CNN's GUT CHECK for July 17, 2013
July 17th, 2013
05:30 PM ET
10 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for July 17, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for July 17, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

NO MORE AIRPORT FOOD: Fugitive American intelligence leaker Edward Snowden is likely to leave the transit zone in Moscow's airport, where he's been holed up for weeks, "in the next few days," his lawyer said Wednesday. He "will leave (the airport) in the next few days because some legal papers are still required to be formalized," Russian attorney Anatoly Kucherena said in Moscow.

ENZI TELLS CNN’s DANA BASH HE WILL WIN WYOMING PRIMARY: “I'm absolutely not too old to be senator. I'm the median age,” he argued in an exclusive CNN interview Wednesday.

THE BUZZ: Scandal-tarred Virginia governor Bob McDonnell was never vetted for Romney’s VP slot, despite being on all the public short lists. – Peter Hamby

MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end modestly higher after Bernanke comments reassure investors. Dow adds 19 points.

(Answer below)
Who was President Harry Truman describing when he wrote, “He is honest, but smart as hell”?

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

When Marjorie Margolies declared she was running for a House seat this year, political watchers assumed her family ties would help. After all, her son married Chelsea Clinton in 2010.

But a senior political adviser for Margolies told CNN Wednesday she hasn’t asked for any assistance from her son’s in-laws.

“Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Chelsea, they will all figure out what they want to do in this race, but Marjorie never wanted to predicate the race on their support for her,” said Ken Smukler, Margolies adviser. “She wants to win it on her own right.”

Smukler added: “The campaign was not predicated on the Clintons coming in and helping us financially. … All I can tell you is Marjorie doesn't want to run the race that way and we don't intend to run the race that way.”

But a little help from the Clintons could help boost Margolies’ war chest. New Federal Election Commission reports show that three other congressional contenders - state Sen. Daylin Leach, Dr. Valerie Arkoosh and state Rep. Brendan Boyle – have all raised more money than Margolies. To be fair, Margolies has only been in the race for a little more than one month.

Margolies ties to the Clintons pre-date their children’s marriage. It is widely believed that Margolies lost re-election to the House in 1994 because of her vote in favor of Clinton’s 1993 budget.

In 1993, Margolies (who at that time was married and known as Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky) was a first term Pennsylvania congresswoman representing a relatively conservative district. After telling reporters she wouldn’t vote for Clinton’s budget – which included tax increases on the wealthy – the president called and lobbied her personally. Margolies changed her mind and voted for the controversial proposal.

The 1993 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act passed by just one vote, and Margolies-Mezvinsky was heralded by Democrats for backing the measure. While Democrats in the House were elated, some Republicans chanted “Goodbye Marjorie” from the House floor.

Local reaction to her vote was fierce. In a 2009 interview with the Daily Beast, Margolies recalled how she was received at events during her 1994 reelection bid.

“When I went to town-hall meetings, I had to be escorted by the police,” she said. “There were kids holding signs saying 'LIAR.' ... I just painted a target on my chest.”

Those Republicans who wished her goodbye in 1993 were prescient: Margolies-Mezvinsky was defeated in 1994.

Since then, the former congresswoman has stood by her vote, even though she says it cost her re-election.

“I think for Clinton, the budget was enormous,” she said in the Daily Beast interview. “It was the overarching piece that would help him figure out all the other pieces.”

Despite the entwined personal and political fortunes with Margolies, the Clintons have yet to appear in her FEC reports this cycle.

Efforts to reach a spokesperson for the Clintons went unanswered.

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: From the start, Liz Cheney's Senate run controversial
The U.S. Senate race in Wyoming has it all: A popular incumbent Republican facing a primary challenge, a GOP feud, a generational divide, and Dick Cheney, one of the most polarizing figures in politics. – Paul Steinhauser

Leading Drudge: Govt Tracking All Cars
Chances are, your local or state police departments have photographs of your car in their files, noting where you were driving on a particular day, even if you never did anything wrong. – Anne Flaherty

Leading HuffPo: Saved!
On Tuesday morning, 71 senators voted to move forward on (Richard) Cordray's confirmation, including 17 Republicans. Later in the day, Cordray was confirmed by a vote of 66-34. None of the GOP demands had been met. So what changed? The politics around the filibuster. – Sabrina Siddiqui and Ryan Grim

