CNN's GUT CHECK for November 12, 2012
November 12th, 2012
04:54 PM ET
9 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for November 12, 2012

CNN's GUT CHECK | for November 12, 2012 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BREAKING: LABOR TO PRESS OBAMA ON TAX HIKE FOR WEALTHY A cadre of top labor leaders are headed to the White House on Tuesday to press their concerns about the fiscal cliff. Top most on their list: Tax hikes for the wealthiest Americans, and protection from cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and other programs for low income families. CNN has confirmed that among those attending the meeting with President Obama are: The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) President Richard Trumka, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) President Mary Kay Henry, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, (AFSCME) President Lee Saunders and National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel. … Labor leaders want to make sure Obama makes good on his promise to raise taxes for households making more than $200,000 a year, or $250,000 if married, by allowing those tax cuts to lapse and bringing in some revenue via that route. “Clearly there was a mandate from this election, the American people are with the president on taxing the wealthiest Americans," said Peter Colavito, director of government affairs for SEIU. "Our people expect leaders in both parties to honor that mandate and ask everyone to pay their fair share of taxes.” – Jennifer Liberto and Adam Aigner-Treworgy

(Answer below)
How many presidents have served in the armed forces?

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

“HEROES, notwithstanding the high ideas which, by the means of flatterers, they may entertain of themselves, or the world may conceive of them, have certainly more of mortal than divine about them. However elevated their minds may be, their bodies at least (which is much the major part of most) are liable to the worst infirmities, and subject to the vilest offices of human nature.” – Henry Fielding wrote in The History of Tom Jones, 1917.

What ever happened to heroes?

There was Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong and David Petraeus: the people at the top of their professions who motivated us with their unquestionable excellence.

… Until, it became questioned.

The scandals involving all three are very different, yet similar in how they disappointed us, for each of these three men made us admire their discipline and perseverance. They gave us hope. They made us want to be better ourselves.

Then, the downfall of each, swift and cinematic … and even embraced by a culture that celebrates the sordid, left us with a feeling of emptiness.

It made us think about our modern culture and our future generations. It is interesting to note that when Gallup ranked America’s confidence in its institutions, the military ranked top on the list with 75% confidence – double that of the U.S. presidency. Perhaps that is why the Petraeus story has a particular sting to it.

We wanted on this day of in which we celebrate the nation’s true, unsung heroes – the men and women who put country before life and family – we want to learn from you: whom do you look to in this age of no innocence for your own inspiration? Email us at … and we will share some answers in tomorrow’ edition.

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Holding Democratic 'blue wall' was crucial for Obama victory
With Florida finally called and the 2012 presidential election falling into the rear view mirror, here's a look at another reason why President Barack Obama won re-election: "Democrats held the entire 'blue wall'. They have now won 18 states in at least six consecutive elections, the most states they have won that often ever, since the formation of the modern party system in 1828," says CNN Senior Political Analyst and National Journal Editorial Director Ron Brownstein. – Paul Steinhauser

Leading Drudge: 'Stay Away From My Guy'
It was a married Florida woman who blew the lid off the scandalous affair that led retired Gen. David Petraeus to resign as CIA chief when she told the FBI of allegedly threatening e-mails she’d received from his lover, sources said yesterday. Jill Kelley, 37, of Tampa — a “social liaison” to the powerful Joint Special Operations Command — reported the jealous messages from Petraeus biographer Paula Broadwell, who is accused of sleeping with the married four-star general, to the FBI, sources said. – Bobby Martinez for the New York Post

Leading HuffPo: 'McConnell Is A Big Loser But It's Not All His Fault'
U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell set two top goals for the 2012 election: a Republican takeover of the Senate and the defeat of President Barack Obama. He achieved neither. – Thomas Ferraro

Leading Politico: The GOP's media cocoon
A long-simmering generational battle in the conservative movement is boiling over after last week’s shellacking, with younger operatives and ideologues going public with calls that Republicans break free from a political-media cocoon that has become intellectually suffocating and self-defeating. – Jonathan Martin

Leading The New York Times: In Debt Talks, Obama Is Ready to Go Beyond Beltway
President Obama, emboldened by his decisive re-election and lessons learned over four years in office, is looking to the renewal of budget talks with Republicans this week as a second chance to take command of the nation’s policy debates and finally fulfill his promise to end gridlock in Washington, associates say. – Jackie Calmes

