CNN Chief National Correspondent John King gives this morning’s political headlines in 90 seconds: Obama calls Putin, Obamacare numbers, and Pulitzer prizes for Snowden coverage.
Obama to honor LBJ’s civil rights legacy: President Barack Obama on Thursday will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas. A lot of people have compared Obama with Lyndon B. Johnson recently. The LBJ people want to rescue his legacy from Vietnam. In a piece in the National Journal, George Condon argues Obama staffers don’t want their guy’s star put up next to the coarse-mouthed Texan. But you can’t argue that Johnson didn’t get a lot done in his first few years in office. Civil rights legislation, the Great Society programs and Medicare and Medicaid - these are legacy items with a more lasting imprint on American culture and society than most presidents can claim.
David Jackson puts it well in USA Today: “There was a time - a long time - when Democratic presidential candidates would not even utter the name Lyndon Baines Johnson. This week, the three Democrats elected president since Johnson traveled to Texas to honor the memory of LBJ - a president once reviled for the Vietnam War, now revered for a domestic record that includes landmark civil rights laws.”
Jackson’s piece points out that when Bill Clinton visited the LBJ library during a 1992 campaign stop, he didn’t once utter the late president’s name.
Yes, it is news that Clinton is officially “thinking” about 2016 run: Hillary Clinton said two important things about a potential presidential run and then got a sweet question from a little girl that literally left her speechless.
Clinton seemed loose and at ease, even candid, during appearances Tuesday in California and Oregon.
And she acknowledged, when asked whether she’ll run in 2016, “I am thinking about it.”
Actually, this remark is a development.
What’s real and imagined about “equal pay day?
Women make less than men, even at the White House: Happy Equal Pay Day! Well, not happy, really. Today is the day in the year when American women’s pay from last year catches up to that of American men. Women, according to the data, make about 77 cents for every dollar a man does. We’re 23% into 2014.
Whether or not there is an actual pay gap and how large it is remain the subject of some debate. The census data that shows women make 77 cents for every dollar men make is calculated by adding all the wages of women and dividing the total by all the wages of men. But that doesn’t take into account a lot of factors, like women taking time off work to have children or choosing different career paths.
Professional fact checkers at Factcheck.org (“exaggeration”), Politifact (“Mostly False”) and The Washington Post (“one Pinocchio”) have all found problems with the claim. The American Association of University Women released a report that concluded the pay gap was closer to 7% than 23%.
For the past several elections, Democrats have adopted the equal pay issue and made the equality of paychecks a huge priority.
Jeb Bush’s “act of love” vs. President Obama as “deporter-in-chief”: The Republican Party base has recently shown no love for candidates who talk about the need for compassion in dealing with undocumented immigrants.
In 2012, for instance, Mitt Romney used the issue of immigration to distinguish himself from rivals like Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich, who wanted to let the children of undocumented immigrants stay in the country.
So it was a bit jarring over the weekend to hear Jeb Bush say that coming to the country illegally shouldn’t really be viewed as a felony.
"Yes, they broke the law, but it's not a felony. It's an act of love; it's an act of commitment to your family," Bush told Fox News host Shannon Bream at town hall event at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library Center.
(CNN) – Chris Christie may not have the blessing of his longtime mentor should he decide to run for president in 2016.
Tom Kean, former Republican governor and a staple in New Jersey politics, told author Ryan Lizza he's not sure he'd back Christie if he decides to jump into the 2016 race - a dramatic statement coming from the man who helped Christie get his start in politics.
CNN's John King and other top political reporters empty out their notebooks each Sunday on "Inside Politics" to reveal five things that will be in the headlines in the days, weeks and months ahead.
1. RECRUITING SINK TO RUN AGAIN: Alex Sink is suddenly back in vogue as Democrats look to try again in a Florida House district they lost in a special election last month.
Sink was their candidate then, and a lot of Democrats blamed a subpar campaign on her narrow loss. But Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee leaders remain convinced she is their best candidate in November.
Winter over for Democrats? 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.
The cold and snow, punctuated by the Polar Vortex, had kept earlier 2014 reports below expectations.
The control that presidents have over the economy is generally overstated. But it’s a harsh truth of politics that they unfairly take the blame when things go bad and unfairly get credit when things go well. President Obama, with his low approval rating and with Democrats’ bleak prospects heading into the 2014 midterm elections this fall, will take any kind of credit he can get.
Pair the decent jobs numbers with the news this week that Obamacare - once thought to be on life support - reached (and even exceeded a tiny bit) it’s original goal of enrolling 7 million people in private insurance, and that makes a pretty good week for the President and his party.