CNN's GUT CHECK | for February 14, 2014 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
ON VALENTINES DAY, OBAMA SHOWS HIS PARTY SOME LOVE … President Obama visited the House Democratic Issues Conference in Cambridge, Maryland on Friday, delivering what amounted to a quick 10-minute version of his State of the Union Speech, and thanking lawmakers for sticking with him through some tough legislative battles.
"This caucus has shown time and time again, under the most difficult circumstances, the kind of courage and unity and discipline that has made me very, very proud …When you guys are unified (and) you guys stick together, this country is better off." – Adam Aigner-Treworgy
… WHILE BIDEN SHOWS THE GOP NONE: ‘THERE ISN’T A REPUBLICAN PARTY’ …`Vice President Joe Biden at the conference jabbed Republicans over factions within the GOP.
“There isn't a Republican Party, I wish there were. I wish there was a Republican Party. I wish there was one person you could sit across the table from, make a deal, make a compromise and know when you got up from that table, it was done. That's what Nancy is able to do. That's what the president is able to commit to … all you had to do is look at the response of the State of the Union, what where there – there or four [GOP responses to the SOTU address]? Now, I'm not being facetious!”
THE BUZZ: ROKER REGRETS ‘ONE TERM’ DE BLASIO CRACK
AL ROKER ON THE TODAY SHOW FRIDAY: “I will say, the one tweet I do regret in the heat — I’m very passionate about the weather … I made a prediction that there would be only one term of his administration. I apologize for that. That was a little below the line. But everything else, I still stand by, including the fact that the National Weather Service did forecast that on Wednesday.”
WHOOPS!: GROUPON PRESS RELEASE HONORS “PRESIDENT” ALEXANDER HAMILTON: The press release reads, “Starting tomorrow, Groupon (www.groupon.com) (NASDAQ: GRPN) will be kicking off Presidents Day weekend by giving customers 10 dollars off 40 dollars when they purchase a deal for any local business. The $10 bill, as everyone knows, features President Alexander Hamilton - undeniably one of our greatest presidents and most widely recognized for establishing the country's financial system … President Hamilton is best known for the fiscal sensibilities that led him to author economic policies, establish a national bank and control taxes. Customers can honor our money-minded commander-in-chief and find deals by searching Groupon.com for local deals all through President's Day weekend.”
Gut Check Full Service: Hamilton was never president of the United States.
MARKET WATCH: Stocks end with solid gains. Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all rise more than 2% for the week.
What is the longest presidential marriage in U.S. history?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Inside Politics: Hillary Clinton's telling words about critics, then and now
According to candid notes kept by a close friend, Hillary Clinton circa the 1990s hated Washington, distrusted reporters, kept an enemies list and blamed Monica Lewinsky as much, if not more, than her husband. Anything there you didn't know already? That is the fundamental question as report after report surfaces about a treasure trove of notes that Clinton confidant Diane Blair took during the Bill Clinton campaigns and presidency in the 1990s. Make no mistake, there are some priceless nuggets. – John King
Gut Check DVR: Catch John King’s new show ‘Inside Politics’ on Sunday at 8:30am E.T. with guests Peter Hamby, Robert Costa, Maeve Reston, and Annie Lowrey.
Leading Hollywood Reporter: Joel McHale to Host White House Correspondents’ Dinner
The host of E!'s "The Soup" and star of NBC's "Community" will be the night's entertainer at the annual Washington, D.C. dinner on May 3. Joel McHale is known for his sarcastic commentary on E!'s The Soup, where he satirizes pop culture by making fun of people appearing on reality shows, talk shows and even home shopping programs. – Tina Daunt
Leading Virginian Pilot: U.S. judge: Va. same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional
Add Virginia to the growing list of states where laws banning same-sex marriage are suffering legal setbacks. A ruling Thursday by Norfolk-based federal Judge Arenda Wright Allen found Virginia’s laws restricting marriage to one man and one woman unconstitutional on the grounds that they deny due process and equal protection rights. It makes Virginia the first state in the Southeast where a gay marriage ban has been struck down and opens a possible avenue to a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that could resolve the gay marriage issue for the nation. – Julian Walker
Leading Drudge: Nightmare: Record Flights Cancelled
The relentless snow and ice storms this winter have led to the highest number of flight cancellations in more than 25 years, according to an analysis by The Associated Press. U.S. airlines have canceled more than 75,000 domestic flights since Dec. 1, including roughly 14,000 this week. That's 5.5 percent of the 1.35 million flights scheduled during that period, according to AP calculations based on information provided by flight tracking site FlightAware. – Scott Mayerowitz
Leading HuffPo: Koch Brothers-Backed Ad Uses Paid Actors To Attack Mary Landrieu
The conservative nonprofit group Americans for Prosperity (AFP), which is backed by the Koch Brothers, released an ad Wednesday attacking Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) over her support for the Affordable Care Act. But as ABC News reported Thursday, the people appearing as Louisianans in the spot are paid actors. In the ad, the actors open their mailboxes while a narrator describes letters from insurance companies saying their family's plans are no longer available, doctors are no longer in their network and their monthly premium has increased. – Samantha Lachmann
Leading Politico: Comcast readies for Washington war
Cable giant Comcast started the day with a call to arms, hosting its lobbyists and consultants, along with Time Warner Cable’s, on a private conference call to begin building a strategy to beat back threats in Washington that could jeopardize its $45 billion merger. Comcast’s top congressional lobbyist Melissa Maxfield ran the call, laying out the company’s Washington outreach strategy for its in-house government affairs team and for its hired guns. – Tony Romm and Anna Palmer
Leading New York Times: Obama to Announce Aid for Drought-Racked California
President Obama, visiting Fresno, will announce a push for a $1 billion “climate resilience” program, as well as several million dollars in drought aid for the state’s farmers. – Coral Davenport
Leading Tampa Bay Times: Emails show Florida officials celebrated launch of unemployment website as it failed for claimants
A day after the debut of Florida's $63 million unemployment benefits website, the man in charge gave a sunny appraisal. "The system was up and running 100 percent of the time," project manager Tom McCullion wrote Oct. 16 to his agency's top brass. "The two issues that caused claimants to receive an error message have been resolved. "Woop woop … congrats!" wrote one colleague. "You rock!" said another. – Michael Van Sicker http://www.tampabay.com
The political bites of the day
– Jindal warns of government assault on religious freedom –
LA. GOV. BOBBY JINDAL AT A RONALD REAGAN PRESIDENTIAL FOUNDATION AND LIBRARY EVENT ON THURSDAY. “The American people, whether they know it or not, are mired in a silent war ... This war is waged in our courts and in the halls of political power ... It is pursued with grim and relentless determination by a group of like-minded elites, determined to transform the country from a land sustained by faith into a land where faith is silenced, privatized and circumscribed.”
– Schumer: On the NSA, I am to the right of Rand Paul –
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-NEW YORK, IN AN INTERVIEWWITH FUSION’S JORGE RAMOS THURSDAY ABOUT THE NSA: "I am to the right of Rand Paul on this issue, if you will. Since our Constitution was founded, the founding fathers have had a great debate between liberty and security, and you have to have both … And I do think we have to move a little bit on the liberty side … But the wholesale elimination of the program, I think, leaves us too naked in terms of security, and you've got to have security as well as liberty.”
– McCain: Obama’s picks for U.S. ambassadors to Norway and Argentina are 'clueless,’ and ‘unqualified’ –
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-ARIZONA, IN A FOX NEWS INTERVIEW ON THURSDAY: “These are very important countries and we’re sending people that one, have never been there, but second of all, are clueless … It’s kind of entertaining and amusing how ignorant these people are, never having seen the country … But it’s also really disturbing because it’s a disservice to our country to send that kind of unqualified candidate to represent us and our interest there in these countries.”
– Ron Reagan Jr.: GOP is in ‘smoking ruins’ created by Cruz –
RONALD REAGAN JR. IN AN INTERVIEW ON MSNBC’S CHRIS MATTHEWS THURSDAY NIGHT: “What exactly was on Ted Cruz’s mind? … What was he thinking of in terms of his Senate colleagues? Ted Cruz apparently thinks that somebody has got to rise out of the smoking ruins that is the Republican Party … Apparently he feels that somebody can be him. He first has to create the smoking ruins, of course, and he’s doing a pretty good job of that.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
John Bresnahan (@BresPolitico)
Biden to House Dems (from source in room): "When I die, I want to be reborn in the Virgin Islands."
Ed O'Keefe (@edatpost)
As he ended closed-door Q&A w/ House Dems, Obama reminds them that Monday is President's Day, "so be nice to a president."
Attack ad on Alex Sink in FL gets Half True for claim about $700B cut from Medicare. ow.ly/tDulB
Joe Pounder (@PounderFile)
Oops..."Pryor Promotes Website Linking Directly to Cotton's Site at Press Conference" is.gd/SbF5ZU #ARSen
Wayne Slater (@WayneSlater)
Wendy Davis camp has its "Axis of Evil" - Karl Rove, Rush Limbaugh, Greg Abbott mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?tab=…
Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS)
If Rs find Ted Cruz's debt limit filibustering annoying, imagine him grandstanding on immig reform next year: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2014/02/11/morning-plum-ted-cruz-would-love-to-debate-immigration-reform-in-2015/ …
Cecilia Muñoz (@Cecilia44)
Life without you is like life without getting covered, potentially catastrophic. #getcovered #healthpolicyvalentines
Report has concluded Jonathan Martin was bullied by Incognito & 2 other Dolphins players, read the statement here http://www1.skysports.com/american-footb
Pres Obama shows Charles Barkley the Oval Office following their interview for this weekend's NBA AllStar game
Frank Underwood (@Frank_Underwood)
I couldn't possibly comment, Mr. President. RT @BarackObama: Tomorrow: @HouseOfCards. No spoilers, please.
Jen Buesinger Sperry (@jenbuesinger)
Taping an episode of @HouseofCards in #CNNSOTU studio last fall w/ the legendary Jodie Foster. photo: @MikeRoselli1 pic.twitter.com/lHkmHz5WvW
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush have shared the longest presidential marriage in U.S. history. The couple celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary on January 6th.
President George H.W. Bush and Barbara met in 1941 when Barbara, 16 at the time, and George, 17 at the time, were both home from boarding school for Christmas vacation. The couple met at Christmas dance just a few weeks after Pearl Harbor, later saying it was love at first sight. They were engaged a year and a half later and married while President Bush was on leave from the Navy during WWII.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it)
Congrats to Steve Liguori (@SteveL3877), Alex Coelho (@apcoelho) and RobertBialeVineyards (@BialeVineyards) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia question.
VALENTINE’S DAY TREAT: What your candy says about your politics.
Tips or comments? Our inbox awaits: email@example.com
Anyone can sign up for Gut Check by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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.