Leading CNNMoney: U.S. to become biggest oil producer – IEA
The United States will overtake Saudi Arabia to become the world's biggest oil producer before 2020, and will be energy independent 10 years later, according to a new forecast by the International Energy Agency. The recent resurgence in oil and gas production, and efforts to make the transport sector more efficient, are radically reshaping the nation's energy market, reported Paris-based IEA in its World Energy Outlook. – Mark Thompson

The political bites of the day

- Zero percent chance that intelligence was compromised, says Marks -
JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS, RETIRED U.S. ARMY GENERAL, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN: “There's absolutely almost zero percent chance that national security was compromised or was at risk. We know, clearly, based on an initial investigation, there might have been some classified documents that were found on her laptop. That might be more procedural than it is a large risk. That needs to be looked into and that needs to be put aside so you can end that discussion. And frankly, you can let David Petraeus and Paula Broadwell get on with their lives because the CIA, frankly, is going to be okay.”

- Rush: What’s the big deal? -
RUSH LIMBAUGH ON HIS RADIO SHOW SAYS THERE IS A DOUBLE STANDARD IN COVERAGE OF PETRAEUS AFFAIR: “I'm old enough to remember when a high government official had an affair with a very young woman, that there was no security risk involved, that there was no possibility of blackmail. It was a fairly long time ago. It was considered no big deal. A high government official having an affair with a very young woman was considered no big deal at all to the hip people in New York and Washington. That was only a problem for the hicks. It was only a problem for the hayseeds. Well, I'm speaking of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. If you go back, nobody had any worries whatsoever about it. In fact, back then, when something like that happened, what happened? It trashed the woman. … The party of women, the party that believes in women, the party that stands up for women, the party that respects women, the party that gives women everything they want, went out and trashed the woman. And that was considered cool and fine and okay. But now this Petraeus thing comes along and there's an entirely different look-see into this. Now everybody's worried about the what did she know, what was Petraeus guilty of, what was being covered up?"

- With taxes dominating political discussion, Norquist reemphasizes pledge -
GROVER NORQUIST, PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICANS FOR TAX REFORM, IN AN INTERVIEW ON CNN’S “STARTING POINT”: “The congressman and senators have made that commitment themselves. I haven't made any commitment on their behalf. They made that commitment when they ran for office … And you can keep that commitment by focusing on the problem. The problem is too much spending. The problem is not that the peasants aren't sending enough money into Washington. We need to reduce the total spending and we do need more revenue. We need 10 million more Americans at work; that would bring in revenue.”

- In light of election, Washington state attorney alters pot charges -
DAN SATTERBERG, KING COUNTY PROSECUTING ATTORNEY, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH KIRO IN SEATTLE: “There seems to be no point to me to continuing to try to prosecute people, put them in jail, get criminal records on people, for conduct which is going to be legal in a couple of weeks.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less








TRIVIA ANSWER from (@DanMericaCNN)

Thirty one of the 43 U.S. presidents served – in uniform – in one of the branches of the armed forces. Starting with President George Washington, who was the highest ranking armed services member to ever become president, most presidents served as officers in the military.

President George W. Bush was the last president to serve; he was a first lieutenant in the Texas Air National Guard.

Eleven presidents never served in uniform.

The first person elected president without military service was the second president, John Adams. The Massachusetts statesman, however, did serve as chairman of the Continental Congress’s Board of War from 1776 to 1777.

The other 10 presidents: John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren, Grover Cleveland, William H. Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

Some of those presidents occupied the White House during times of war and others – like Roosevelt – worked in the military as a civilian. Roosevelt was Secretary of the Navy during World War I.

(why aren’t you in it)

Congratulations to Matthew Gilbertson (@MattRGilbertson) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia question. He went back in forth with a total of three tweets, but we will give it to him anyway.

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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: 2012
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. king ugbert

    Labor leaders pressing the Prez on tax hikes on the wealthy? Weren't they paying attention to the demographics? The President doesn't need the unions now with the demise of the Republicans. The wealthy will pay more taxes, be so will union members. In the Chicago teachers strike, didn't they notice that the President did not stand up for them? It is only Biden that supported them, and the President doesn't need Biden anymore either.

    November 12, 2012 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  2. bman

    Look we've had the Cartagena scandal, we've had the Seal story teller scandals, now we've got the four star General scandal. You would think the military has some serious soul searching on it's agenda this veterans day.

    November 12, 2012 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |