CNN's GUT CHECK for February 28, 2014
February 28th, 2014
06:24 PM ET
9 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for February 28, 2014

CNN's GUT CHECK | for February 28, 2014 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BREAKING … PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA WARNED RUSSIA ON UKRAINE WITH A STERN STATEMENT FROM THE PODIUM: President Barack Obama said the United States is "deeply concerned" by reports of Russian military movements in Ukraine, adding that any violation of Ukraine's sovereignty would be "deeply destabilizing."

CNN combed through 3,546 pages of newly released documents from President Bill Clinton’s administration on Friday, the first in a series of disclosures that could shed new light on how decisions were made during his time in the White House. Of particular interest could be, what day-to-day role his wife, Hillary, played in helping to shape policy and how she interacted with his top aides.


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THE ‘LISTENING TOUR’ … Mandy Grunwald wrote Hillary Clinton a memo July 6, 1999 "re: Key Points to Remember for the Trip." The memo seems to be in regard to a listening tour the then-first lady did in New York following her creation of an exploratory committee for a Senate bid. A few pointers included:

"Don't be defensive. Look like you want the questions. The press is obviously watching to see if they can make you uncomfortable or testy. Even on the annoying questions, give relaxed answers.”

“Look for opportunities for humor. It's important that people see more sides of you, and they often see you only in very stern situations.”

“Don't use the Administrations record as your own: You've spent a lot of years saying, ‘My husband did X.’ This trip is about you. And you are not an incumbent. If you want to talk about something like CHIP, talk about what you did.”

Also Grunwald lists a question "you might prepare for"

"Have you ever used drugs?"

BILL CLINTON WAS URGED TO SPEAK OUT ON RACE AFTER O.J. SIMPSON WAS FOUND NOT GUILTY OF MURDER: Then-White House Speechwriter David Shipley writes in strident terms to urge President Clinton to weigh in on the Simpson verdict in October 1995, “This is a defining moment. The country is waiting for the President to talk.”

MOVE OVER VH-1, WE LOVE THE 90’S TOO: An August 1995 memo from Lisa Caputo on "HRC media possibilities" recommends the first lady reach out to young women through a new vehicle: "Internet – As Karen has said, Internet has become a very popular mode of communication. Hillary could speak to young women through Internet. I think Hillary would have fun with this, and I believe it would: not be too difficult to organize."


AND THERE’S MORE … Over the next month, more than 29,000 more documents will be released.

Officials in Fort Lee, New Jersey, released 911 audio Friday from September when two out of three access lanes were closed to the George Washington Bridge, ultimately causing massive traffic gridlock across the city for four days in a controversy that has roiled the Christie administration.

The 26 hours of emergency dispatch audio opens a window into the agitation experienced by motorists that week and whether the traffic jam … Audio between dispatchers and first responders shows that traffic was quickly becoming a problem on the first day of the lane closures, as they were "getting calls from irate motorists" by 9 a.m. ET. – Ashley Killough, Steve Kastenbaum and Chris Frates

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden showed off their athletic sides in a new video filmed for the first Lady’s “Let’s Move” campaign. The video shows the two men jogging around the White House and into the Rose Garden, before returning back to the Oval Office, panting and sharing a glass of water to hydrate.

MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks post strong gains for February. Dow and S&P 500 each gain 4%, NASDAQ adds 5%.

(Answer below)
Which politician is responsible for Dr. Seuss' permanent case of stage fright?

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Inside Politics: Is Brewer part of a GOP evolution?
Tolerance is an issue for Republicans among key voting blocs, especially independents and younger voters. So some GOP strategists were quick to applaud Brewer for a move they say shows Republicans are listening and adapting to changing times - and changing views on gay rights. – John King

Gut Check DVR: Catch John King’s new show ‘Inside Politics’ on Sunday at 8:30am E.T. with guests Robert Costa, Maggie Haberman, Nia-Malika Henderson, and Peter Hamby.

Leading Seattle Times: Fellow Microsoft alum to run against DelBene for Congress
First-term Democratic U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene will face a re-election challenge this year from a fellow ex-Microsoft employee. Republican Pedro Celis, a retired Microsoft software engineer from Redmond, plans to announce his candidacy officially Thursday morning. – Jim Brunner

Leading Politico: Wall Street threatens GOP on bank tax
Private equity and investment firms in New York are telling key Republican players in D.C. that commitments for big-dollar fundraising have been “canceled for the foreseeable future,” according to one GOP lobbyist with knowledge of the conversations. – Jake Sherman, Anna Palmer and Lauren French

Leading Drudge: Is she sick?
If you listen to the chattering class in Washington, D.C., Hillary Clinton is a virtual certainty for the 2016 Democratic nomination, and the front-runner in the next presidential race. But in private, rumors persist that the former Secretary of State may not even be capable of making it to Iowa and New Hampshire. Clinton, these skeptics often say, will not run for president again because of health concerns. – Alex Pappas

Leading New York Times: Outrage Over Sexist Remarks Turns Into a Political Fund-Raising Tool
With a record number of women in Congress and dozens more on the ballot, attacks on figures like Wendy Davis, Claire McCaskill and Hillary Rodham Clinton can instantly generate contributions. – Amy Chozick

Leading HuffPo: Tea Party: We're Still Here
Tea partyers insist they're not to blame for Republican election losses in congressional and presidential elections, faulting the GOP establishment for showing little fight. This election year, the establishment is fighting — against the tea party insurgents challenging incumbents who the Republican Party is convinced stand a far better chance in November.

The political bites of the day

- Sessions to the GOP: Ditch Wall Street -
SEN. JEFF SESSIONS, R-ALABAMA, AT A TEA PARTY PATRIOTS GROUP FIFTH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION: “The elites are failing America, they’re failing the people of America… My party, the Republican party, needs to sever itself from the elite consensus, we need to break from it.”

- Priorities sets priorities -
PRIORITIES USA SUPER PAC SPOKESMAN PETER KAUFFMANN TO POLITICO: “Priorities USA Action is all-in for 2014, and we will not aggressively raise for 2016 until after the midterms.”

- Kerry on Ukraine: Intervention would be a ‘grave mistake’ -
SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY TAKING QUESTIONS ON RUSSIA AND UKRAINE: “Intervention would, in our judgment, be a very grave mistake. It would be completely contrary to Russian policies as stated now with respect to in Libya, Syria and other places.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Terri Saarten ‏(@terrisarten)
Today, many people are canceling their subscription to Foreign Policy RT @jaketapper Palin on Ukraine: I told you so

Reince Priebus (@Reince)
Congratulations to Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Denver, Dallas, Kansas City, Las Vegas & Phoenix for moving on to the next phase.

James Hohmann ‏(@jameshohmann)
Dems recruit Travis Childers to run for Mississippi Senate in hopes that McDaniel beats Cochran and then implodes, a la Mourdock.

Andrew Kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew)
Republican Congressional Candidate Launches “House Of Cards” Themed Ads

Brad Todd (@BradOnMessage)
Real bad day for Kay Hagan. Wilmington TV news caught her. Cant escape #Obamacare drag. Chk out new @thomtillis ad.…

Kay Hagan ‏(@kayhagan)
While Kay works on commonsense fixes for the ACA, @thomtillis is hiding his position on healthcare from NCians:

Greg Abbott ‏(@GregAbbott_TX)
It's deeply offensive that a Democrat elected official called my Latina wife of 32 years a "prop".

Sunny Hostin (@SunnyHostin)
Kerry Kennedy has been acquitted on charges she was driving while ability impaired.

Sarah Valerio ‏(@Sarah_SV)
PHOTOS: Kitties of Congress Campaign by @bennyjohnson pictures politicians with their cat doppelgangers … Outstanding.

TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer

Ted Geisel, more commonly known as Dr. Seuss, suffered from a lifelong fear of stage fright stemming from an incident with President Teddy Roosevelt.

At age 14, Geisel became one of Springfield, Massachusetts’ top sellers of war bonds. To honor his commitment, Geisel was supposed to be awarded a medal by former President Roosevelt in front of a crowd of thousands at a Boy Scouts ceremony. When Roosevelt was only given nine medals to hand out to ten Boy Scouts he joked loudly to the crowd, “What’s this little boy doing here?”

Geisel was humiliated and the scoutmaster quickly escorted Roosevelt off the stage. Seuss remained stricken with stage fright for the rest of his life. Seuss’ 110th birthday would have been this Sunday.

(why aren’t you in it)

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

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soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Goo Vogt

    Looking at all the photos today, I see none of the ak-47 have clips- with ammo in them around the airports? Know they have in their vests– but they will not shoot with out them?
    Is this just for show- scare folks, just numbers on the uniforms trucks ect.
    Any one else catch this?

    February 28, 2014 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  2. Wes

    I wonder if dingleberry will draw another imaginary line in the sand.

    February 28, 2014 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  3. Stuffitu

    The statement of the corrupt, incompetent, inept president concerning the Russian invasion of the Ukraine was embarrassing. It seems that Mitt Romney was right during that October, 2012 debate where the corrupt Obama and the toadie left leaning media slammed, demeaned and degraded the man for saying Russia was a threat. Love to see what those NYT andMSNBC shills for the democrat liberal party will lie about next.

    February 28, 2014 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |

    THE Clinton clown show is comeing t0 a city near you folks well kn0wn for thier fine trix and surprises ! dont get lied to ! Cause when you get lied to ! You get even ! Get even an v0te republican thx

    February 28, 2014 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  5. montgomery

    First I'm gonna start by saying I'm a nobody in life....I've mad multiple mistakes and am no way in power to have people to listen to me...I watch the news on a daily basis and what I've always been good at is putting stuff together....and by sayin. That I wanna talk about the world....with all the crisis from one country to another the United states keeps sticking there necks into things we can not do....were causing a global threat with all countries that don't really consider us friends of nature and I really feel that we are going to cause a global threat from and we all no we couldt handle that ieven if we tried...I'm just a concerned citizen of new York/ u.s and think our whole country should think about that

    February 28, 2014 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  6. it must be said

    But the Russians invading the Ukraine is yet another great achievement of the Obama administration and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. You see, they pushed the Russian Reset button because they claimed things were so bad because of Bush. Well, one thing is for certain, the Russians have reset to their old empire building ways and the USA has reset to disarmament because Obama doesn't believe we need to be strong as that is threatening.

    Obama, being played for the naive, inexperienced little fool we all knew he was by a cagey ex-KGB chess master.

    February 28, 2014 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  7. tommy custom

    yeah, President Obama's response to the Ukraine situation was 'stern' alright. is his toe bleeding from drawing all those lines in the sand?

    March 1, 2014 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  8. daviddavid

    CNN trying damage control now – the 2014 midterms will be a blood bath for Democrats.. Obama's approval is at 37% and FALLING.. Less than 31% of people support ObamaCare.. Democrats are turning on Obama now to try and save face.. Even the female vote is leaving Obama.. Turns out that Democrats are the anti-women party.. Truth is ugly.. but it is the truth.. We Americans will take back the Senate in 2014 and will retain control of the House as well.. Obama is a lame duck in the first year of his second term.. Great job OB!

    March 1, 2014 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  9. tom l

    "OK Vince... Here goes. I live in NJ and pay a fortune in taxes and I want Christie to resign."


    Two things that I think are noteworthy about that comment:

    1. By mentioning "fortune" you essentially are implying that it is too much and your tone is one of complaint which is highly ironic
    2. I keep being told that taxes are the lowest they have ever been. That directly contradicts the liberals talking point

    March 1, 2014 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  10. Stuffitu

    It is so embarrassing watching this inept, incompetent, corrupt president stumble around on thw world stage in response to the Russian invasion of the Ukraine. It seems the only ones he and the democrat liberals bully is the people who actually work and pay taxes. I am being called a liar by dingy Harry Reid because I complain about my health insurance premiums went up 177% and my deductibles and co pays doubled as a result of Obozocare. This in addition to being called a racist by the members of the regime and it's toadies in the mainstream media. The TEA party will be a big factor in getting rid od democrat liberal "progressives" this year,

    March 1, 2014 10:32 am at 10:32 am |