CNN's GUT CHECK for December 6, 2013
December 6th, 2013
06:33 PM ET
8 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for December 6, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for December 6, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

JUST IN … Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton will join President Barack Obama on the trip to South Africa to attend a memorial for Nelson Mandela.

BILL CLINTON REMEMBERS NELSON MANDELA IN AN INTERVIEW WITH WOLF BLITZER:… “One of the most enduring conversations I had with him … He said, 'I realized they could take every single thing away from me except my mind and my heart. Those things I would have to give them. And I decided not to give them away.'" And he looked at me and smiled and he said, ‘neither should you.’ I'll never forget it as long as I live."

Clinton said the two worked together throughout the South African leader's presidency, which ended in 1999. He later noted that he would visit South Africa every year around Mandela's birthday and has been to the country around "nine or 10 times" since leaving office.

JIMMY CARTER’S MEMORIES OF MANDELA IN AN INTERVIEW WITH JAKE TAPPER …"He's been almost absolutely undeviating in his ability to forgive people who hurt him personally, and hurt the people that he loved. And that was the Nelson Mandela I knew," said Carter.

Carter's grandson Jason had served in the Peace Corps in South Africa and spoke Zulu. So Carter brought Jason to Mandela's home, and found himself sidelined at the visit. "They spent that whole half an hour talking to each other in Zulu, and pretty well ignored me, the former president of the United States," said Carter, with a laugh.

UNEMPLOYMENT FALLS TO 7%: The U.S. economy added 203,000 jobs in November. Economists surveyed by CNNMoney had predicted payroll gains of 183,000 jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 7.0% - the lowest level since November 2008, as more people said they got jobs and joined the labor force. – Annalyn Kurtz

March 18: Republican National Committee releases 'autopsy'
May 7: The return of Mark Sanford
May 18: Virginia Republicans lurch to the right
July 23: The Weiner news conference
August 8: The Dante ad
November 6: Christie wins a majority of Hispanic voters

MARKET WATCH: Dow Jones industrial average surges 200 points after strong November jobs report.

(Answer below)
Why is Nelson Mandela, whose birth name is Rolihlahla, called Nelson?

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: GOP repeal efforts go silent as Obamacare 'suicide' plays out
For the first time since they regained control of the House in 2011, Republicans have no plans at the moment to bring up a bill to repeal the law - something they have done nearly 50 times. – Leigh Ann Caldwell

Leading Albuquerque Journal: Governor sued for refusing to release schedules
The Associated Press filed lawsuits Thursday against Gov. Susana Martinez and administration agencies for refusing to release records about her work and travel schedules, cellphone calls and expenses of the security officers who travel with the governor. – Barry Massey

Gut Check Full Service: GOV. MARTINEZ IN A PRESS RELEASE ON OCTOBER 29, 2011: “I have promised since day one that state government will be more transparent, more accessible, and more accountable to all New Mexicans.”

Leading Detroit Free Press: Rand Paul on Detroit: The city's future won't come from Washington; magic is in Motown
Paul proposed a wide-ranging plan to revitalize the nation’s cities through the creation of “economic freedom zones.” His plan would cut federal taxes in communities that have an unemployment rate of 12% or more. – Kathleen Gray

Federal police blocked access Friday to a central Mexico hospital where six people were reported to have been admitted with radiation exposure.

Leading HuffPo: Strong Jobs Report Could Mean Bad News For Unemployment Benefits
In recent years Democrats have insisted that Congress maintain a special safety net for the long-term jobless specifically because the national unemployment rate hadn't fallen beneath an historical threshold. This particular talking point could now backfire. – Arthur Delaney

Leading Politico: Rick Santorum ties Obamacare, Nelson Mandela
“He was fighting against some great injustice, and I would make the argument that we have a great injustice going on right now in this country with an ever-increasing size of government that is taking over and controlling people’s lives — and Obamacare is front and center in that,” Santorum said Thursday on Fox News’s “The O’Reilly Factor.” – Lucy McCalmont

Leading New York Times: Congress Nears Modest Accord on the Budget
Conservative House Republicans are likely to balk at the deal, and Democrats have not said whether they will make their support contingent on an extension of jobless benefits. – Jonathan Weisman

The political bites of the day

- Hillary says there’s much more work to do -
HILLARY CLINTON IN A SPEECH AT THE TOM LANTOS AWARDS CEREMONY: “It’s a great honor for me to have this award. But it is a reminder of how much more ahead of us we have to accomplish … By accepting this award and knowing that Tom would not let me off the hook otherwise, it is something that I will continue to be committed to in every way that I can and every fiber in my being, is the kind of world we want, the kind of world that the Nelson Mandelas and the Tom Lantoses can be proud of.”

- Colin Powell recalling Mandela’s very humble action -
FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE COLIN POWELL ON CBS THIS MORNING: “I’ll never forget it. It was a remarkable day we all were assembled in front of the Union halls and we waited and waited and waited until finally, the announcers said, ‘Ladies and Gentleman, please welcome the new president of the New Republican of South Africa, Nelson Mandela.’ … I was deeply moved when Mr. Mandela recognized the gentleman in his front row, who were his jailors, and was sending a message throughout the country, throughout the world, that we will reconcile between our two sides and will become a greater South Africa.”

- Trachtenberg: Harvard is cheating their students –
PRESIDENT EMERITUS AT THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY STEPHEN JOEL TRACHTENBERG IN AN OP-ED FOR CNN.COM CRITICIZING HARVARD FOR GIVING OUT TO MANY A’S: “To some extent Harvard's faculty have abandoned their responsibilities to their students as well as to those who wish to judge their students: Admission officers at law and medical school; faculty selecting graduates to mentor them for advanced degree programs; employers deciding between applicants for jobs.”

- How the Redskins QB proposed to his girlfriend -
REDSKINS BACKUP QB KIRK COUSINS, TO THE WASHINGTON POST: "I talked to my U.S. congressman from my home area in west Michigan, Bill Huizenga, who I had gotten to know a little bit. I called him to see if I could propose on the balcony of the Speaker of the House's office, because I had been there before and seen the view and thought it was a great view. He said they could set it up."

Kirk Cousins (@kirkcousins8)
She said yes!

What stopped us in 140 characters or less

LaSalle Blanks13News (13LaSalleBlanks)
Nelson Mandela will be buried Dec 15, Pres Obama will travel to South Africa for his funeral

The White House‏ (@WhiteHouse)
“We will remember & be glad that you lived among us, that you taught us, and that you loved us—all” #RIPNelsonMandela

Brian Stelter (‏@brianstelter)
"It was once illegal in South Africa to have a picture of Nelson Mandela in your home."

NYC Mayor's Office (‏@NYCMayorsOffice)
Announcing the new Nelson Mandela School for Social Justice at the Boys & Girls High School Mandela visited in 1990.

Mary Fitzgerald (‏@MaryFitzger)
Libyan social media divided on Mandela: many praising him as a global hero; others criticising him for his close ties & support for Gaddafi

Matt Viser (‏@mviser)
Obama acknowledges that he did briefly live with his Kenyan uncle in 1980s, contracting what WH told Globe in 2011.

Politics TBTimes ‏(@PoliticsTBTimes)
The Buzz: David Jolly kicks off campaign declaring himself 'a Bill Young Republican,' with Beverly Young at his side

Ashley Killough ‏(@KilloughCNN)
@SenThadCochran (who turns 76 tomorrow and shares a birthday with yours truly) will run for a seventh term next year

Aaron Blake (‏@AaronBlakeWP)
Things I didn't know: Thad Cochran was a cheerleader at Ole Miss.

Josh Marshall ‏(@joshtpm)
Scott Brown Forgets What State He's Speaking In While Courting New Hampshire Voters (VIDEO)

Dan Merica ‏(@danmericaCNN)
Peter King headed to New Hampshire… again –

Leigh Ann Caldwell (‏@LACaldwellDC)
Is Paul running for president? Ask his wife @PoliticalTicker

Mat Yurow (‏@myurow)
Fascinating experiment – "If you were Facebook or Google, how would you measure the quality of a piece of content?"

TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer

Mandela was named Rolihlahla at birth by his father. In Xhosa, the South African dialect spoken by Mandela’s family, Rolihlahla means “pulling the branch of a tree,” or informally, “troublemaker.”

According to the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the name “Nelson” was given to Rolihlahla on his first day of school by his teacher. African children were often given English names as a result of the British influence on the country. The reason his teacher chose Nelson is unclear.

It is not uncommon to hear many world leaders call Mandela by the name, “Madiba.” Madiba is the name of his mother’s clan. In South Africa, it can be considered polite to call one by their clan name, acknowledging their ancestry. President Obama, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Desmond Tutu, and Colin Powell all referred to Mandela by his clan name in their words of condolence after his death.

Read more from about why Mandela has six names.

(why aren’t you in it)

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

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soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Sheila

    here's the deal : IF "W" didn't go, it would not only make Him look bad among the current republicans in congress, but the Dems will remember it come midterms in 2014. IF "W" doesn't attend, the Dems will hammer away at this, So, in essence, he has no choice but to attend, even though he's been "out of the limelight" for awhile.

    December 6, 2013 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  2. Thomas

    that will be an interesting flight .

    December 7, 2013 06:23 am at 6:23 am |