CNN's GUT CHECK | for March 18, 2014| 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
DEVELOPING … RNC PREDICTS 2014 “TSUNAMI” … The head of the Republican Party has a prediction about November's midterm elections. "I think we're in for a tsunami-type election in 2014," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus said Tuesday at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.
"My belief is, it's going to be a very big win, especially at the U.S. Senate level, and we may add some seats in congressional races. … I think among youth and women, we're gonna see the greatest increase in 2014 because of, number one, Obamacare," Priebus said.
D Wasserman Schultz (@DWStweets)
One year later and all the Republican Party has gotten is one year older #SameOldParty http://sameoldparty.com
OBAMA URGES “ALL HANDS ON DECK”: In an email to his OFA list, President Obama says, “There are 13 days left this year to get Americans covered through the health insurance marketplace before the March 31st deadline. All hands on deck. … Folks need to hear from their friends and loved ones that signing up for health insurance has nothing to do with Congress, or Republicans and Democrats - or even me.”
G7 TO MEET ABOUT UKRAINE: The White House announced Tuesday that Obama invited leaders of the G7 industrial powers to meet next week to discuss the Ukraine crisis. … This gathering by Obama and his counterparts from Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada could cause a scrapping of their annual summit with Russia planned for July in Sochi, and perhaps kicking Putin out of the G8 club altogether.
Both moves have been threatened, with the G7 nations already halting preparations for the Sochi meeting. – Tom Cohen and Tom Watkins
ROMNEY BLASTS OBAMA-(HILLARY) CLINTON FOREIGN POLICY: Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Mitt Romney says: “President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton traveled the world in pursuit of their promise to reset relations and to build friendships across the globe. Their failure has been painfully evident.”
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING … LATE NIGHT DEVELOPMENT IN BATTLE FOR KEY SENATE SEAT … A late night move has cleared the path for Republican Rep. Cory Gardner of Colorado to challenge Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in this year's midterm election. State Sen. Owen Hill Monday night announced he was dropping his bid for the GOP nomination in Colorado. In an email to supporters Hill said "Congressman Cory Gardner has the best chance of defeating Mark Udall in November and I pray that he does." Hill was supported by many tea party activists and recently won the endorsement of the Tea Party Express, a leading national tea party organization. – Paul Steinhauser
THE BUZZ … WHITE HOUSE’S TOP PASTRY CHEF TO LEAVE POST Marian Burros of The New York Times writes, “The first lady, Michelle Obama, is soon to lose her executive pastry chef, Bill Yosses. And she is partly to blame. She has piqued his interest in the relationship between food and health, (Yosses) said in a recent telephone interview. So the man who made the Hawaiian chocolate-malted ganache for the White House state dinner for France is now headed to New York with an aim to teach children and adults about eating better.”
Daily Caller take: “White House pastry chef resigns: ‘I don’t want to demonize cream, butter, sugar and eggs’”
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks finish higher as Fed meeting begins. Dow gains 87 points. NASDAQ rallies 1.3%. S&P 500 adds 0.7%.
Which Illinois politician urged citizens to include a tea bag when paying their electricity bills, to protest tax hikes?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics.com: Hillary Clinton must once again win over some in Jewish community
Flanked by Jewish politicians in front of the United Nations on a July day, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton made a forceful appeal for the United States to back Israel as the Jewish nation's forces squared off against Hezbollah during the 2006 Lebanon War. – Dan Merica
Leading Des Moines Register: Iowa interview with Ted Cruz, between … two houseplants
Two potted houseplants were sitting near the impromptu set for three news interviews with Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz this afternoon in the downtown Marriott Hotel. Des Moines Register photographer Rodney White made a crack about ferns, and without hesitation, two reporters waiting for Cruz dragged the twin plants into the video cameras’ view, giggling. – Jennifer Jacobs
Leading Drudge: In Charge
Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the United States on Monday of being guided in its foreign policy not by international law but by the "rule of the gun." "Our Western partners headed by the United States prefer not to be guided by international law in their practical policies, but by the rule of the gun," he told a joint session of parliament. – Alexei Anishchuk; Writing by Alissa de Carbonnel, editing by Elizabeth Piper
Leading HuffPo: Testing the Waters’
Texas tea party darling U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is making his fourth trip to Iowa in eight months, logging serious face-time before most other potential 2016 White House hopefuls in the state that kicks off presidential voting. – Will Weissert
Leading Politico: Charles Rangel and Bill de Blasio: Political Silence
“I haven’t been able to talk with him since he’s been elected,” Rangel, in an interview, said of de Blasio. “I’ve had any number of people tell me that I can depend on the endorsement. I haven’t heard that yet from the mayor. It would not surprise me — and like the governor and the senators — that at the appropriate time, when there’s a rollout, his name would be included.” – John Bresnahan and Maggie Haberman
Leading New York Times: A Campaign Inquiry in Utah Is the Watchdogs’ Worst Case
Public records, affidavits and a special legislative report released last week offer a strikingly candid view inside the world of political nonprofits, where big money sluices into campaigns behind a veil of secrecy. The proliferation of such groups — and what campaign watchdogs say is their widespread, illegal use to hide donations — are at the heart of new rules now being drafted by the Internal Revenue Service to rein in election spending by nonprofit “social welfare” groups, which unlike traditional political action committees do not have to disclose their donors. – Nicholas Confessore
The political bites of the day
– Ron Paul: Crimea secedes. So what? –
RON PAUL WRITING IN USA TODAY: "Why does the U.S. care which flag will be hoisted on a small piece of land thousands of miles away? … Perhaps the U.S. officials who supported the unconstitutional overthrow of Ukraine's government should refocus their energies on learning our own Constitution, which does not allow the U.S. government to overthrow governments overseas or send a billion dollars to bail out Ukraine and its international creditors."
