CNN's GUT CHECK | for April 4, 2014| 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
MIDEAST PEACE TALKS ON LIFE SUPPORT: After more than a dozen trips to the Middle East and 14 months of unbridled optimism on the prospects for Mideast peace, and his own ability to negotiate it, John Kerry on Friday finally sounded defeated. “We have an enormous amount on the plate,” he said. “There are limits to the amount of time and effort that the United States can spend if the parties themselves are unwilling to take constructive steps in order to be able to move forward.” – Elise Labott
GIRL POWER… A DOUBLE STANDARD? Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton participated in a question-and-answer session with the IMF’s Christine Lagarde at the Women in the World Forum in New York. … (Clinton) and Lagarde provided the largely female audience with a memorable image when the two clasped hands in a high-five celebrating women's political power.
“The double standard (for powerful women) is alive and well,” said Clinton. “I think in many respects the media is the principal propagator of its persistence.”- Rachel Streitfeld
BUT FOR PELOSI, IT WAS ALWAYS EXPECTED … The House Democratic leader tells CNN’s Candy Crowley that she has “had to have a very thick skin about every kind of thing that was thrown at me,” in an exclusive interview that will run in full Sunday on “State of the Union.”
Asked if she agreed with Clinton that the media does have a double standard for women in power, Pelosi said, “If Hillary Clinton thinks there is a double standard, she’s been in the main event – and that is a presidential race – then I respect that. From my own standpoint, I never expected anything but a double standard. I don’t know if it’s the media or whether people say things that’s news that you have to cover.”
INSIDE POLITICS: SPRINGTIME FOR JOB GROWTH? The U.S. economy added 192,000 jobs and the unemployment rate held steady at 6.7% in March, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday morning. The figure is just shy of expectations for 200,000 jobs to be created. The idea had been that the warming weather will help kick-start the job market, and Democrats hope that with it will come a sunnier outlook for them, too. – Z. Byron Wolf
RNC CHAIR REINCE PRIEBUS: IT COULD BE SO MUCH BETTER …
“Democrats…have slowed down job creation—with ObamaCare, with wasteful spending, and with intrusive regulations. Today’s jobs report could be so much better, but Democrats in the Senate won’t pass Republican jobs bills.”
JUDGE: OHIO MUST RECOGNIZE SAME-SEX MARRIAGES … "I intend to issue a written decision and order by April 14 striking down as unconstitutional under all circumstances Ohio's ban on recognizing legal same-sex marriages from other states," said Judge Timothy Black. – Bill Mears
CAMPAIGN WATCH: FORMER TOP CHRISTIE AIDE TO RUN BROWN'S SENATE BID … A former longtime close aide to Scott Brown is rejoining the former senator from Massachusetts as he moves closer and closer to running for the Senate in neighboring New Hampshire. Colin Reed, deputy communications director for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, confirmed to CNN Friday that he's left his job in Trenton to serve as Brown's campaign manager. – Paul Steinhauser, Mark Preston, and Peter Hamby
7 MONTHS TO GO, 7 KEY DATES FOR THE MIDTERMS … We’re seven months to the day before Election Day 2014. Here are seven important dates between now and November that could impact the midterm elections:
Mid-April – new Obamacare numbers released
May 20 – Kentucky and Georgia primaries
June 3 – Mississippi and Iowa primaries
Late June – Hobby Lobby SCOTUS ruling
June 30 – The last day of the second quarter of fundraising
Late summer/early fall – Some states will announce how much premiums are rising next year for Obamacare-mandated health insurance policies
October 3 - Last jobs numbers before the midterms are released
– Paul Steinhauser
THE BUZZ: BUSH 43 PAINTS PUTIN … CNN’s Kevin Bohn reports from Dallas: As former President George W. Bush unveils his paintings of world leaders for the first time publicly, he said he expects some of the leaders who were his artistic subjects to be surprised at the quality. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Dalai Lama are among those Bush chose to paint. More than two dozen never-before-seen portraits by Bush will go on public display Saturday at his presidential library in Dallas.
WHOOPS! WHERE AM I?
Dan Coats has a sense of humor. Indiana’s GOP senator jokingly blamed Russia for his attendance Thursday at the wrong subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill. "I think the Russians have been messing with my schedule," said Coats, who was recently hit with personal sanctions by Moscow as part of a diplomatic tit-for-tat over Ukraine. On Friday, Coats put out a press release with the subject line reading, “A funny thing happened on the way to the hearing.”
MARKET WATCH: Friday's tech sell-off spoils Dow and S&P's record-setting week. NASDAQ’s 2.6% drop pushes it lower for the week.
What was David Letterman's first on-air television job?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics.com: Inside Politics: Democrats' good week
Democrats know the history: 2014 is all but certain to be a tough year. But there is a sense among some top Democratic strategists that the political climate is shifting in ways that could keep the midterm climate from turning from bad to disastrous. Perhaps it is wishful thinking, and it is important - very important - to note how things look in April is often not how they turn out come November. – John King
Gut Check DVR: Catch John King’s ‘Inside Politics’ on Sunday at 8:30am E.T. with guests Nia-Malika Henderson, Jonathan Martin, Amy Walter, and Ryan Lizza.
Leading Drudge: Mideast Mess!
