CNN's GUT CHECK | for July 2, 2012| 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING…NO BOUNCE ON HEALTH CARE… CNN POLL: HEALTH CARE RULING HAS BIG INFLUENCE ON YOUR HEALTH COVERAGE, LITTLE INFLUENCE ON 2012 RACE: Thursday's landmark Supreme Court decision appears to have had exactly zero impact on the general election so far, and has produced virtually no change in opinions on Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, although Obama has an edge among registered voters when it comes to health care. In a hypothetical two-way match-up, Obama now has a 49%-46% edge over Mitt Romney among registered voters - identical to the results from the last CNN poll conducted in late May.
On this day in history, Congress voted for independence with Britain. What state abstained from the vote?
Look no further than Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., as a one example why it is difficult to convince talented individuals to shun the financial fruits of the private sector to serve in public office. You are damned if you do and damned if you do.
When Roberts joined the Court in September 2005, conservatives celebrated the judge’s credentials. Roberts clerked for then-Justice William Rehnquist, served in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, and was appointed to the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by President George W. Bush before being nominated in 2005 to become chief justice.
A CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll taken just prior to the Senate approving his nomination as chief justice, Roberts had a 50 percent favorable rating, compared to just 17 percent who viewed him unfavorably. Digging down deeper into these 2005 poll numbers, it showed that 67 percent of Republicans had a favorable opinion of Roberts, while only 35 percent of Democrats did.
At that time, there is no question Republicans thought Roberts would rule in a way that they would approve.
Fast forward to today. A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll shows that these numbers have flipped – a result of Roberts joining liberal members of the Court to uphold the constitutionality of what is known as the individual mandate in the health care law. The new poll shows that only 30 percent of Republicans have a favorable opinion of Roberts, compared to 51 percent of Democrats.
Now, a majority of Democrats think highly of Roberts because he voted in a way that they approved.
There is no question that the Court is a political institution, which then-Sen. Barack Obama all but acknowledged in 2005 when he decided to vote against Robert’s nomination to the Court.
“The problem I had is that when I examined Judge Roberts' record and history of public service, it is my personal estimation that he has far more often used his formidable skills on behalf of the strong in opposition to the weak,” Obama said in 2005. “In his work in the White House and the Solicitor General's Office, he seemed to have consistently sided with those who were dismissive of efforts to eradicate the remnants of racial discrimination in our political process. In these same positions, he seemed dismissive of the concerns that it is harder to make it in this world and in this economy when you are a woman rather than a man.
Obama continued: “I want to take Judge Roberts at his word that he doesn't like bullies and he sees the law and the court as a means of evening the playing field between the strong and the weak. But given the gravity of the position to which he will undoubtedly ascend and the gravity of the decisions in which he will undoubtedly participate during his tenure on the court, I ultimately have to give more weight to his deeds and the overarching political philosophy that he appears to have shared with those in power than to the assuring words that he provided me in our meeting.”
So, as we stand today, a slim majority of Democrats now view Roberts in favorable terms, while only three in 10 Republicans do. It is a belief that conservative columnist George Will of ABC News predicted won’t be long lived.
“While we're in the midst of this liberal celebration of John Roberts, let me say the following then: prophecy is optional folly but I'm going to commit it,” Will said on ‘This Week.’ “One year from right now, after the next term of the Supreme Court, we are going to be talking about the Roberts' court having overturned a racial preferential system in Texas - admission at a University of Texas, across their entire system, overturning Section V of the Voting Rights Act of 1964 as anachronistic infringement of American federalism, and overturning and further deregulating American politics in the spirit of that wonderful decision Citizens United.”
So, if we are to believe Will, Roberts will once again be in Republican’s good graces and the Democratic doghouse.
We do take great solace in a quote by President Theodore Roosevelt about those who do decide to enter the public arena knowing that they open themselves to critics.
"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: CNN Poll: Health care ruling changes views of Supreme Court
The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the national health care law may not have changed many minds regarding the controversial measure, but a new poll indicates it sure did change Americans views of the high court.