Leading Politico: Pentagon takes Round One in sex-assault fight
The country’s most senior military commanders filed into a Capitol Hill hearing room in June, sat in front of TV cameras and promised to stamp out military sexual assault — a problem Army chief of staff Gen. Ray Odierno called “a cancer.” “We can and will do better,” Odierno told the senators. – Darren Samuelsohn and Anna Palmer

Leading The New York Times: White House Focuses on Reaching Latino Viewers
The White House is tapping into a huge and politically powerful audience: the millions of viewers who watch Univision and Telemundo. – Michael Shear

The political bites of the day

- Chicago passes assault weapons ban -
CHICAGO MAYOR EMANUEL IN A WRITTEN PRESS RELEASE: “Weapons that are designed for the battlefield have no place on the streets of Chicago. By strengthening our ordinance, we will have a clear, comprehensive and enforceable law that continues to prevent dangerous weapons from threatening the safety of our residents. Chicago will continue to lead the way in enacting the toughest gun control measures possible while still respecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.”

- Debate of the Day: Olympic Boycott over Snowden? -
REPUBLICAN SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM OF SOUTH CAROLINA IN AN INTERVIEW WITH NBC: “I love the Olympics, but I hate what the Russian government is doing throughout the world. If they give asylum to a person who I believe has committed treason against the United States, that's taking it to a new level.”
HOUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER IN A PRESS CONFERENCE ON CAPITOL HILL: “Why would we want to punish U.S. athletes who've been training for three years to compete in the Olympics over a traitor who can't find a place to call home?”
PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY AT THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS BRIEFING: “Our view is that we are continuing to work with the Russian government and other nations on this matter and we hope to see Mr. Snowden return to the U.S. I'm not going to engage in speculation about that and the Olympics are a long way off.
AND FINALLY, ON CNN’S THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER, GRAHAM WALKS BACK HIS INITIAL COMMENTS: “I don't want to boycott the Olympics, but I want a policy that will get the Russians' attention.”

- Congress debates domestic surveillance -
DEMOCRATIC REP. JOHN CONYERS OF MICHIGAN AT A CONGRESSIONAL HEARING: “We never at any point during this debate have approved the type of unchecked sweeping surveillance of United States citizens employed by our government in the name of fighting the war on terrorism.”
REPUBLICAN REP. RANDY FORBES OF VIRGINIA AT A CONGRESSIONAL HEARING: “I don't want to scream at you or yell at you but you know we have got a lot of people across the country that would like to do that. The reason this room is packed so much today and people were waiting in long lines is not just about this program. They kind of feel their country shifting and they feel rightly or wrongly that this administration has adopted the philosophy that somehow the end justifies the means.”

- Obama heralds Cordray’s confirmation -
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA AT A WHITE HOUSE EVENT: “Part of the reason we were able to finally get Rich confirmed today is because he's shown through his leadership and because the very hard work that everybody at the CFPB has already done - that this is making a difference in the lives of the American people. … I want to thank senators from both parties, including Senator Reid, Senator McConnell, Senator McCain for coming together to help get Rich confirmed.”

- Spitzer gets Obama campaign spokesman -
FORMER NEW YORK GOV. ELIOT SPITZER IN A WRITTEN PRESS RELEASE: “I am pleased to announce that Hari Sevugan, a former spokesman for President Obama's 2008 campaign, and former press secretary and deputy communications director for the Democratic National Committee, has joined the campaign and will also be handling media matters and inquiries.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Molly Ball (@mollyesque)
Liz Cheney wants to be seen as a right-wing insurgent, but the base seems to regard her primarily as a Bushie

Pedro da Costa (@pdacosta)
Bernanke on whether this is a good time to refinance: "I'm not a qualified financial adviser."

Tom Abrahams (@tomabrahams)
Gallup: Americans rate relations between racial and ethnic groups positively, and in most cases better than in 2008.

Elise Foley (@elisefoley)
Louie Gohmert proposes keeping Maryland a blue state, basically

Jim Geraghty (@jimgeraghty)
"Only about a fourth of those surveyed by pollsters even know what a filibuster is."

Ben Smith (@BuzzFeedBen)
wow: Mitch Daniels sought specifically to ban Howard Zinn from public universities–Daniels-Censorship

Wayne Slater (@WayneSlater)
The sisterhood of Wendy Davis' political compaign contributors


After meeting Soviet leader Joseph Stalin at the 1945 Potsdam Conference, President Harry S. Truman chronicled his first impressions of the man who would go on to become enemy No. 1 of the United States.

