CNN’s GUT CHECK for September 7, 2012
September 7th, 2012
04:53 PM ET
8 years ago

CNN’s GUT CHECK for September 7, 2012

CNN's GUT CHECK | for September 7, 2012| 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BREAKING: WHILE CLINTON TOPS OBAMA IN SPEECH REVIEWS, OBAMA BEATS HIM IN THE RATINGS... While we wait for official Nielsen numbers, the preliminary ratings data shows that cumulatively, across broadcast and cable news networks, 29 million television viewers watched President Obama's speech last night from 10 p.m. to 11:15 p.m. (CNN beat out ABC, and CBS, as well as all cable networks, thanks to your loyal viewership). On Wednesday night, up against fierce competition from the NFL, former president Bill Clinton's speech attracted an estimated 25 million viewers vs. an average 23.9 million viewers for the key football game.

OBAMA EKES OUT A WIN ON FACEBOOK AS WELL... Politics beat out pop culture Thursday night on Facebook. President Barack Obama was mentioned more times overall than MTV’s Video Music Awards show, which aired the same evening as the final night of the Democratic National Convention.

According to Facebook’s Talk Meter, which measures the amount of buzz a person or event gets on Facebook, Obama’s Thursday night speech edged out former President Bill Clinton’s Wednesday night address, while both speeches ranked higher than their competitors in primetime – the MTV’s Video Music Awards on Thursday and the National Football League’s season opener on Wednesday. Even though Obama won overall buzz, Clinton garnered more buzz from user about the age of 45. – Eric Weisbrod

DEVELOPING: CAMPAIGNS SPIN THE DISMAL AUGUST JOBS REPORT Friday's jobs report indicating only 96,000 jobs were created in August brought a quick end to any lingering Democratic euphoria from this week's party convention, bringing into sharp reality the challenges President Barack Obama will face in the two months remaining until Election Day. – Kevin Liptak

11:44 a.m. ET: Mitt Romney at a media availability in Iowa: “After the party last night, the hangover today. The jobs numbers were very disappointing. For almost every net new job created, approximately four people dropped out of the workforce. Seeing that kind of report is obviously disheartening to the American people who need work and are having a hard time finding work.”

1:04 p.m. ET: President Barack Obama at a campaign event in New Hampshire: “Today, we learned that after losing 800,000 jobs a month when I took office, business once again added jobs for the 30th month in a row for a total of 4.6 million jobs. But that's not good enough. We know it is not good enough. We need to create more jobs faster. We need to fill the hole left by the recession faster, and we need to come out of the crisis stronger.”

(Answer below)
This year’s Democratic National Convention was three days long – as was the Republican National. What was the longest Democratic convention in history?

MARK (@PrestonCNN) & MICHELLE (@MJaconiCNN)
What caught our eye today in politics

We love what we do. Covering politics is our calling, but also a thrill, as we live to kick the tires of the men and women who want to lead this amazing country we call home.

Nowhere is this combined passion and patriotism more celebrated than the quadrennial political conventions. Now with 16 conventions between us, we were struck by two things that made this cycle distinct: 1) the contrast between the two parties' conventions was starker than ever. And 2) the pace of the news cycle and the campaign has made the coverage and the message harder to keep up with.

First, we wish all Americans could attend both conventions, as there are so many differences between the organization and surrounding events that help inform an inquisitive mind. Sure, they both have things in common, and scouting out the future talent is one of the most rewarding parts of the whole week.

This year, as the quadrennial question of "will they get a bounce" becomes the topic du jour, we were struck by how much the cycle of the political year has changed. "It used to be that Labor Day was the traditional kick-off of the campaign," a senior Obama campaign official told us. "This year, we're in the fourth quarter."

It is true, that the pace, as in all facets of our life, has accelerated. For journalists, the deadlines were relentless with all platforms demanding publication and insights – from short, pithy tweets to long essays designed to break through the noise.
Even so, it is our journalistic pleasure to once again smack down the notion that conventions are somehow passé. As the veteran journalist Al Hunt said at his surprise party this week, "I love politicians. I think public service is a noble calling ... and if neurosurgeons and dentists can have conventions every year, why can't politicians every four?"

So, as we leave you to head to the airport, we want to salute the staffers behind those politicians who have found a way to keep up with the pace of modern campaigning in a way that has magnified their influence.

Once again, we partnered with Klout to rank the top five Democratic strategists according to Klout's scale of 100. And once again, we removed CNN contributors even though some of them, including Donna Brazile, Paul Begala and Hilary Rosen deserve a shout-out for their use of social media to get their message across.

Top Five List of Democratic Strategists, Ranked by Klout:

1. David Axelrod, @davidaxelrod 85
2. Jim Messina, @Messina2012 80
3. Stephanie Cutter, @stefcutter 79
4. Dan Pfeiffer, @pfeiffer44 78
5. Mitch Stewart, @mitch_stewart 76

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Post-convention campaigns get under way
Now it begins. All over again. The primary season over and the nominating conventions complete, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama hit the ground running Friday for the final stretch of a campaign that began, for Romney at least, more than a year ago in Iowa. Over the next 60 days of campaigning, much of it focusing on key battleground states, the two men will pitch their visions for the country to a divided electorate. – Michael Pearson

Leading Drudge: 8.1%, +96,000, Fed Set To Pump, 368,000 Dropped Out, 88,921,000 'Not In Labor Force'
Jobs growth slowed sharply in August, setting the stage for the Federal Reserve to pump additional money into the sluggish economy next week and dealing a blow to President Barack Obama as he seeks re-election. Nonfarm payrolls increased only 96,000 last month, the Labor Department said on Friday. – Lucia Mutikani

Leading HuffPo: Simpson-Bowles References In Obama, Biden DNC Speeches Vex Media, Progressives
Journalists here are homing in on Vice President Joe Biden's criticism of the GOP for not supporting any of the deficit-reduction proposals over the past year, noting that President Barack Obama did not embrace a report put out by the co-chairs of the Simpson-Bowles panel. ABC's Jake Tapper, for instance, called the following, from Biden, an "incredible line." – Ryan Grim

Leading Politico: Two conventions tell the tale of 2012
Republicans last week in Tampa and Democrats this week in Charlotte were not faking it. Partisans on both sides really do regard the other party’s nominee with contempt, and both sides look at the other’s agenda with genuine incomprehension. – John F. Harris and Jim Vandehei

Leading The New York Times: Joblessness May Undermine Obama Convention Bump
Presidential candidates can usually count on luxuriating in a few days of warm feelings from their convention as they ride the high generated by impassioned supporters and cross their fingers for rising poll numbers. – Jim Rutenberg

The political bites of the day

- You don’t know me -
SARAH PALIN IN AN INTERVIEW ON FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: "I think he diminished himself by even mentioning my name. How does he even know my name? I mean, aren't these guys supposed to be these big wig elites who don't waste their time on little people like me representing the average American."

- Dem says the ‘convention seemed more emotional’ -
BEAU BIDEN, JOE BIDEN’S SON AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF DELAWARE, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH “STARTING POINT”: “The whole convention seemed more emotional to me. There was a great energy obviously in 2008. It was a whirlwind for our family. My dad had just gotten a call. My mom rebuilt our family. Everybody up here has gone through something. And we went through something in 1972.”

- Ann talks ‘horse sense’ -
ANN ROMNEY AT A CAMPAIGN EVENT IN VIRGINIA: “I should tell you I feel right at home because I am in a barn. (laughs) So, let’s talk some horse sense. Barack Obama said four years ago if I can’t turn this economy around after three-and-a-half years I am looking at a one term presidency. Well, it is our turn to the economy around and I know Mitt can do it.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less


If three days is too long, then no one wants to go back to 1924.

The 1924 Democratic National Convention, at Madison Square Garden in New York lasted a whopping 17 days. It took a record 103 ballots to nominate John W. Davis for president and Charles W. Bryan for vice president.

Davis was in large part a compromise-candidate when no one could agree on whether to nominate Secretary William Gibbs McAdoo and Gov. Al Smith. In the general election, Davis and Bryan were defeated by Republican Calvin Coolidge.

The real historic moment from the 1924 Democratic convention was the unwanted participation of Klu Klux Klan members. In a resurgence of the Klan, the bigoted group gained political power in the Deep South and some mountain states, leading some members to become Democratic delegates.

When Gov. Smith was nominated - a Roman Catholic - the Klan grew incensed. During the convention, the Klan organized a protest in New Jersey that featured thousands of hooded Klansmen. The protest led some to become “fearful of Klan and Anti-Klan” clashes in Madison Square Garden.

(why aren’t you in it)

Congratulations to Daniel Holt (@DanielHoltdb) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question. Holt was correct when he tweeted “1924 Democratic National Convention.” Happy Friday all.

Our inbox awaits:
Anyone can sign up for Gut Check by emailing
Tips or comments? Send them to Michelle; send complaints to Preston, because he is already in a bad mood. We also want to give a shout out to Dan Merica, who runs our Twitter account @gutCheckCNN and enriches this product every single day.

Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. BBear

    Today, in one of his most honest moments, Mr. Romney told a Fox news why he omitted any mention of Afghanistan in his acceptance speech. He said, " When you give a speech you don't go through a laundry list, you talk about things you think are IMPORTANT".

    By this statement alone, Mr. Romney disqualified himiself as being fit to be Commander-In-Chief.

    September 7, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  2. The Unsub

    Two Words to all the Obama haters: STOCK MARKET!

    September 7, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens has a record of failure as governor of MA. It is not surprising he is not bright enough to mention Afghanistan, or any of his foreign policy stupidity. Did Mittens even thank the soldiers who fought in the republican's unnecessary wars?

    September 7, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Two words to Obama haters: Detroit saved,

    September 7, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  5. alien

    Romney is living proof by his statement about afghanistan. That he is not in touch. He is not worried about the poor people, and we as the 98% do not deserve the truth.

    September 7, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    Sometimes....sometimes there are correct answers and truths that can't be fudged over or turned into "debatable opinions" just because someone decided to irrationally deny them, sweep them undert he rug as inconvenient or because they are contrary to what they wish were the truth/reality. Your job as "journalists" is to HELP the public find those truths....not help the liars bury them. The Mittens/Ryan ticket stands as proof positive of the death of journalism in America.

    September 7, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  7. Thomas

    I will never forget the GW Bush years .

    Republicans can , I can't !

    And thats why I will support Obama for four more years.

    Bush had eight years to run it into the ground . I'll see what Obama can do in eight years , then decide .

    September 7, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  8. Woman In California

    And Obama BEATS Willard yet again. The same will hold true in November.

    September 7, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  9. Four and The Door

    The Unsub
    Two Words to all the Obama haters: STOCK MARKET!
    Haters? Isn't that a bit harsh? Just because a guy finds himself in the wrong job at the wrong time, that's not hate. He's just a good guy who happens to be unqualified for what voters thought he was going to do in 2008. That's all. They just need to not make that mistake again. Fortunately they have a much better choice. Romney/ Ryan 2012.

    September 7, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  10. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The people of MA made a mistake and elected Mittens. In three years, he was so unpopular that he did not run for a second term. Now, he wants to bring his same record of failure to the national stage. Say "No!" to Mittens and lyin' Ryan.

    September 7, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "So...Liberals are now so deranged that they are ragging on CNN?
    And by the way, referring to Romney as "Mittens" makes you sound really g-y."

    I constantly give CNN a hard time. They're cowards who irrationally believe that their false equivalency fairy tales give them the right (or at least the cover) to claim they are objective and "fair and balanced." The false equivalency infotainment paradigm is just a more insidious form of journalistic different at core than blatantly favoring one side or the other...but it is a bias that is far more apt to cause long-term damage to our country by lending intentional misinformation a false legitimacy it doesn't merit, thereby threatening the information level on which the population operates. Dumbing down indeed.

    September 7, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  12. T'sah From Virginia

    Now THAT'S a GUT worth looking at – Better than Chris Christie's!!

    Obama 2012 – The ONLY Trusted Way Forward!!!

    September 7, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  13. Charles L. Morse Sr

    I find it disgusting that DNC paid Bill Clinton 2 million dollars to make his speech for Obama at the convention . I also can't beleive any one in the party would liken Ryan to a Nazi as a political attack . I'm ashame of the democrat party with these kind of attacks . I do have to say it came from California . Guess sanity isn't part of California politics . One of the many reasons I left the democrat party and California when I retired .

    September 7, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  14. Gurgyl

    @four–you are silly and stupid to support Bain Capital idiots. He does not have any idea. Obama12.

    September 7, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  15. The Unsub


    Your party HATES Obama...period. That is why Romney is gonna lose.

    September 7, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  16. The Unsub

    At Sniffit, now you know deep in your soul that you do not support Mittens, but you as with the rest of the Repub. robots follow the crowd and have been programmed into believing that Mittens is a good "businessman" because he worked at Bain?

    September 7, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  17. ThinkAgain: Mittens 'n' Munster are Liars

    Mittens on Fox on why he didn't mention Afghanistan in his acceptance speech as Koch puppet: "When you give a speech you don't go through a laundry list, you talk about things you think are IMPORTANT". "

    Wow, truly astounding ... what a schmuck Mittens is ...

    September 7, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  18. Cheryl Bowen

    I believe that most "Undecided Voters" are white, and that they are "undecided" because they are torn between choosing what is the "right direction" for their personal lives and the lives of their children and grandchildren under the leadership of Barak Obama and their deep internal feelings not wanting to elect a black president for a 2nd term.

    September 7, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  19. Namejkane sfl a vote for the gop will cut your moms medicare and soc sec .can you afford to pay for them???

    Romney was a total failures as mass gov ,he left a one billion dallar defict for the next govenor and destroyed all government records which probably is a felony,
    Go ahead and vote for him and you will get what you deserving . For one you can pay your parents healthcare costs and housing after romney cuts Medicare and soc sec , need I say more !!!

    September 7, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  20. Dyna Hog

    The worst speech by Obama since 2008. Parts are plagerized from Carter's second nomination acceptance speech.

    Only 2 highlights from Dems for 3 1/2 yrs: GM gov't takeover to savt the union aned killing Osama bin Laden.

    No mention of the 16 Jobs bills the House sent to the Senate, resulting in no action (Obama lacks leadership skills).

    Networks report much lower viewing audiences on TV. ABC reports less than half the 2008 audience.

    CNN says Obama 'flat'.

    He will not get a bumo, but a DIVOT.

    Obama's front man Axelrod made threats to a poll taker.

    Thus if it is good news, that is from the campaign thugs.
    If bad news, the liberals are pushing him away (CBS, NBC, ABC...).

    September 7, 2012 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  21. Dianne

    "SIGHT BEATS THE WORD"...Comparing the two Conventions. at the RNC such HATE and negative inputs. The RNC was letting everyone see and know if nothing was said and the camera just went around the stadium that there was NO diversity. TRUE America was not present there. At the DNC..a word needed not be said. All you had to do was let the cameras rome around the stadium and see the diversity, love, unity and what America really looks like. For anyone that watched the convention had to have a feeling of belonging. EVERY AMERICAN had a representation there. It was like a BEAUTIFUL RAINBOW going around the stadium. Those are the people that shows LOVE when things go wrong for people in need, they are the responders. There is an old saying I know everyone knows..."SHOW ME YOUR COMPANY AND IT SHOWS WHO YOU ARE." Those conventions should have been an eye opener for everyone. At he convention Mitt Romney said "WE ARE GOING TO TAKE AMERICA BACK." Look at his convention and you understand who he was talking to and POOR WHITES are not in his plans.

    September 7, 2012 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  22. Dianne

    REPUBLICANS PASS THE JOBS BILL PRESIDENT OBAMA SUBMITTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    September 7, 2012 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  23. kristine

    Democrats, Liberals, Progressives, Independents: VOTE!!! Get out on Nov 6th & VOTE. If we will all go to the polls and trully show our support for the POTUS we can give him a landslide and a mandate. VOTE. It's easy. And you're company has to give you time off to vote. Help people register. Take people to the polls. Do a mail-in ballot. VOTE!! It's more important now than ever.

    September 7, 2012 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  24. Dianne

    VP Joe Biden's son serves in the military and VP Biden visited the troops OFTEN. Mitt Romney and his Five sons have used their money and religion to evade serving our country while many family and family members have sacrifice their lives for this country. Mitt Romney has NO RIGHT passing his opinion about wanting to send other people into harms way if elected. And he is a Bishop in his would not matter if he was just a member. I am catholic and that is like me voting for the Pope. You cannot wear TWO hats. Just as the Pope would bring his beliefs into govt. so will Mitt Romney.

    September 7, 2012 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  25. OCCavoter

    Four and the Door,

    Obama will do 4 more years. So you're welcome to use the door and exit to the right. Please make sure you turn in your US passports because I am sure you will renounce your US citizenship and probably want to leave the country without returning when Obama is sworn in during the inauguartion. Please encourage some of your right-wing friends to accompany you on wherever country you choose to reside in. The US is a country not a company.
    Obama/Biden/Clinton/Warren/Pelosi/Reid/Kennedy/Hoyer/ and all the other democrats have each others back and will do what is right for the US Middle-class, women rights, LGBT, Seniors, children of the future, black, white, hispanic, arab, asian, working poor, dog lovers, and any other citizens that repubs have violated theirs/my rights as a human beings.

    September 8, 2012 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
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