CNN's GUT CHECK for February 1, 2013
February 1st, 2013
05:25 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for February 1, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for February 1, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BREAKING: KERRY SWORN IN AS SECRETARY OF STATE… State Dept Spokesman Victoria Nuland said that Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan swore in Secretary of State John Kerry at 4 p.m. Friday. According to a source close to Kerry, Kagan spoke briefly about the privilege and Kerry thanked her, family and staff in brief remarks. At his side, wife Teresa Heinz Kerry looked on, holding a Bible. Kerry’s Senate staff purchased and presented him with his chair from the floor of the Senate that he used for 28 years. – Elise Labott

BROWN OUT: BROWN WON'T SEEK KERRY'S SENATE SEAT Former Sen. Scott Brown said Friday that he won't make a bid this year to return to Capitol Hill. “I have given serious thought about the possibility of running again. … I have received a lot of encouragement from friends and supporters to become a candidate and my competitive instincts were leading in the same direction,” Brown said. “Even so, I was not at all certain that a third Senate campaign in less than four years, and the prospect of returning to a Congress even more partisan than the one I left, was really the best way for me to continue in public service at this time. And I know it’s not the only way for me to advance the ideals and causes that matter most to me. “That is why I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for the United States Senate in the upcoming special election.”

BIG MONEY: THE $7,000,000,000 CAMPAIGN The 2012 campaign was expensive. Like 70 private islands expensive. In total, candidates, parties and outside groups spent $7 billion during the 2012 election cycle, a record breaking – though not surprising - figure for campaign expenditures, according to the Federal Election Commission. “That's not really unusual. They're all record breaking,” FEC chairwoman Ellen Weintraub said during the panel's meeting Thursday. – Kevin Liptak

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CNN's GUT CHECK for January 31, 2013
January 31st, 2013
05:32 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for January 31, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for January 31, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BRUISED: WANNABE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE ON THE DEFENSIVE Several senators tell CNN’s Dana Bash that Chuck Hagel’s poor performance today is all the buzz. Hagel is “all the talk – I mean all the talk,” says one undecided senator, who noted that his colleagues are “shocked” by how ill-prepared he seems for basic questions about past controversial comments. Hagel is even struggling among those who support him; one Democrat on the Armed Services Committee shook his head in disbelief over Hagel and told Bash that he is surprised the former Nebraska senator is not being more forceful in his answers, especially since he has been on the other side of the dais and knows how this works.

A TASTE OF THE QUESTIONS: REPUBLICAN SEN. JOHN MCCAIN AT HAGEL’S HEARING... “I think history has already made a judgment about the surge, sir, and you're on the wrong side of it and your refusal to answer whether you were right or wrong about it, it's going have an impact on my judgment as to whether to vote for your confirmation or not. I hope you will reconsider the fact that you refused to answer a fundamental question about an issue that took the lives of thousands of young Americans.”
REPUBLICAN SEN. JAMES INHOFE AT HAGEL’S HEARING: “The question I’d like to ask you, and you can answer for the record if you’d like, why do you think the Iranian foreign ministry so strongly supports your nomination to be the Secretary of Defense?”

GUNS: TUNE IN… Anderson Cooper brings all of the critical voices in the national gun debate together in a special town hall airing tonight at 8 p.m. & 10 p.m. ET. Check out What Caught Our Eye below for a preview of what to expect.

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Filed under: 2012
CNN's GUT CHECK for January 31, 2013
January 31st, 2013
05:32 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for January 31, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for January 31, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BRUISED: WANNABE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE ON THE DEFENSIVE Several senators tell CNN’s Dana Bash that Chuck Hagel’s poor performance today is all the buzz. Hagel is “all the talk – I mean all the talk,” says one undecided senator, who noted that his colleagues are “shocked” by how ill-prepared he seems for basic questions about past controversial comments. Hagel is even struggling among those who support him; one Democrat on the Armed Services Committee shook his head in disbelief over Hagel and told Bash that he is surprised the former Nebraska senator is not being more forceful in his answers, especially since he has been on the other side of the dais and knows how this works.

A TASTE OF THE QUESTIONS: REPUBLICAN SEN. JOHN MCCAIN AT HAGEL’S HEARING... “I think history has already made a judgment about the surge, sir, and you're on the wrong side of it and your refusal to answer whether you were right or wrong about it, it's going have an impact on my judgment as to whether to vote for your confirmation or not. I hope you will reconsider the fact that you refused to answer a fundamental question about an issue that took the lives of thousands of young Americans.”
REPUBLICAN SEN. JAMES INHOFE AT HAGEL’S HEARING: “The question I’d like to ask you, and you can answer for the record if you’d like, why do you think the Iranian foreign ministry so strongly supports your nomination to be the Secretary of Defense?”

GUNS: TUNE IN… Anderson Cooper brings all of the critical voices in the national gun debate together in a special town hall airing tonight at 8 p.m. & 10 p.m. ET. Check out What Caught Our Eye below for a preview of what to expect.

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Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
CNN's GUT CHECK for January 30, 2013
January 30th, 2013
05:11 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for January 30, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for January 30, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

HISTORY MAKING: Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick added another page to the nation’s history book Wednesday by naming William “Mo” Cowan to temporarily fill Sen. John Kerry’s seat until Bay State voters choose a successor in June. Cowan, a Democrat, will be the eighth African-American to serve in the Senate. This will also be the first time two African-Americans have served together in the chamber – Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, was appointed earlier this year to fill the remainder of Sen. Jim DeMint’s term.

Massachusetts Special Election: On the Democratic side: Rep. Ed Markey is in and Rep. Stephen Lynch is expected to announce his candidacy tomorrow. As for a Republican candidate, we wait to hear what former Sen. Scott Brown decides. A source close to Brown tells Gut Check: “He is still undecided. But he knows that he has got to make a decision quickly.”

GOING VIRAL: GUN DEBATE HITTING GRASSROOTS… On one side, a note and a surprise visit from former Rep. Gaby Giffords at Wednesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on guns. Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association tells CNN that the organization has gained about a half million members since the Newtown, CT shooting. The NRA now has more than 4.5 million members nationwide – a record for the association.

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Filed under: 2012
CNN's GUT CHECK for January 30, 2013
January 30th, 2013
05:11 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for January 30, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for January 30, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

HISTORY MAKING: Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick added another page to the nation’s history book Wednesday by naming William “Mo” Cowan to temporarily fill Sen. John Kerry’s seat until Bay State voters choose a successor in June. Cowan, a Democrat, will be the eighth African-American to serve in the Senate. This will also be the first time two African-Americans have served together in the chamber – Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, was appointed earlier this year to fill the remainder of Sen. Jim DeMint’s term.

Massachusetts Special Election: On the Democratic side: Rep. Ed Markey is in and Rep. Stephen Lynch is expected to announce his candidacy tomorrow. As for a Republican candidate, we wait to hear what former Sen. Scott Brown decides. A source close to Brown tells Gut Check: “He is still undecided. But he knows that he has got to make a decision quickly.”

GOING VIRAL: GUN DEBATE HITTING GRASSROOTS… On one side, a note and a surprise visit from former Rep. Gaby Giffords at Wednesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on guns. Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association tells CNN that the organization has gained about a half million members since the Newtown, CT shooting. The NRA now has more than 4.5 million members nationwide – a record for the association.

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CNN's GUT CHECK for January 29, 2013
January 29th, 2013
05:00 PM ET
2 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for January 29, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for January 29, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BREAKING: KERRY GETS CONFIRMED… The United States Senate has confirmed Sen. John Kerry to be the next Secretary of State by a 94-3 vote. The three Republican senators that voted against Kerry were Ted Cruz of Texas, John Cornyn of Texas and James Inhofe of Oklahoma. Kerry, who voted present, is the first white male to hold the post in 16 years.

DEVELOPING: OBAMA ON IMMIGRATION REFORM... Today at a campaign style event at Del Sol High School, Las Vegas, Nevada, President Barack Obama addressed an energetic crowd: “The reason I came here today is because of a challenge where the differences are dwindling; where a broad consensus is emerging; and where a call for action can now be heard coming from all across America. I’m here today because the time has come for common-sense, comprehensive immigration reform. The time is now. Now is the time. Now is the time. Now is the time.”

The Audience chanted in response, “Sí se puede!”

Gut Check Flashback (What became known as “La Promesa de Obama”) In a May 2008 interview with Univision’s Jorge Ramos, Obama promised to address immigration reform in his first year in office:
Ramos: Hillary Clinton promised to send a comprehensive immigration reform bill to Congress within her first 100 days. Can you match this promise?
Obama: Initially, it was her first term and then, I think, when I said I would do it in the first year, she upped the ante and said 100 days.
Ramos: Can you do it in 100 days?
Obama: I cannot guarantee that it is going to be in the first 100 days. But what I can guarantee is that we will have in the first year an immigration bill that I strongly support and that I’m promoting. And I want to move that forward as quickly as possible.
Ramos: In the first year?
Obama: In my first year in office.

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CNN's GUT CHECK for January 28, 2013
January 28th, 2013
05:27 PM ET
2 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for January 28, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for January 28, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

DEVELOPING: POSSIBLE COMPROMISE ON IMMIGRATION REFORM TAKES SHAPE Undocumented immigrants would be able to seek legal status without first going home under a compromise framework floated Monday by a bipartisan group of senators, according to a source familiar with the plan. The outline for a possible immigration reform bill reflects a mainstream Republican willingness to compromise on what President Barack Obama calls a top priority of his second term. However, conservatives immediately voiced their opposition to providing undocumented immigrants a path to legal status, especially in the Republican-led House. – Dana Bash and Tom Cohen

INTRIGUING: THE PRESIDENT GOES SKEET SHOOTING In an interview with the New Republic, President Obama said he goes shooting ‘all the time.’ OBAMA: “Up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time. I have a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations. And I think those who dismiss that out of hand make a big mistake. Part of being able to move this forward is understanding the reality of guns in urban areas are very different from the realities of guns in rural areas.”

… BUT YOU CAN’T SEE IT: The White House says it will not release a photo of Obama skeet shooting. CNN’s Jessica Yellin asked Press Secretary Jay Carney why there are no photos during Monday’s White House briefing:

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Filed under: 2012
CNN's GUT CHECK for January 28, 2013
January 28th, 2013
05:27 PM ET
2 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for January 28, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for January 28, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

DEVELOPING: POSSIBLE COMPROMISE ON IMMIGRATION REFORM TAKES SHAPE Undocumented immigrants would be able to seek legal status without first going home under a compromise framework floated Monday by a bipartisan group of senators, according to a source familiar with the plan. The outline for a possible immigration reform bill reflects a mainstream Republican willingness to compromise on what President Barack Obama calls a top priority of his second term. However, conservatives immediately voiced their opposition to providing undocumented immigrants a path to legal status, especially in the Republican-led House. – Dana Bash and Tom Cohen

INTRIGUING: THE PRESIDENT GOES SKEET SHOOTING In an interview with the New Republic, President Obama said he goes shooting ‘all the time.’ OBAMA: “Up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time. I have a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations. And I think those who dismiss that out of hand make a big mistake. Part of being able to move this forward is understanding the reality of guns in urban areas are very different from the realities of guns in rural areas.”

… BUT YOU CAN’T SEE IT: The White House says it will not release a photo of Obama skeet shooting. CNN’s Jessica Yellin asked Press Secretary Jay Carney why there are no photos during Monday’s White House briefing:

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Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
CNN's GUT CHECK for January 25, 2013
January 25th, 2013
04:42 PM ET
2 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for January 25, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for January 25, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

NEW CHIEF IN THE WHITE HOUSE: OBAMA NAMES MCDONOUGH AS CHIEF OF STAFF President Barack Obama named one of his closest and most trusted advisers as his chief of staff Friday, the fifth man to hold the job since Obama first took office in 2009. Denis McDonough, who served as Obama's deputy national security adviser since 2010, was announced to the post at a White House event Friday. Obama told a packed East Room that McDonough is a "great friend to me and to everyone who works here in the White House.” “Nobody outworks Denis McDonough,” Obama said later – an important trait for the person responsible for a White House staff of hundreds and for controlling access to the president. – Lesa Jansen and Kevin Liptak

MORE STAFF SHAKE UPS: In addition to McDonough, Obama announced these new jobs on Friday...
Rob Nabors – Assistant to the President and Deputy White House Chief of Staff for Policy
Lisa Monaco – Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and Deputy National Security Advisor
Jennifer Palmieri – Assistant to the President and Communications Director
Dan Pfeiffer – Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor

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Filed under: 2012
CNN's GUT CHECK for January 25, 2013
January 25th, 2013
04:42 PM ET
2 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for January 25, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for January 25, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

NEW CHIEF IN THE WHITE HOUSE: OBAMA NAMES MCDONOUGH AS CHIEF OF STAFF President Barack Obama named one of his closest and most trusted advisers as his chief of staff Friday, the fifth man to hold the job since Obama first took office in 2009. Denis McDonough, who served as Obama's deputy national security adviser since 2010, was announced to the post at a White House event Friday. Obama told a packed East Room that McDonough is a "great friend to me and to everyone who works here in the White House.” “Nobody outworks Denis McDonough,” Obama said later – an important trait for the person responsible for a White House staff of hundreds and for controlling access to the president. – Lesa Jansen and Kevin Liptak

MORE STAFF SHAKE UPS: In addition to McDonough, Obama announced these new jobs on Friday...
Rob Nabors – Assistant to the President and Deputy White House Chief of Staff for Policy
Lisa Monaco – Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and Deputy National Security Advisor
Jennifer Palmieri – Assistant to the President and Communications Director
Dan Pfeiffer – Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor

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Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
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