In his journal, Truman writes, “We had lunch, talked socially, put on a real sham drinking toasts to everyone, then had pictures made in the back yard. I can deal with Stalin. He is honest–but smart as hell.”

The Potsdam Conference brought World War II’s allied leaders together to discuss the future of Europe. Although the United States was still engaged in war with Japan, Truman remained focused on the future of Europe.

His journal of the meeting is fascinating.

“I told Stalin that I am no diplomat, but usually said yes or no to questions after hearing all the arguments,” Truman wrote. “It pleased him. I asked him if he had the agenda for the meeting. He said he had some more questions to present. I told him to fire away.”

(why aren’t you in it)

Congrats to Erin (@Erin_in_AR) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question.

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soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. tom l.

    "Black dude got elected POTUS and they freaked the hell out, that's what happened"

    “...and no amount of your "they're capable of doing it, but they're just too lazy" racist nonsense fixes your position”

    First, telling me to shut up is not very nice. It's quite impolite. I have never said they were too lazy. Not once. Don't put words in my mouth and every time you make an assumption about me, you're wrong. In fact, "lazy" didn’t even cross my mind. It’s interesting though that you’re the one that thought that and came to that conclusion. So who’s the racist and who possesses the soft bigotry of low expectations? It’s you. You are the only one that mentions the color of one’s skin. And you do it ALL THE TIME.

    You keep saying that and it's so pathetic. So would the right have "freaked the hell out" if Condeleeza Rice or Colin Powell or Herman Cain were elected? Does the right "freak the hell out" when Clarence Thomas or Ben Carson or JC Watts or J Kenneth Blackwell or Ward Connelly or Tim Scott or Thomas Sowell or Shelby Steele or Lynn Swann or Artur Davis or...."

    Perhaps we just look at the content of their character rather than the color of their skin...UNLIKE YOU. Who clearly only looks at someone's skin pigmentation all the time.

    It's so below you to make such silly assertions. Goodness gracious.

    July 17, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "Boehner says Congress should address children of undocumented immigrants"

    And you can be sure that when a GOPer/Teatroll is talking about "addressing" this, they mean slapping a "Return to Sender" label on the kid's forehead and stuffing the child in a mailbox to be "sent back to Messico where it belongs."

    July 17, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Lynda Minnesota
    "America Rising" (Mitt Romney political advisers Super PAC)
    "Reclaim America" (Marco Rubio Super PAC)
    "I Am A Patriot" (Liz Cheney talking point)".
    Very divisive mottos wouldn't you say Lynda?

    Oh, absolutely. To quote yourself: they crack me up. What more can I say that hasn't already been said? GOPers have got to be the unhappiest people ... that they feel the need to clothe themselves in such divisive day in and day out negativity. Living in such a manner would drive me nuts.

    July 17, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  4. Marie MD

    What congress doesn't understand is that Latinos and Hispanics are NOT all the same. This is like bunching together all Europeans or Asians.
    The new generations of Cubans are more Democratic than their parents or
    grandparents. South Americans don't think the same as Central Americans or
    even other countries within south
    When everyone realizes that each
    country and it's people are NOT sll the same and should not be lumped as one
    progress might be made because reasons for being in the US are very different.

    July 17, 2013 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    Cry for me, Tom,. CRY. FOR. ME.

    The evidence shows what the GOP/Teatrolls have been and are up to in terms of electoral process changes and voting rights. It's not a secret and the curtain fell down, so you can be sure we see what was behind it all.

    July 17, 2013 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  6. Tony D

    "Boehner says Congress should address children of undocumented immigrants"
    And you can be sure that when a GOPer/Teatroll is talking about "addressing" this, they mean slapping a "Return to Sender" label on the kid's forehead and stuffing the child in a mailbox to be "sent back to Messico where it belongs."

    Isn't that exactly what Mexico does to illegals it catches in its country? Actually, they are treated much worse than that. Why aren't you advocating for open borders for all countries in front on the UN General Assembly? Are you afraid of being laughed out of the building by the rest of the world? Yet you expect the USA to be the only country that does not secure and defend its borders from an illegal invasion.

    All of your past racial comments and insults clearly show your only goal is to flood the USA with as many people of color in order to turn the white people in the USA into a minority so that you and others like you can target and terrorize them. Settle old scores. You are the biggest racist on this board. And one I believe with evil goals.

    July 17, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |