CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for August 12, 2014 | 5 p.m.
— n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
OBAMA CAMP KNOCKS CLINTON IN FOREIGN POLICY SPAT … David Axelrod, former adviser to President Barack Obama, hit back Tuesday against Hillary Clinton's recent criticism of Obama's foreign policy.
David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod)
Just to clarify: "Don't do stupid stuff" means stuff like occupying Iraq in the first place, which was a tragically bad decision.
In an interview with “The Atlantic” published over the weekend, Clinton argued the decision not to arm Syrian rebels early on had led to Islamic militants taking over swaths of territory in the region. The former secretary of state also took a swipe at an oft-repeated phrase Obama uses to sum up his foreign policy choices – “Don’t do stupid stuff.” "Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle," Clinton said.
CLINTON CAMP TO OBAMA: LET’S HUG IT OUT … Hillary Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill issued the following statement Tuesday afternoon: “Secretary Clinton was proud to serve with President Obama, she was proud to be his partner in the project of restoring American leadership and advancing America's interests and values in a fast changing world. She continues to share his deep commitment to a smart and principled foreign policy that uses all the tools at our disposal to achieve our goals. Earlier today, the Secretary called President Obama to make sure he knows that nothing she said was an attempt to attack him, his policies, or his leadership. Secretary Clinton has at every step of the way touted the significant achievements of his Presidency, which she is honored to have been part of as his Secretary of State. While they've had honest differences on some issues, including aspects of the wicked challenge Syria presents, she has explained those differences in her book and at many points since then. Some are now choosing to hype those differences but they do not eclipse their broad agreement on most issues. Like any two friends who have to deal with the public eye, she looks forward to hugging it out when she they see each other tomorrow night.”
MENDING FENCES: CLINTON TO PARTY WITH PRESIDENT ON MARTHA’S VINEYARD… Only days after offering a stinging rebuke of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy, Hillary Clinton plans to attend a party in Martha’s Vineyard alongside the President on Wednesday. The former top diplomat, on the tiny Massachusetts island to promote her book, will find herself at the same social gathering as Obama and his wife, first lady Michelle Obama, on Wednesday night. The party is at the island home of Vernon Jordan, who acted as an adviser to former President Bill Clinton during his White House years. He’s married to a cousin of Valerie Jarrett, a top Obama aide. – Jim Acosta
HORSESH*T: OBAMA SLAMS SYRIA CRITICISM … Josh Rogin reports for the Daily Beast: President Obama got angry at lawmakers who suggested in a private meeting that he should have armed the Syrian rebels, calling the criticism “horseshit.” The argument that America should have done more in Syria, made for years by foreign policy leaders in both parties and several members of Obama’s senior national security team, was brought back to the fore this past weekend … Just before the congressional recess, President Obama invited over a dozen Senate and House leaders from both parties to the White House to talk about foreign policy. According to two lawmakers inside the meeting, Obama became visibly agitated when confronted by bipartisan criticism of the White House’s policy of slow-rolling moderate Syrian rebels’ repeated requests for arms to fight the Assad regime and ISIS.
WHITE HOUSE DENIES OBAMA DROPPED SCOTUS HINT … President Barack Obama thinks he’ll have the chance to nominate at least one more Supreme Court justice before his term in the White House is up. Speaking to Democratic supporters at a fundraiser on Monday in Martha’s Vineyard, Obama used the potential decision to elicit support for Democrats, who he said needed to maintain control of the U.S. Senate in order for his picks to be confirmed … (But) his remarks “were not in reference to a specific vacancy,” a White House official said. – Jim Acosta and Kevin Liptak
HARF: YOU’RE NOT DOING BUSINESS WITH A HOTEL IF YOU STAY THERE … From CNN’s Laura Koran: State Department Deputy Spokeswoman Marie Harf insisted Tuesday that the U.S. did not violate the law this week when Secretary John Kerry stayed at a hotel in Myanmar whose owner is on a U.S. sanctions list.
Despite the hotel's ownership, Harf said the sanctions rules "includes an exemption for activities related to travel, including hotel accommodations," which permitted the U.S. delegation to stay at the hotel. "You can stay at this hotel no matter who you are," said Harf. "You just can't do business with it. So if you wanted to sell them towels, you could not do that, but you could stay there."
FLORIDA LEGISLATURE APPROVES NEW CONGRESSIONAL MAP … Mary Ellen Klas and Michael Van Sickler report for the Tampa Bay Times: Florida legislators completed their hasty fix of a congressional redistricting map Monday, sending the plan on to Gov. Rick Scott for approval as they scramble to meet Friday's deadline set by a state court.
THE BUZZ: ROBIN WILLIAMS DEAD AT 63 … Robin Williams - who first made America laugh and eventually touched "every element of the human spirit" in a remarkable range of performances - died at his Northern California home Monday. Williams apparently died of asphyxia due to hanging, Marin County Sheriff's Lt. Keith Boyd said Tuesday. The final cause will not be certified for several weeks, said Boyd, who also is the county's Assistant Chief Deputy Coroner.– Josh Levs and Alan Duke
MARKET WATCH: Slow summer day on Wall Street. Dow dips 9 points, S&P 500 eases 0.16%, and NASDAQ falls 0.27%.
Which U.S. president coined the term 'Founding Fathers'?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Obama won't be pouring ice water on his head
President Obama is opting to stay dry. Ethel Kennedy, the matriarch of the Kennedy family, challenged the President to dump a bucket of ice water on his head as part of the increasingly popular Ice Bucket Challenge campaign to raise money for research into Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) – or Lou Gehrig's disease. – Dan Merica
Leading CNNMoney: Uber's dirty tricks - 5,560 canceled rides
Uber is using a pattern of aggressive and questionable tactics in its effort to control the car-on-demand market, according to rivals. New data provided by Lyft, a competitor, shows that Uber employees have ordered and canceled more than 5,000 Lyft rides since last October. The data was provided to CNNMoney per a request made when reporting another story on the competition between the two companies. – Erica FInk
Leading The Hill: GOP gets hip with Uber
Uber, Lyft and Airbnb have become mascots for a Republican Party looking to promote a new brand of free market conservatism while making inroads with young voters. -Jesse Byrnes
Leading Bozeman Daily Chronicle: Sen. Dude for Montana
An effort to draft Hollywood star and Paradise Valley resident Jeff Bridges as the Democratic Party's replacement for Sen. John Walsh on the November ballot has grown like wildfire over the weekend. – Troy Carter
Gut Check Full Service: ‘The Dude’ nixes Montana Senate bid
Leading HuffPo: Ouch: Top Dem Predicts Obama Impeachment If GOP Keeps House
Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), the third highest-ranking Democrat in the House, predicted Monday that Republicans will impeach President Barack Obama if, as expected, they hold onto the House of Representatives after the November elections. – Jennifer Bendery
Leading Politico: White House vs. K Street
Barack Obama promised to take on Washington’s revolving door culture. Washington won. A POLITICO review shows that the Obama administration has hired about 70 previously registered corporate, trade association and for-hire lobbyists. And many of these former lobbyists work at the highest levels of government. – Byron Tau
Leading New York Times: Dotty Lynch, Pollster Who Saw the Gender Gap, Is Dead at 69
Dotty Lynch, who was the first woman to be chief polltaker for a presidential campaign and one of the first to recognize the potential benefit of developing campaign themes aimed specifically at winning women’s votes, died on Sunday in Washington. She was 69. – Paul Vitello
The political bites of the day
– Dem lawmakers ask DOJ to expand investigation of 18-year-old Michael Brown –
JOHN CONYERS, D-MICHIGAN, REP. MARCIA FUDGE, D-OHIO, AND WILLIAM CLAY, D-MISSOURI, IN A LETTER TO ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER: “We applaud the Department of Justice’s decision to investigate the shooting of Michael Brown but hope that you will consider expanding the scope of federal involvement and ask that the Department dedicate sufficient resources to investigate the legal and civil rights ramifications of the shooting and surrounding circumstances.”
– Rand Paul not ‘completely opposed’ to Iraq bombings –
RAND PAUL, R-KENTUCKY, AT A CAMPBELLSVILLE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE EVENT: “I have mixed feelings about it. I'm not saying I'm completely opposed to helping with arms or maybe even bombing, but I am concerned that ISIS is big and powerful because we protected them in Syria for a year. Do you know who also hates ISIS and who is bombing them? Assad, the Syrian government. So … the same people who want to bomb ISIS wanted to bomb Syria last year. Syria and ISIS are on opposite sides of the war. We're now bombing both sides of one war that has spread into another country.”
– Kerry urges formation of new Iraqi cabinet ‘as urgently as possible’ –
SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY AT A NEWS CONFERENCE TUESDAY: The nomination of Haider al-Abadi to replace Nouri al-Maliki as Prime Minister “now offers him the opportunity to be able to form a new government over the next 30 days. We urge him to form a new cabinet as urgently as possible, and the U.S. does stand ready to fully support a new and inclusive Iraqi government, particularly in its fight against ISIL.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Michelle Jaconi (@mjaconiCNN)
Every aspiring journalist should watch @IvanCNN report: Escape from Mount Sinjar http://edition.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/world/2014/08/11/watson-yazidi-survivors-mount-sinjar.cnn.html … #Iraq
Dan Merica (@danmericaCNN)
A former campaign aide defends Hillary Clinton on breaking with Obama: "I don't think she is out there Monday morning quarterbacking."
Bill Scher (@billscher)
Iowa conservatives say Rand Paul is "not ready for primetime" yet Rick Perry and Ted Cruz are, reports @thehill http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/214918-rick-perrys-iowa-comeback …
Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh)
Sign of the times: Al Franken talks up his collaboration on an immigration markup with... Ted Cruz! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44ZsFKddDBw
Jimmy Vielkind (@JimmyVielkind)
.@RobAstorino: “This race isn't about polls. I'm never going to be winning in the polls, I'm never going to out-riase Andrew Cuomo. Period.”
Joseph Spector (@GannettAlbany)
Cuomo's lead over Astorino drops 5 points, but he's still up: 58 percent to 26 percent http://polhudson.lohudblogs.com/2014/08/11/moreland-smoreland-few-know-about-ny-flap-poll-says/ …
Rachel DePompa (@RachelDePompa)
#McDonnell Evidence: just released: Passing Range Rover also snaps a pic of Bob driving Jonnie Williams' Ferrari. https://twitter.com/RachelDePompa/status/499208680278351872
Elise Foley (@elisefoley)
Great/depressing mashup of politicians talking about working together, even though they mostly can't work together http://huff.to/1kZYuf5
Felicia Schwartz (@felschwartz)
Robin Williams traveled to 13 countries with the USO and performed for more than 89,400 service members http://on.wsj.com/1sUC8vs
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
President Warren G. Harding, then-Senator of Ohio, coined the term ‘Founding Fathers’ during his 1916 keynote speech at the Republican National Convention in Chicago.
“We ought to be as genuinely American today as when the Founding Fathers flung their immortal defiance in the face of old-world oppressions and dedicated a new republic to the principles of liberty and justice,” Harding said.
Harding used the terms several times afterwards, including during his 1921 presidential inaugural address.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
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Congrats to Sean Evins (@Evins) and Matthew Gilbertson (@MattRGilbertson) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question.
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