CNN's GUT CHECK | for May 16, 2012 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF THE SENATE IS A STUDY IN STILL LIFE – Republican Leader Mitch McConnell: “If you’re looking for a simple three-word description of the Democrat approach to the problems that we face it is this: duck and cover.”
Democratic Leader Harry Reid: “Their leader said their number one goal is to defeat President Obama, so they don’t mind spending a day wasting the Senate’s time on useless political show votes.” – Follow @DanaBashCNN for the latest on what she reminds us is Capitol Hill’s “deliberative” body.
Move over Warren Buffett. What dexterous entrepreneur told the conservative web site The Daily Caller that he was “comfortable with” paying whatever tax rate Congress and President Obama decided upon?
If 59,301 Ohioans had voted for John Kerry instead of George W. Bush eight years ago, John Edwards would have been vice president. That fact renders us aghast on days when we read the trial testimony coming out of Greensboro, North Carolina.
On one hand, you can marvel at an election process that rendered Edwards a political loser even before he brought public shame to his family.
On the other hand, you can only stomach so much of the tawdry testimony before realizing the timing of the trial is awful for the American electorate. With trust and faith in our institutions hovering near an all-time low and a difficult debt ceiling debate at center stage (yet again), a daily dose of political hypocrisy and the failings of leadership is not what the doctor ordered – especially in an important election year.
As for Gut Check, we shall always remember this trial as the one that put all other dramatic campaign phone calls in perspective. Andrew Young’s testimony of a busy day on the campaign trail interrupted by a phone call from an agitated Rielle Hunter, demanding to talk to John Edwards. Young, irritated at the campaign interruption, finally relented and said, “Someone better be dead or pregnant.”
“No one’s dead,” Hunter said, according to Young.
To all you campaign veterans, Gut Check simply asks: you think you had bad days on the trail?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: In central Virginia, a 2012 bellwether emerges
Strategists for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney don't see eye to eye on much, but they do agree on this: It's tough to envision a path to the White House that doesn't include Virginia.
Leading Drudge: Boehner Demands Spending Cuts Obama Offers Hoagies
President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) clashed during a White House meeting on Wednesday, with the Speaker telling the president that he was “not going to allow a debt-ceiling increase without doing something serious about the debt,” Boehner’s office said.
Leading HuffPo: Darrell Issa Questions Obama On Trans-Pacific Partnership, Leaks Key Text Of Trade Deal
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has taken the unprecedented step of leaking a secret U.S. trade document, in hopes of pressuring President Barack Obama's administration into disclosing the details of a major trade deal with far-reaching implications on everything from "Buy American" contracting rules to prescription drug prices to internet freedom.
Leading Politico: Obama and Romney's common foe
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney spend a lot of time trumpeting their differences, but they do share at least one common conviction: disdain for a political news media they see as eager to vaporize them for the sheer sport of it.
Leading New York Times: Obama Campaign Announces Raising $43.6 Million in April
President Obama and the Democrats raised $43.6 million in April, adding to the president’s edge over his rival, Mitt Romney, even as money continues to pour in to outside groups ahead of the fall campaign.
The political bites of the day
- ‘They don’t get us,’ says Biden about GOP -
VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN AT A CAMPAIGN EVENT IN OHIO: “I resent the fact they think we're talking about envy, it’s job envy, it’s wealth envy and we don’t dream. My mother and father believed if I wanted [to be] president of the United States I could be. I could be vice president. My mother and father believed if my brother or sister wanted to be [a] millionaire, they could be a millionaire. My mother and father dreamed as much as any rich guy dreamed. They don’t get us! They don’t get who we are! They don’t understand, it seems to me. Again, they're not bad; they just don’t get it.”
- Cain endorses Romney -
HERMAN CAIN AT A NEWS CONFERENCE IN WASHINGTON: “I know that there are a lot of people who may not be as excited as some of us for the process or as excited about the ultimate nominee. So why am I willing to officially endorse him along with most of the other Republican candidates? It is real simple. Gov. Romney gets it right on the big issues. President Obama gets it wrong on all of the big issues.
- Romney leaves out the animals -
Gut Check Rewind: Yesterday we flagged an odd turn of phrase from Romney speech excerpts that he ended up taking out of the speech itself. The campaign released excerpts that included this line:“A prairie fire of debt is sweeping across Iowa and our nation and every day we fail to act we feed that fire with our own lack of resolve… This is not a Democratic or Republican problem. That fire could care less if you have a donkey or an elephant in your front lawn, it's still coming for your house."
Romney ended up saying: “When the men and women who settled the Iowa prairie saw a fire in the distance, they didn't look around for someone else to save them or go back to sleep hoping the wind might blow another direction. They knew that their survival was up to them. The people of Iowa and America have watched President Obama for nearly four years, much of that time with Congress controlled by his own party. And rather than put out the spending fire, he has fed the fire… I will lead us out of this debt and spending inferno. We will stop borrowing unfathomable sums of money we can't even imagine, from foreign countries we'll never even visit. I will bring us together to put out the fire!”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
In an interview with The Daily Caller, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, the Los Angeles Laker great, said that he is comfortable with paying whatever tax rate Congress and President Obama decided upon. He went on to say that he is more concerned that small businesses can get a break.
“Well, you know when you think about raising taxes…and if you’re going to raise it, you’re going to have to raise it on those who can afford to pay more, and I think that’s what he’s [President Obama] trying to focus in on,” Johnson said. “But small businesses, he’s also incentivizing them too at the same time. You know he’s been doing a good job in a tough situation.” (Johnson would likely fall into the “those who can afford it category” because of his estimated net worth of $500 million)
Johnson has been an ardent Obama supporter over the years. According to FEC filings, Johnson had donated more than $100,000 to Obama’s campaign and affiliated groups from 2008 to today.
Magic lived up to this name 32 years ago today. Johnson, a 6-foot-9 rookie point guard, had been a staple all year for the Lakers, but no one could have foreseen the way he would step up in the NBA Championship. When center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was injured in a game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Johnson moved from point guard, generally the smallest guy on the court, to center, generally the tallest.
Magic scored 42 points in his first game at center. He went on to lead the Lakers to their first championship since 1972 and was named most valuable player in the finals, earning him the admiration of just about everyone in Los Angeles – especially Michelle.
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