CNN's GUT CHECK | for December 9, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
OH, WHAT A FLIGHT! PRESIDENT OBAMA EN ROUTE TO SOUTH AFRICA WITH GEORGE W. BUSH AND HILLARY CLINTON: The high-profile figures mostly congregated in the plane's conference room, White House press secretary Jay Carney said. When not in the conference room, the Obamas stayed in the President's cabin while the Bushes sat in the medical office directly behind. Clinton sat in the senior staff cabin behind the medical office, according to the White House pool report.
REPUBLICAN SEN. TED CRUZ, CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATS TO COMMEMORATE MANDELA IN SOUTH AFRICA
More than 20 members of the U.S. House, mostly Democrats, and Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz are traveling to South Africa to honor and mourn the loss of former South African president and anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela.