CNN's GUT CHECK for November 15, 2013
November 15th, 2013
04:45 PM ET
9 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for November 15, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for November 15, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle


HOWARD DEAN: “I’D DO ANYTHING TO BE IN THE WHITE HOUSE” Howard Dean, in interview on Political Wire, speaks out against President Obama’s handling of health care reform:

Q: I bet you’re happy not to be the DNC Chair today?

DEAN: I’m happy not to be the DNC Chair, but I’d give anything to be in the White House and kick some serious butt over fixing this thing.

Q: What would you be telling them?

DEAN: I would be telling them, ‘OK you’ve apologized, now stop it and don’t do it again. And secondly, the website crashed, lots of websites crash. This is not atypical of a tech rollout so hire a whole bunch of people, put up a bunch of call centers and start enrolling people manually. Instead of doing this insurance policy, this junk insurance, because most of the insurance is junk where the policies have been cancelled. Instead of doing a forgiveness period or whatever and throwing the insurance industry into a tizzy, why don’t you just enroll these people manually? We could do that. There’s such thing as a toll-free line. There’s such thing as pencils and papers.”

DEAN: …. I’m not a lawyer but it’s a little hard for me to figure out how the president can undue deadlines in a bill. …

MITT ROMNEY, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CBS THIS MORNING, ABOUT OBAMA’S PROMISE TO KEEP YOUR INSURANCE: “That promise was not accurate. It was not honest, and the whole foundation of his second term, I think, is in jeopardy as a result of that,”

The question now consuming Washington is whether this is just a temporary bad turn or a tipping point.

In a more sympathetic take, a senior veteran of both Obama presidential campaigns and the first White House term put it this way: "I feel for him and my old colleagues. Tough when you're in the penalty box."

Less sympathetic, though, was another seasoned Democrat, this one a veteran of the Bill Clinton White House.

"They don't have the time, or the self-awareness," to objectively study and learn from recent mistakes, this longtime Democratic operative said of the President and his second-term team.

"What they do not appreciate is how far away they are from the end of the second term. We had not even had (Monica) Lewinsky yet at this point," the operative said, referring to Clinton's White House affair with an intern. – John King


The House voted 261-157 to approve a Republican bill giving health insurers the option of extending plans through 2014 that would otherwise be canceled for not complying with Affordable Care Act standards.
39 DEMOCRATS VOTE YES. See the vote breakdown here.

THE BUZZ: BENGHAZI REWARD: The United States is offering up to $10 million for information that would lead to the arrest of any individual involved in the September 11, 2012 assault on the U.S diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya that left US Ambassador Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans dead.

MARKET WATCH: Dow and S&P 500 end at record highs after sixth straight week of gains.

(Answer below)
Which former first lady worked in a cannery processing salmon?

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: 150 years later, newspaper retracts editorial panning Gettysburg Address
In what might be one of the oldest corrections in the history of journalism, the editorial board of a Pennsylvania newspaper has retracted its predecessor's famous panning of President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address as "silly remarks." – Michael Pearson

The Central Intelligence Agency is secretly collecting bulk records of international money transfers handled by companies like Western Union — including transactions into and out of the United States — under the same law that the National Security Agency uses for its huge database of Americans’ phone records, according to current and former government officials. – Charlie Savage and Mark Mazzetti

Leading HuffPo: Joe Biden Faults John Boehner For Immigration Reform Stance
Vice President Joe Biden strongly criticized House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday, saying he was refusing "to fix a broken system" by failing to work with the Senate on U.S. immigration reform. – David Beasley

Leading CNNMoney: 3 hurdles Obamacare fix must overcome
President Obama now says that it's okay with him for people to keep their individual health insurance plans for another year. But he doesn't have the power to renew their policies. – Tami Luhby

The political bites of the day

- The government does not know best, you do -
WYOMING REPUBLICAN SENATE CANDIDATE LIZ CHENEY IN A PRESS RELEASE: “One of President Obama's most memorable promises, that under Obamacare you would be able to keep your insurance if you're satisfied, has turned out to be a complete lie … Millions of Americans are getting letters telling them their insurance plans have been cancelled. The Obama Administration has decided that your health insurance plan might not be adequate for you, even if you are more than content. The government doesn't know best, you do.”

- Director of NSA on leakers: 'We are at their mercy' -
DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY GEN. KEITH ALEXANDER: "Snowden has shared somewhere between 50 and 200,000 documents with reporters. Those will continue to come out. They’re being put out in a way that does the maximum damage to NSA and our nation … I don’t know how to stop it … When we look back on this people are going to see that and understand that and say what they did was wrong. Until then we are at their mercy."

- Bush: The return on investment in Afghanistan -
LAURA BUSH AT A PUBLIC DISCUSSION IN GEORGETOWN: “Just keep talking about it. I'm so worried that once our troops leave, no one will pay attention again to Afghanistan, and we just can't take that risk. And we don't want the people of Afghanistan to think that because our troops are leaving, they no longer matter to us, because they do matter.”

- ‘I'd eat my shoe -
MATT DAMON, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH JAKE TAPPER, IN RESPONSE TO CRITICISM FROM THE BUSH’S ABOUT SENDING HIS CHILDREN TO PRIVATE SCHOOL: “I'd eat my shoe if he could name a Bush that ever even walked into a public school.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Stefanie Ilgenfritz (@stefaniei)
Emails show CMS officials raised internal concerns in July that was stumbling. Washington Wire

EJ Dionne ‏(@EJDionne)
"Gut check time." @theplumlinegs uses an important @ronbrownstein piece to argue that Democrats can't abandon #ACA.

mike murphy ‏(@murphymike)
A hear a distinctive yowl rising in the bkgrd of the ACA debate... Howard Dean. I think he's gonna run.

Greg Giroux (@greggiroux)
A few subsets of the 39 D Ys: 8 of 9 Ds from pro-Romney CDs; some 1st-termers from mildly pro-Obama CDs '12; Senate hopefuls Braley, GPeters

Matthew Kolken (@mkolken)
Top Republican Says House Will Act On Immigration Reform Before 2014 Election via @HuffPostPol

Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin)
House Republicans really hate the immigration bill because it - hey look, over there!

Attorney Simret Zeru ‏(@SimretZeru)
@DCist: The #French government tells travelers to avoid NE & SE #DC, as well as Anacostia.

NewsHour ‏(@NewsHour)
Heads or tails? One town in Idaho is deciding who their mayor will be with a flip of a coin

Red Alert Politics ‏(@RedAlert)
Oprah Winfrey knows why Americans hate Obama these days – and it's not because of the Affordable Care Act.

Catherine Rampell ‏(@crampell)
Chinese government will ease its one-child family restriction and abolish its “re-education through labor” camps

Peter Baker (‏@peterbakernyt)
When Sen Leahy resisted parts of the Patriot Act, Bush aides privately nicknamed him Osama bin Leahy. Fr/#DaysOfFire

Daniel Burke (‏@BurkeCNN)
Illinois bishop plans gay-marriage 'exorcism' – CNN Belief Blog – Blogs

Nicole Auerbach ‏(@NicoleAuerbach)
ICYMI: Michael Phelps takes step toward 2016 Olympics by rejoining US drug-testing program:

TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer

After graduatingWellesley College in 1969, Hillary Rodham Clinton spent the summer in Alaska, working various jobs including washing dishes at Mount McKinley National Park and processing salmon at a cannery.

Aside from politics, Clinton has had a multitude of jobs. According to her biography on, she has also worked as a babysitter, an advisor to the Children’s Defense Fund, a volunteer at Yale’s Child Study center, a law professor and a lawyer.

With such a diverse resume, it’s no surprise that Secretary of State John Kerry offered advice to men on how to marry women like Clinton. At an event at Georgetown University Friday morning, Kerry joked, “For all the men … who sat in or who sit in classrooms where Bill Clinton sat so many years ago, my advice to you is this: Study hard, go to Oxford, become governor of your state, and then maybe you can marry one of the country's most remarkable Secretaries of State.”

(why aren’t you in it)

Congrats to Steve Liguori (@SteveL3877) and Catie Weckenman (@CatieWeck) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia question.

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soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "How's 2014 looking now, Libs???"

    Just fine thanks. How's the inside of your rectum looking?

    November 15, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  2. Data Driven

    Punking out early, CNN? What - no more website articles to recycle?

    Enjoy your weekend, conservatives. Like positive news cycles, weekends are brief. Make the most out of both.

    November 15, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  3. tom l

    Sniffit said "How's the inside of your rectum looking?"

    I believe it was DMFO that was saying someone else had no class for making a rude comment. Gee, do you think she'll say the same about Sniffit? Where's the Real TP when you need him????? 🙂

    Sniffit, once again proving he is the most bitter, unhappy person I have ever interacted with. And I'm in sales so that's saying a LOT.

    November 15, 2013 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "The question now consuming Washington is whether this is just a temporary bad turn or a tipping point."

    The question now consuming the hysterical mouthbreathers who live in the inside-the-beltway echo chamber is whether this is just a temporary bad turn or a tipping point.

    FIFY...nobody else is obsessing over it in that manner. POTUSes see temporary reversals of fortune and come back from them. It's how it goes. You're only raising the question of permanence as a means of prolonging the nontroversy.

    November 15, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  5. Tampa Tim

    Harry Reid was right.

    November 15, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  6. Tampa Tim

    Since our easy listening radio station started Christmas music today, is the Fox alleged war on Christmas officially over?

    November 15, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  7. Tampa Tim

    I hope the right wingnuts enjoy their junk insurance policies.

    November 15, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  8. Thomas

    Joe Wilson was right.

    Right about what , theres no WMDs in Iraq ?

    Nobodys, yet died , lost a limb or been displace do to the Affordable Healthcare Act .

    November 15, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  9. Donna

    Howard Dean, the even nuttier face of the far left loon Deomcrat Party. Vermont must be full of some real winners to have elected this sock puppet their Governor. YEAHHHH!!!!!!

    Sorry.... couldn't resist.

    November 15, 2013 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  10. just asking

    "That's some solid economic sense you make there, Sniffit. Yeah, let's tell a private company that they must make a contract with someone that they know they will lose money on. That makes sense."
    You clearly haven't the background in insurance to have this argument. The entire point and premise of insurance is spreading the risk
    right.... but what is the risk of a single guy to get pregnant? what is the risk of a 60-70 year old woman to get pregnant and need pediatric coverage?

    obamacare is not about spreading the risk so please stop lying. it is about spreading the cost, the cost. especially from the young to the old. it is a hidden form of taxation. the young are being taxed/paying higher insurance rates to pay for the old.

    please, for once in your life be honest.

    November 15, 2013 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  11. Donna

    Furthermore , Big Insurance want the affordable healthcare act to fail , it's not in there finical interest to have it succeed .

    Say WHAT?!!! Obama and the government is not only in bed with the insurance companies, they are engaged in full relations!
    Obamacare forces everybody to buy their product and not just any product, a very expensive product. Can you say gold mine?! Why do you think they went along with this fiasco? People being forced out of cheaper plans and forced into much higher cost plans. Geez, you liberals don't have a clue about what is going on here.

    November 15, 2013 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  12. Captain Awesome

    I'm sure Howard Dean would love to be in the White House. Thank God the American people had the sense to not vote for this screaming fool. Junk insurance?? Every personal policy held by individuals is junk?! What an idiot, but it's a buzz word that will catch on with the low information voters (aka democrats) without knowing what that means.

    November 15, 2013 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |