June 16th, 2014
05:09 PM ET
1 month ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for June 16, 2014

CNN's GUT CHECK | for June 16, 2014 | 5 p.m.
- n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

UNLIKLEY ALLY: COULD THE U.S. WORK WITH IRAN IN IRAQ? The United States could end up cooperating with Iran to stop militant gains in Iraq, Secretary of State John Kerry suggested Monday in an interview with Yahoo!News. But Kerry didn't indicate that cooperation with Iran is under active discussion inside the administration.


"Let's see what Iran might or might not be willing to do before we start making any pronouncements," Kerry said, adding that he "wouldn't rule out anything that would be constructive to providing real stability." – Holly Yan

WHAT WILL OBAMA DO? President Barack Obama has a "fundamental" set of options for a military response to the crisis in Iraq, a White House official told CNN Monday. The options could be tweaked or changed somewhat, the official stressed. Obama’s entire national security team spent much of the weekend urgently preparing options for potential military action against the militant group ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, senior administration officials said. Obama will review those options with national security officials Monday evening, incoming press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters. – Jim Acosta

WHITE HOUSE BACKS IRS EXPLANATION FOR DISAPPEARING LERNER EMAILS ... A top White House official blamed a computer crash for the disappearance of emails from embattled former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner, echoing the explanation the agency gave Congress last week for the two years' worth of missing subpoenaed correspondence.

"I think it's entirely reasonable. And it's fact," incoming White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One Monday. "You've never heard of a computer crashing before?" he asked. After the IRS informed Congress of the missing emails last Friday, Republican lawmakers have accused the White House of a cover-up. – Jim Acosta

ISSA: ‘IT’S JUST NOT BELIEVABLE’: “You know, it’s just not believable,” House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-California, told CBS Monday. “We have enough evidence of her wrongdoing that we want to review every email that she has sent or received ... This is not about what you turn over. It is all about what you don’t turn over.”

CNN/ORC POLL: CLINTON TOPS OBAMA ON EVERY ISSUE ... If Hillary Clinton is elected president in 2016, most Americans say they think she will do a good job handling crucial domestic and international issues, according to a new national poll. And the CNN/ORC International survey released Monday also indicates that the former secretary of state scores much higher than President Barack Obama on every issue tested.

… AND MOST AMERICANS CONSIDER HER A LOCK FOR 2016: Just how inevitable is a Hillary Clinton victory in 2016? More than three-quarters of all Americans predict that Clinton will win the Democratic nomination if she runs for the White House, and two-thirds say she is likely to be the next president if she is the party's standard-bearer in 2016, according to a new CNN/ORC International poll.

Gut Check Full Service: Clinton gives hope to both sides of Keystone debate

THE BUZZ: WHAT CLINTON SAYS, CLINTON MEMES ...  As recently as 2011, Hillary Clinton was seen by many as a respected but polarizing figure: Smart and accomplished, sure, but controlled and somewhat humorless. In the infamous faint praise of her rival-turned-boss Barack Obama, she was "likable enough."

Three years later, she seems somehow hipper, looser and more ... human. As we inch toward the 2016 election, she's presented a new online persona.

But while Clinton has embraced social media, it hasn't always loved her back, as seen most recently on her current book tour. The Internet has used every opportunity to turn her words and actions into memes, not all of them flattering. – Brandon Griggs

What do you want to ask Hillary Clinton? Send your questions here and CNN Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour might ask it during CNN's town hall meeting with Clinton at 5 p.m. ET Tuesday at the Newseum in Washington.

MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks finish little changed. Dow gains 6 points, NASDAQ adds 0.2% and S&P 500 edges up 0.1%.

TRAIL TRIVIA
(Answer Below)
Who was the first House member to be elected by a write-in vote?

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Biden heading to Central America to address flood of immigrant kids
Vice President Joe Biden will visit Guatemala this week to discuss a recent rash of unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S. Southern border from three Central American nations. Senior administration officials said Biden would meet with Guatemala’s president along with the president of El Salvador and a senior official within Honduras’ government to broach the matter of young children being sent to the United States as a way to flee unrest in those three nations. – Kevin Liptak

Leading CNNMoney:Public Wi-Fi, based in your home
If you're a Comcast cable customer, your home's private Wi-Fi router is being turned into a public hotspot. It's potentially creepy and annoying. But the upside is Internet everywhere. – Jose Pagliery

Leading Tampa Bay Times: Rick Scott signs 'Charlotte's Web' medical pot bill
As promised, Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill that legalizes the use of a non-euphoric strain of marijuana to treat certain medical conditions like childhood epilepsy. He signed Senate Bill 1030, which approves the medication, and SB 1700, which protects the identifies of the patients who use it, today.

Leading Drudge: Iraq Turns To Iran For Help
Iran has sent 2,000 advance troops to Iraq in the past 48 hours to help tackle a jihadist insurgency, a senior Iraqi official has told the Guardian. The confirmation comes as the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, said Iran was ready to support Iraq from the mortal threat fast spreading through the country, while the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, called on citizens to take up arms in their country's defence. – The Guardian’s Martin Chulov

Leading HuffPo: Winning The Battle, Losing The War
GOP officials and strategists say it's hard to persuade party leaders to adjust the political recipe when they feel increasingly upbeat about adding Senate control to their solid House majority this fall. This optimism, numerous GOP strategists say, makes looking past the party's loss of the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections easy. – AP’s Nicholas Riccardi and Charles Babbington

Leading Politico: Hobby Lobby aims for Obamacare win, Christian nation
The evangelical owners of Hobby Lobby made a fortune selling crafts supplies and made headlines fighting government-mandated birth control coverage. They’re also using their billions to sell the American public on the literal truth of scripture — through a public-school Bible curriculum, a huge museum around the corner from the Smithsonian and public forums on the faith of the founding fathers. – Hobby Lobby

Leading New York Times: Population Shifts Turning All Politics National
In both states (Mississippi and Virginia), the growth fueled by a migration of newcomers from other parts of the country and even abroad is bringing nationalized politics to races further down the ballot. It was these new arrivals, more than any other voters, who most crucially rejected two influential Republican incumbents — the House majority leader, Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, and Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi — in primaries this month, upending long-held assumptions about the appeal of traditional levers of power. – Ashley Parker and Jonathan Martin

HOT SOTS
The political bites of the day

– Kerry: Iraq air strikes on the table –
SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY IN AN INTERVIEW WITH YAHOO! NEWS: Air strikes “are not the whole answer, but they may very well be one of the options that are important to be able to stem the tide and stop the movement of people who are moving around in open convoys and trucks and terrorizing people.”

– Inhofe: ‘I think we need to do some air strikes’ –
SEN. JIM INHOFE, R-OKLAHOMA, TO CNN’S WOLF BLITZER: “I understand we do have some Tomahawks in the Persian Gulf. They can hit anything in Iraq if it becomes necessary. I think we need to do some air strikes. The main thing is to offer them the support of having the intelligence and then the equipment that they need to have. We just walked away from it.”

– Chamber touts Cochran as ‘supportive, dependable, one of us’–
NARRATOR IN A NEW CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AD SUPPORTING THAD COCHRAN: “He’s respected. A tested leader fighting for Mississippi, bringing honor and dignity to our state. Thad Cochran, conservative, dependable, one of us ... Thad Cochran, he’ll keep Mississippi proud.”

– Perry on whether therapy can “cure” homosexuality –
TEXAS GOV. RICK PERRY ON CNBC: “I don’t know ... The fact is, we’ll leave that to the psychologists and the doctors.”

TOP TWEETS
What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Ron Fournier ‏(@ron_fournier)
If #IRS can't find Lois Lerner's email, let a special prosecutor find 'em http://www.nationaljournal.com/white-house/did-the-irs-really-lose-lois-lerner-s-emails-let-a-special-prosecutor-find-them-20140613

Karen Tumulty (‏@ktumulty)
Has anyone has thought of asking the NSA if they have copies of Lois Lerner's emails?

Sam Stein ‏(@samsteinhp)
Have not seen one GOP statement in opposition to Obama's ENDA executive order news. Am i missing something here?

Manu Raju ‏(@mkraju)
Merkley one of few at-risk Dems trumpeting WH's ENDA executive order, holding a call this afternoon highlighting his push for Obama to act

Eric Boehlert ‏(@EricBoehlert)
Why Isn't Chris Christie Derided For Being "Testy"? (And Press Wonders Why Hillary Gets Annoyed At The Press); http://bit.ly/1owjnzM   #mmfa

Dan Merica (‏@danmericaCNN)
.@EricBoehlert – Christie described as testy here (http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2012/02/23/christie-i-stand-with-obama-on-gay-marriage.html …) and here (http://politicalwire.com/archives/2013/02/07/christie_gets_testy_about_his_weight.html …)

John Boehner ‏(@johnboehner)
Good luck to the #USMNT today against Ghana. #WorldCup #USA

Deirdre Walsh ‏(@deirdrewalshcnn)
Harry Reid seems excited about the USA-Ghana game – now on Senate floor talking #WorldCup and Team USA

Jeremy Schaap ‏(@JeremySchaap)
Crushed to hear the news that the great Tony Gwynn has died. The kindest superstar I've been around.

TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer

Thomas Alford, D-Arkansas, was the first House representative to win a general election by write-in votes on November 4, 1958. Alford defeated eight-term Rep. Brooks Hays for the seat and served for two terms from 1959 to 1963.

Alford started his write-in campaign eight days before Arkansas’ general election in 1958. Prior to his time in Congress, he served on the Little Rock School Board during the school desegregation crisis.

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

Congrats to DJ Sigworth (@djsigworth) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question.

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Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. tom l

    Sniffit

    It's hilarious that CNN can write this article with a straight face as though this happened yesterday, not 2+ years ago, and as if it wasn't followed by big ranting partisan investigations that failed to prove any wrongdoing or generate the impeachment hearings the GOP/Teatrolls obviously hoped they would. Nope...yesterday and neverending.
    ====

    Interesting post but I think you're missing the point here. Of course everyone knows that it was 2+ years ago and that is precisely the point. You fail to recognize that basically almost half of the voters did not vote for Obama – and YES, I fully recognize that Obama got over half but you can't forget about a large percentage that did not vote for him. And I totally AGREE WITH YOU that the investigation has been entirely partisan...on BOTH sides. Repubs doing everything they can to show wrongdoing by the administration AND AT THE SAME TIME dems doing everything they can to show that there was no wrongdoing. So you have highly partisan on both sides without getting to what actually happened as both sides try to score political points. But what appears to be abundantly clear is we have not gotten all of the answers and that is why you have a poll result like this. Because you are on the partisan side to show NO wrongdoing, you are remiss in getting all of the information and that is evident.

    June 16, 2014 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  2. king

    the repubs wants us to leave our soldiers in a power keg, without no status agreement nor protection for our soldiers. malaki denied our soldiers immunity and kicked us out of their country. why is the repubs running around acting like the iraqi people are a bunch of kids and shouldnt be left to make their own decision. in this country the repubs are running around shouting personal responsibility for our poor and disadvantage in our economy. why they are not saying this to iraq. i think people of this world are offended to think that Americans are so high and mighty to think that the people in other countries doesn't have the ability to think nor govern themselves. the middle east is not like any standard countries that respect their border and are proud of their nationality. these folks might like one of their neighbor and sort to kill the other because of their religous ideology. how can american soldiers defend against that. their lives would be in constantly in danger if one group thinks Americans are preferable to the other. Obama needs to think hard and long with the action he takes, and not just shoot from the hip like the repubs are pushing him to do. Obama is not bush.