Washington said Friday it was reviewing its push for a Middle East peace agreement as a spiral of tit-for-tat moves by Israel and the Palestinians took hard-won talks close to collapse. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who has invested more than a year of intensive shuttle diplomacy in the talks process, said there were "limits" to the time Washington could devote to it. – John Davison
Leading HuffPo: Forget It: Supreme Court Pushes Reform To The Brink
The Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission on Wednesday has potentially big implications for the future of limits on campaign money, far beyond the aggregate contribution limits it struck down. The McCutcheon case could reverberate for years to come because of its embrace of the definition of corruption in the 2010 Citizens United decision. In that case, Justice Anthony Kennedy's opinion limited "corruption" to the quid pro quo trading of favors for money. – Paul Blumenthal
Leading Politico: Dems pray for economic spring
This was supposed to be the year the U.S. economy would finally break out of the doldrums — the year it would deliver the kind of robust growth that could lift President Barack Obama’s dismal approval ratings and help Democrats avoid a shellacking in November. It now looks like that dream is fading fast. – Ben White
Leading New York Times: For Many Republican Incumbents, Challenge From Right Fizzles
None of the six Republicans in South Carolina’s House delegation or any statewide elected officials stepped forward to take on Mr. Graham. Instead, as his June primary approaches, the incumbent is using some of his $7.5 million in campaign funds to fill televisions screens in the state with ads as he faces a field of relative no-names. – Jonathan Martin
The political bites of the day
– Pryor: Knowing now what I didn’t know in the past, I would still vote for Obamacare –
MARK PRYOR, D-ARKANSAS TO LOCAL TV STATION KARK: ANCHOR: “Knowing now what you know now, would you have voted for (Obamacare) back then?”
PRYOR: “You know, I would have. Of course I would have wanted to see some changes back then. I think on something like this it’s big, it’s complicated, it’s difficult. So if you get 80% of it right, you’ve really done something. We probably did get 80% of it right.”
– Congressman: Congress needs a pay hike –
REP. JIM MORAN, D-VIRGINIA, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH ROLL CALL: “I think the American people should know that the members of Congress are underpaid … I understand that it’s widely felt that they underperform, but the fact is that this is the board of directors for the largest economic entity in the world … Our pay has been frozen for three years and we’re planning on freezing it a fourth year. … A lot of members can’t even afford to live decently in Washington."
Gut Check Full Service: The current salary for members of Congress is $174,000 per year. The average household income as of 2012, the most recent data available from the U.S. Census bureau, is $82,843.
– Jeb Bush and Bobby Jindal in ad to promote newrepublican.org –
BUSH: “If you believe that every parent ought to be able to choose their child’s school, and that the economy should be driven from the bottom up, not the top down from Washington, then you’re thinking like a New Republican.”
JINDAL: “If you don’t think the Republican Party should be the party of big government, big business or big anything, you’re thinking like a New Republican.”
– Bush: Putin dissed my dog –
FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH TALKING TO HIS DAUGHTER JENNA BUSH HAGER ON THE TODAY SHOW: “Our dear dog Barney, who has a special spot in my heart, I introduced him to Putin. Putin kind of dissed him. ‘You call that a dog?’ A year later, your mom and I go to visit Vladimir at his Dacha outside of Moscow, and he says, ‘Would you like to meet my dog?’ Out bounds this huge hound, obviously much bigger than a Scottish Terrier. And Putin looks at me and says, ‘Bigger, stronger and faster than Barney.’ I took it in. I didn’t react. I said, ‘Wow, anybody who thinks ‘my dog is bigger than your dog’ is an interesting character.'”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Reince Priebus (@Reince)
Labor force participation at Aug 1978 levels. #ObamaCare & Dem spending & intrusive regs have slowed job creation gop.cm/60139GJl
Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi)
Today's report shows economy is moving in the right direction. Time to focus on jobs, not a #GOPbudget that takes us in the wrong direction.
Ben White (@morningmoneyben)
One hopeful note for Ds: Clinton only POTUS to beat 6-year itch since WWII. Job creation in March '98? Just 151K. http://data.bls.gov/pdq/SurveyOutputServlet …
Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton)
"Great to meet the strong & brave young women from #PussyRiot, who refuse to let their voices be silenced in #Russia"
Charles Babington (@cbabington)
GOP blasts Sen. Pryor for defending Obamacare vote. And if he didn't, GOP would say "Pryor admits vote was wrong!" No great choice for Dems
Jacqui Corba (@jm_corba)
. @AP photog Anja Niedringhaus who was tragically killed in Afghanistan had recently done series on women lawmakers cbsn.ws/QLb0kS
Michael Calderone (@mlcalderone)
Fusion names @ryannerz as the first network Chief Cannabis Correspondent. http://bit.ly/1lrwVYq
Elizabeth Titus (@emtitus)
First couple @Nationals Park political fundraisers of the year are on the board: politicalpartytime.org/search/Venue_N…
Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407)
So incredibly happy and proud to be part of the @Gatorade family! Something I've wanted ever since I was a kid! #WinFromWithin
Elizabeth Dias. (@elizabethjdias)
Obama gave Pope Francis garden seeds. Queen Elizabeth gave him whiskey and venison. +1, Queen.
John Lewis (@repjohnlewis)
I'll never forget hearing the news 46 years ago today that my friend, my mentor, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had been assassinated.
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
David Letterman’s first on-air television job was as a local reporter and weekend weatherman for the Indianapolis television station WLWI, now called WTHR. Letterman had previously worked in radio for WNTS AM.
Even while reporting serious breaking news about the weather, Letterman always managed to slip some humor into his forecasts. He once predicted hail stones "the size of canned hams," and another time congratulated a tropical storm for being upgraded to a hurricane. Occasionally, Letterman would also report the weather for fictitious cities
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REP. JIM MORAN, D-VIRGINIA, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH ROLL CALL: “I think the American people should know that the members of Congress are underpaid … I
Must love democrats, can't live on the pay received, but tell seniors they receive to much. $174000 to $11000. Yet seniors payed into the system all their working lives, senators and representative don't contribute A DIME.