– Rush: Russia wouldn’t laugh at G.W. Bush –
RUSH LIMBAUGH ON HIS NATIONALLY SYNDICATED RADIO SHOW: “Folks, they are openly laughing at our president. They are openly mocking Barack Obama! ….Putin's calling Obama a prankster with his sanctions. Obama's gonna sanction some individual Russians, so the Russians came and said, "Okay, well, we'll sanction you!" And they're mocking him. Now, one thing that you have to admit: They did not laugh at George W. Bush.”
– Graham ad touts tough questions on Benghazi and radical Islam –
NARRATOR IN AN AD FOR SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-SOUTH CAROLINA, FOR SENATE: "He stands up for America and our troops, challenging the president ... asking the tough questions on Iran, Benghazi, and radical Islam … In a dangerous world where the only guarantee of peace is strength, Sen. Lindsey Graham stands strong."
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
E McMorris-Santoro (@EvanMcSan)
Carney on Preibus’ “Republican Tsunami”: “It’s an interesting choice of words.”
Michael Czin (@MikeCzin)
#RuhRoh GOP Shuns Change One Year After Brutal Election 'Autopsy' http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/gop-autopsy-one-year-later …
Sasha Issenberg (@sissenberg)
We are all Republicans. RT @ZekeJMiller: @Reince: "We basically have a single women problem under 35ish."
Molly Ball (@mollyesque)
RIGHT BEHIND YOU RT @jbenton: Weirdly menacing language on @SenScottBrown’s campaign website http://scottbrown.com/ pic.twitter.com/iwbNLZqhOE
Lavern Chatman (@Lavern4Congress)
We are excited to announce that on April 5th media & entertainment icon @Oprah will join us for an event in Arlington http://www.lavernchatman.com/oprah/
Team Mitch (@Team_Mitch)
We are honored to have received the endorsement of a strong conservative leader like @GovernorPerry! #KYSen pic.twitter.com/qhpkUSooDP
Mark Preston (@PrestonCNN)
.@tedcruz adds a second fundraiser in New Hampshire when he visits in late April – this 1 for @4StrongNH. http://cnn.it/1j21zW1
Barton Gellman (@bartongellman)
Among the most startling finds yet, with @ashk4n: #NSA records *all* calls in at least 1 target country http://wapo.st/OsV5pZ
Jack Hunter (@jackhunter74)
Rand Paul and Berkeley: Libertarian and liberal hotbed find common cause opposing NSA | The Raw Story http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/03/15/rand-paul-and-berkeley-libertarian-and-liberal-hotbed-find-common-cause-opposing-nsa/ …
Mark Knoller (@markknoller)
"Today is truly historic," says Pres Obama of today's Medal of Honor ceremony for 24 soldiers, living & dead. Largest such group since WWII.
The answer to why Lenny Kravitz is here. His uncle receives the Medal of Honor. One of 24 soldiers. Three Vets are in attendance.
CNN's Gut Check (@GutCheckCNN)
Happy Birthday @TheLeadCNN! Here's a flashback to their first episode ever a year ago today. "Ah, that new set smell" cnn.it/1gKpoit
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
It was Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn of Illinois, who took a page from the Tea Party’s playbook and urged taxpayers in Illinois to send tea bags along with their bills to Springfield to protest tax hikes in 1978.
Quinn encouraged outraged taxpayers to send teabags in protest to then-Governor James Thompson after the Illinois General Assembly passed a 40% hike in legislators' salaries. According to Gov. Quinn’s re-election campaign website, Thompson’s office was overwhelmed with 40,000 teabags within days.
After legislators refused to rescind their pay raises, despite clear voter support for the measure, Quinn launched a petition drive to reduce the size of the Illinois legislature. He gathered 475,000 signatures. A cutback amendment was approved by voters on the 1980 ballot and, as a result, the Illinois House was cut from 177 to 118 members.
Gov. Quinn will face a reelection challenge this fall from the winner of today’s Republican primary in Illinois.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it)
Congrats to Steve Liguori (@SteveL3877) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia question.
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.