    June 16, 2014 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  3. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN

    Maybe the GOP and graham are trying to protect CHENEY and halburtions OIL COMPANY contracts in Iraq that were no bid. I HOPE THEY GO UP IN SMOKE!!!!!!!

    June 16, 2014 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  4. Stuffitu

    Interesting, the same organization that is in charge of enforcing OBOZOCARE has lost 2 years worth of Lois Lerners e mails and the mainstream liberally biased media is not reporting it.

    June 16, 2014 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "Interesting post but I think you're missing the point here.

    I can't tell you how much I really don't care, tom. Your ad hominem has pretty much ruined my willingness to engage you.

    June 16, 2014 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "in this country the repubs are running around shouting personal responsibility for our poor and disadvantage in our economy. why they are not saying this to iraq. "

    Iraq has oil. The poor and minorities in this country do not.

    June 16, 2014 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "– Perry on whether therapy can “cure” homosexuality –
    TEXAS GOV. RICK PERRY ON CNBC: “I don’t know ... The fact is, we’ll leave that to the psychologists and the doctors.”"

    "Therefore be it resolved that the American Psychological Association affirms that same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality regardless of sexual orientation identity;

    Be it further resolved that the American Psychological Association reaffirms its position that homosexuality per se is not a mental disorder and opposes portrayals of sexual minority youths and adults as mentally ill due to their sexual orientation;

    Be it further resolved that the American Psychological Association concludes that there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation;....ETC."

    Yet again, another example of a GOP/Teatroll just pretending evidence, facts, expert opinions, etc., do not exist so they can continue living in their comfortable, convenient delusions.

    June 16, 2014 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  8. Ol' Yeller

    " You fail to recognize that basically almost half of the voters did not vote for Obama – and YES, I fully recognize that Obama got over half but you can't forget about a large percentage that did not vote for him"

    What is your point because Al Gore had MORE that 1/2 the vote and still lost to the village idiot by 1 vote (count em'- 5 to 4).
    The only way the republicants would be satisfied on benghazi would be if Hillary and Obama's heads were delivered to issa on a ceremonial pole and dispayed in the House, so don't give me this crap about 'no wrongdoing'.

    And after they got the heads, they would start in on the next scandal on Joe Biden who would now be President (and eligble for re-election... which they DON'T want).
    It would suck to be a loser republicant, I know that.

    June 16, 2014 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  9. don in albuquerque

    Stuffitu
    I bet he fed those emails to his dog.....on purpose.......late at night......when it was stormy.........and the moon was in the seventh house and Jupiter aligned with Mars. Find a life.

    June 16, 2014 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  10. Wilson

    Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN
    Maybe the GOP and graham are trying to protect CHENEY and halburtions OIL COMPANY contracts in Iraq that were no bid. I HOPE THEY GO UP IN SMOKE!!!!!!!
    _________
    Oil prices are going through the roof and service companies like Halliburton are not the ones making all the money genius but they do supply a lot and I mean a lot of jobs. No telling what kind of margin Halliburton might have built in to even make money over there.

    June 16, 2014 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  11. Thomas

    Why dose America continue to ad fuel to the fire .

    Why is it we feed the dog that bites us ?

    June 16, 2014 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  12. j.v.hodgson

    If I thought that all this bloated ideological investigation improved the future of American politics and was is or ever will be of stupendous benefit to our future governance by either party?....
    Someone clearly far more intelligent than I needs to tell me, this poor idiot how in words of on syallable.
    I don't perceive any damage to multiple 501c4's tat passed whatever tests that were applied.
    The solution apply the law re qualification as a 501c4 as written, not he internal IRS " interpretative view."
    Regards.
    Hodgson.

    June 17, 2014 03:22 am at 3:22 am |