to fit.”
Eric Weisbrod (@EricWeisbrod)
Olympic medal count: Canada & Netherlands: 7 (3 gold), Norway: 7 (2 gold) Russia: 6 (1 gold), USA: 5 (2 gold), http://www.sochi2014.com/en/medal-standings …
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
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Congrats to Steve Liguori (@SteveL3877) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia question.
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