Leading Drudge: Drone Industry Sets 'Code Of Conduct'
The drone industry on Monday unveiled its first-ever “code of conduct” policy, designed to protect the privacy of those on the ground and ensure the sector adheres to safety standards as the popularity and usage of unmanned aerial vehicles continue to grow. – Ben Wolfgang
Leading HuffPo: Obama Will Seek To Scale Back Drug War In Second Term: Report
President Barack Obama will take steps to draw down the nation's decades-long war on drugs if he wins a second term, Marc Ambinder reports Monday in GQ. – Nick Wing
Leading Politico: Vice president hopefuls play the name game
The vice-presidential selection process is not merely the act of each nominee picking a running mate. It’s also the political equivalent of the Oscars. – Jonathan Martin
Leading New York Times: Stung by Recession, Young Voters Shed Image as Obama Brigade
Since President Obama swept into office with vast backing from young people, a new corps of voters have come of age with views shaped by the recession. – Susan Saulny
The political bites of the day
- Chicago fact checks the fact checkers -
STEPHANIE CUTTER, OBAMA DEPUTY CAMPAIGN MANAGER REBUTS FACTCHECK.ORG IN A LETTER: “In sum, the statement that Gov. Romney “left” Bain in February 1999–a statement central to your fact-check– is not accurate. Romney took an informal leave of absence but remained in full legal control of Bain and continued to be paid by Bain as such. Governor Romney would have the period of Bain service understood differently, for the obvious reason that there is much in this l999-2002 period that he would prefer to avoid accountability for.”
- GOP continues to hammer home tax message on health care… -
REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN IN AN INTERVIEW ON CNN’S “STARTING POINT”: “What the American people have said, you know what, we said all along it was a tax and as I was out over the weekend at farmers markets and at church, and at the grocery store and visiting with constituents, so many people said you know back in August '09 we were all saying this seemed to be a tax and if it was a tax then this was going to be the largest tax increase in history. Indeed it was and is.”
- … but the Romney campaign seems split on that message -
ROMNEY CAMPAIGN SPOKEWSOMAN AMANDA HENNEBERG SAID IN A STATEMENT: “Supreme Court left President Obama with two choices: the federal individual mandate in Obamacare is either a constitutional tax or an unconstitutional penalty. Governor Romney thinks it is an unconstitutional penalty. What is President Obama's position: is his federal mandate unconstitutional or is it a tax?”
- Secy. Clinton hints at Russia warming to U.N. plan for Syria -
SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN’S FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT JILL DOUGHERTY: “I think they have begun to realize that they are trying to ride two horses at the same time, so to speak. They are constantly saying we have no love lost for Assad, we don’t have any stake in him staying, but we are afraid of the violence and what will come after. So the argument I have made to them consistently is that their failure to be part of the solution is the surest way to ensure we have a civil war with sectarian conflict that spills over the borders… I believe, based on my lengthy conversation last night and our discussions today, they’ve decided to get on one horse, and it’s the horse that would back a transition plan that Kofi Annan would be empowered to implement.”
GUT CHECK’S CMAG MOMENT
From Kantar Media's CMAG:
“From the start of the general election campaign on April 10 through June 28, 2012, fewer than one percent of all ad occurrences sponsored by the Obama campaign have mentioned Bain Capital by name.
From April 10 through June 28, 100% of all ad occurrences sponsored by Democratic super PAC Priorities USA Action have mentioned Bain Capital by name.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted unanimously for Richard Henry Lee's resolution for independence from Great Britain. Though unanimous, one state, New York, abstained from the vote because the state's provisional congress had not yet granted the delegates to the Continental Congress the authority to break with Great Britain.
This indecision, though, started in June of 1776, when New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, South Carolina and New York all expressed an unwillingness to break with England on June 7. In less than a month, however, all delegations were swayed while the Declaration of Independence was being written.
Recognizing the important of the day, John Adams wrote a letter to his wife stating that July 2nd would become a celebrated holiday in the colonies. Little did he know that Independence Day would not be observed on the day of the vote but it would be observed on the day the Declaration of Independence was approved and sent to publication.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
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Congratulations to Tara DiJulio (@TaraDiJulio) – a Gut Check favorite on Capitol Hill – for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia.
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