CNN's GUT CHECK for March 13, 2013
March 13th, 2013
05:28 PM ET
10 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for March 13, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for March 13, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

HABEMUS PAPAM: Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina has been elected the next pope. He is the first non-European pope of the modern era. The decision came after the fifth ballot cast by the 115 cardinals since the papal conclave began Tuesday. The new pope succeeds Pope Benedict XVI, who became the first pope to resign in hundreds of years. He stepped down February 28, citing advanced age. The new pope becomes the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.

“Please pray for me,” the new pope said as he finished his first public appearance as pope on Wednesday night. “Tomorrow I’m going to go pray to the Virgin Mary. Good night, thank you and have a good rest.”

POPE FRANCIS: Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, the new pope, has chosen the name Francis, after Francis of Assisi.

BIDEN GOING TO ROME: A White House official confirms Vice President Joe Biden will lead the United States delegation to the installation of Pope Francis.

OBAMA REACTS: President Barack Obama in a written press release… “On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I offer our warm wishes to His Holiness Pope Francis as he ascends to the Chair of Saint Peter and begins his papacy. As a champion of the poor and the most vulnerable among us, he carries forth the message of love and compassion that has inspired the world for more than two thousand years—that in each other we see the face of God. As the first pope from the Americas, his selection also speaks to the strength and vitality of a region that is increasingly shaping our world, and alongside millions of Hispanic Americans, those of us in the United States share the joy of this historic day.”

MARKET WATCH: Dow extends gains for 9th straight day, longest winning streak since November 1996, to record high close of 14,455.

(Answer below)
What senator cast the deciding vote in the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson?

MARK (@PrestonCNN) & DAN (@DanMericaCNN)
What caught our eye today in politics

In his second day on Capitol Hill, President Barack Obama met with House Republicans, who a source told CNN’s Dana Bash gave the president a standing ovation when he entered the room.

Obama’s so-called “charm offensive” has a clear goal to find a common-sense caucus with which the White House can work with on its second-term legislative priorities.

But does Obama think these meetings will be successful?

The last 24 hours in Washington have been dominated by questions about whether the president is genuine in his outreach. After an interview with ABC News, however, the correct question might be if the president is already giving himself a way out if his outreach comes up empty?

It was these comments that caught our eye today:

“Right now what I'm trying to do is create an atmosphere where Democrats and Republicans can go ahead and get together and try to get something done. But ultimately it may be that the differences are just too wide,” he said in a television interview that aired Wednesday.

Obama continued: “It may be that, ideologically, if their position is, ‘We can’t do any revenue,’ or, ‘We can only do revenue if we gut Medicare or gut Social Security or gut Medicaid.’ (If) that’s the position, then we’re probably not going to be able to get a deal.”

VATICAN SOCIAL WATCH: As white smoke poured from Sistine Chapel and Pope Francis stepped out on the balcony on St. Peter's Square, papal news instantly dominated Twitter & Facebook.

On Facebook, the top terms for users around the world as of 3:30 p.m. ET were Pope, Jorge Bergoglio, Vatican, white smoke, cardinal, Catholic, decision and papal. Mentions of 'pope' increased more than 10,000 percent, while mentions of 'Bergoglio' increased more than 3.7 million percent.

Just after the announcement on Twitter, there were 130,000 tweets per minute about the pope. All 10 worldwide trending topics were related to the pope including #HabemusPapam, Pope Francis and #PrimerasPalabrasDelPapa (translation: The Pope's first words). – Eric Weisbrod

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Hope for compromise recedes as budget debate begins
Nothing, it seems, can bridge the bottomless political divide in Washington over taxes and spending. Not an election last November that gave President Barack Obama a second term. Not the president's new personal outreach to Congress, including a meeting Wednesday with House Republicans. Not polling that shows a strong majority of Americans want both sides to compromise in forging an agreement to reduce chronic federal deficits and debts. – Tom Cohen

Leading Drudge: From Argentina With Love
Argentine Jorge Bergoglio has been elected pope, the first ever from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium. He chose the name Pope Francis.

Leading HuffPo: Bubba Power: How Clinton Inspired 2012 Bombshell Moment
Bill Clinton won the presidential election for Barack Obama. But it wasn't his masterful Democratic National Convention speech or the advice he offered the president's reelection campaign. Clinton, it turns out, inspired the man who filmed Mitt Romney's infamous and game-changing 47 percent comments. HuffPost has agreed to withhold the name of the surreptitious filmmaker until he breaks his silence on MSNBC's "The Ed Show" Wednesday evening, followed by an appearance on HuffPost Live Thursday morning. In interviews over the last several months, he laid out his thinking before and after Romney's speech. – Ryan Grim and Jason Cherkis

Leading Politico: CPAC muddle mirrors GOP mess
It’s not hard to make fun of CPAC. From the presence of Donald Trump to a meaningless straw poll to a cavalcade of fringe-dwelling book merchants, the event has become more carnival than conservative salon. What is more notable about this year’s rendition of the annual confab, which begins outside Washington on Thursday, is not the easy caricature but how thoroughly the Conservative Political Action Conference reflects the state of the Republican Party four months after yet another humbling presidential defeat. It is a muddle, but a muddle with meaning. – Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman

Leading The New York Times: Dispute Over a Balanced Budget Is Philosophical as Much as Fiscal
Economists agree that keeping a government’s debt within reasonable limits is a good thing, but there is disagreement over how important actually balancing the budget is. – Annie Lowrey

The political bites of the day

- Boehner, the highest Catholic in Congress, reacts to news of a new pope -
HOUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER IN AN INTERVIEW ON CAPITOL HILL: “I'm happy that they were able to come to a choice as quickly as they did. I think that reaching out beyond the traditional continent of our church is another big step in the right direction for the church.”

- Disagreement reigns in discussion of Ryan budget -
DEMOCRATIC REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN OF MARYLAND IN THE COMMITTEE MEETING: “Last year we were told that the presidential election was going to give the American people the opportunity to choose between two fundamentally different approaches to this challenge. One lopsided, one balanced. They voted and they chose to reject the lop-sided approach reflected in this budget.”
REPUBLICAN REP. PAUL RYAN OF WISCONSIN IN THE COMMITTEE MEETING: “My friend the ranking member says, 'You know, you had an election, bend reality, why don't you just kind of move on?' Well, look, our speaker offered revenue increases in negotiations through tax reform. What happened? We got tax increases, we got fiscal cliff, you had the Obamacare tax increases – that raised our revenues but it didn't do it through tax reform, it did it through job-killing tax increases.”

- Carney says it was Secret Service’s decision to cut WH tours -
PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY AT THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS BRIEFING: “The decision to cease providing Secret Service staff to the tours was made by the Secret Service. They have their budget. They look at it. They evaluate the options, all the bad options that are on the table including, as they have said and as we have said, tours versus furloughs and cutting of overtime pay which goes to their core mission and made the decision that their core mission was better served by canceling tours which are very labor intensive than by having more furloughs and cutting more pay and that's a decision that we agree with, that we think is not a happy choice but is the right choice when it comes to the need for every agency effected by the sequester to focus on their core mission as they implement these cuts.”

- Ted Cruz proposes Obamacare repeal in second Senate speech -
REPUBLICAN SEN. TED CRUZ OF TEXAS IN A SPEECH ON THE SENATE FLOOR: “In my view Obamacare should be repealed in its entirety and that was the very first bill introduced in the U.S. Senate. But at a minimum in my judgment Obamacare should not be funded and implemented at a time when our economy is gasping for breath, at a time when our economy is struggling to such a degree that implementing it right now could well force us into a recession.”

- Puffs of smoke in Rome… and Washington -
REPUBLICAN REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN OF TENNESSEE IN THE BUDGET COMMITTEE MEETING: “Thank you Mr. Chairman. I have to tell you I was driving over here this morning and I noticed a little puff of white smoke going over there on the Senate side. I was pleased to see that they finally gave it up and they are going to finally present a budget. Very different from the work that we have done!”

- The pope needs Ohio -
DAVID LETTERMAN ON HIS LATE NIGHT COMEDY SHOW: “You know, it is 24 hour coverage of the selection process for the new pope. A lot of Papal trivia. For example, did you know, and I bet you did, no Pope has ever in the history of the Catholic Church, no pope has ever been elected without carrying Ohio.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less









When President Andrew Johnson fired Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, a decision many in Congress said violated the Tenure of Office act, the path towards impeachment began.

After the House charged Johnson with 11 articles of impeachment, the first ever presidential impeachment trial began in the Senate on March 5, 1868.

Twenty-one days later, on March 26, the Senate voted on whether or not to impeach Johnson. Sen. Edmund G. Ross, R-Kansas, had refused to give a speech on the Senate floor during the proceedings and when it came time to vote, Ross' vote against impeachment allowed the president to serve out his first term.

Countless reasons abound as to why Ross voted against impeachment. Some say he was bribed, others say he didn't believe Johnson's offense was impeachable and even more say that Ross believed Johnson did nothing wrong.

After retiring from the Senate, Ross got into the newspaper business, was appointed governor of New Mexico Territory and wrote a book titled “History of the Impeachment of Andrew Johnson.”

(why aren’t you in it)

Congrats to John Wilcox (@JWWilcox) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia question.

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soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Photo caption; "Greetings Earthlings" (recalling the same that was done by the Economist with Kim Jong Il photo)

    March 13, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  2. Curious Fellow

    I wonder why our esteemed President is sending Joe Biden to Rome instead of going himself. Maybe he does not think the Pope ranks high enough for him to bother?
    I am sure this would not be a religious clash, afterall the Holy See talks to all religious and Political leaders.
    I wonder .........

    March 13, 2013 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  3. Cepheus

    Bienvenido Señor Pope cleanse the house of God from these sodomitic parasites and ex communicate anyone who have abused young boys.

    March 14, 2013 12:32 am at 12:32 am |