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Tuesday, April 14, 2015
574 Days Until Election Day 2016It's Tuesday, April 14, 2015, I'm Gabe Fleisher for Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!
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- Hillary Clinton Announces Presidential Bid After years of speculation, former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton formally announced her campaign Sunday to become the first female President.
- The campaign was first announced by longtime Clinton hand John Podesta, the new chairman of Hillary for America, who emailed campaign alumni Sunday afternoon, writing “I wanted to make sure you heard it first from me - it's official: Hillary's running for president.”
- Minutes later, Clinton tweeted, “I'm running for president. Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion.” The candidate also posted an announcement video. Clinton herself does not appear until towards the end of the two-minute video, which features a diverse cast of everyday Americans discussing new beginnings in their lives, from Spanish-speaking brothers, to a young mother, an African-American couple, a soon-to-be-retiree, a gay couple, and others – until Hillary Clinton appears, saying “I’m getting ready to do something too: I’m running for President.” (not quite like SNL’s imagining of the video)
- After her announcement, a rush of Democratic support emerged for Clinton, receiving endorsements from 26 U.S. Senators (including Maryland’s Barbara Mikulski, whose official statement began, “Whoopee, Hillary is off and running! I’m ready for Hillary”), 38 U.S. Representatives, EMILY’s List, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (long seen as a potential contender for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination), businessman Warren Buffett, and celebrities like Robert De Niro, Lena Dunham, Ariana Grande, Magic Johnson, Carole King, and Ana Wintour, according to Wikipedia.
- Clinton is the first Democrat to jump in the presidential election for 2016, but may not be the last, with Joe Biden, Lincoln Chafee, Bernie Sanders, Jim Webb, Martin O’Malley, and others still mulling bids – still, President Barack Obama said Saturday “I think she would be an excellent president,” and the Democratic National Committee is signing up supporters with a “Hillary’s In – Are You” campaign, kind-of endorsements from her party’s organization and leader, both of whom traditionally stay neutral.
- While the overwhelming response from Democrats was supporting, many Republican presidential candidates (announced and potential) took the opportunity to jump at Clinton. And for a day, it was as though it was the general election already: but Clinton had almost a dozen GOP opponents.
- Ten (John Bolton, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, and Scott Walker) tweeted about Clinton’s announcement, and many more responded in other ways. Santorum’s PAC, Patriot Voices, posted a video with what Bloomberg Politics called “Matrix-style lines of code…[accusing] Clinton of making the U.S. vulnerable to cyber attacks through her use of private e-mail while she was secretary of state.” Cruz tweeted a video saying he was “Ready for Hillary,” mocking the slogan supporters of Clinton have used. And Rand Paul even created an anti-Clinton website, LibertyNotHillary.com.
- Even Democrats, though, were not all “ready for Hillary”: New York City mayor and progressive leader Bill de Blasio, who managed Clinton’s first political campaign, refused to endorse his former boss, telling Chuck Todd, “I think, like a lot of people in this country, I want to see a vision,” on “Meet the Press. When Todd pressed him, asking if he was endorsing the former Secretary of State, de Blasio said, “No, not until I see – and again I would say this about any candidate – until I see an actual vision of where they wanna go.”
- Hours after launching her second presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton announced her resignation from the board of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation. The organization was founded by her husband Bill after his presidency ended in 2001, and Hillary joined the board after stepping down as Secretary of State in 2013.
- Now, Clinton has embarked on a road trip in a van she christened “the Scooby” – leaving from her Chappaqua, New York home Sunday, and arriving in Iowa on Monday night. Along the way, she stopped at a Pittsburgh hotel and a Chipoltle in Ohio, meeting (and taking photos of her meetings with) average Americans, like the ones in her video. Today, she holds her first 2016 campaign event at a community college in Monticello, Iowa, which she will follow up with a small business event in Norwalk. The plan is to hold small events like these until her first large rally in May.
- THE QUESTION: Clinton is rebranding herself as an average American; will the country accept this introduction from a woman they’ve known as political royalty for over 20 years?
- Marco Rubio Announces Presidential Bid Florida Sen. Marco Rubio became the third Republican to join the presidential race Monday, launching his bid in Miami, Florida.
- Rubio’s announcement event took place at Freedom Tower, “the Ellis Island of the South” where Cuban immigrants (like Rubio’s parents) came when fleeing to the U.S. from Fidel Castro.
- The Floridian’s speech focused on presenting himself as a young leader who could steer the U.S. into “the new American century,” presenting a contrast between him and Hillary Clinton, as well as with Jeb Bush, his mentor and potential rival for the White House.
- Rubio, 43, is seen as a Republican Barack Obama: an energized politician, dynamic speaker, vigorous campaigner, and a racially historic candidate (if elected, he would be the first Hispanic president).
- Rubio elaborated on the “yesterday vs. the future” theme, mentioning Clinton (albeit not by name): “Just yesterday, a leader from yesterday began a campaign for President by promising to take us back to yesterday. But yesterday is over, and we are never going back.”
- “While our people and economy are pushing the boundaries of the 21st century, too many of our leaders and their ideas are stuck in the 20th century,” Rubio continued. “We must change the decisions we are making by changing the people who are making them.”
- The announcement also sends shockwaves through the 2016 race for control of the Senate: without Rubio running for re-election (which is prohibited in Florida while one is running for another office), the race for his seat will be a very competitive one. Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy has already announced plans to run, although he is expected to be joined in the field by a more progressive Democrat. On the Republican side, state CFO Jeff Atwater was expected to run, but declined to do so – leaving the race open for a competitive GOP primary – with Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Rep. Ron DeSantis, state House Speaker Will Weatherford, and others all mentioned as likely candidates.
Capitol Hill News
- Senate Panel to Markup Corker Iran Nuclear Deal Bill The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will meet today on Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker’s Iran nuclear deal bill.
- Corker’s bill, will take away deal-making power from President Obama, granting Congress final review and a vote on any nuclear agreement between the United States and Iran.
- Corker, who chairs the Foreign Relations panel, signaled Monday he was confident that the bill could pass with 67 votes, a veto-proof majority. But, there is still the 52 amendments that the committee will look at today as part of markup, many of which could be added to Corker’s proposal and change it a lot.
- Presidential candidates Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, both members of the Foreign Relations Committee, will return to Washington today for the markup.
- Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moinz, the Obama Administration’s top Iran negotiators, will brief the House Democratic Caucus and the full Senate on the specifics of the deal today.
White House Watch
- The President’s Schedule President Obama will host Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi at the White House today for a 10:25 AM meeting. According to the White House, “the President and Prime Minister will discuss a range of issues, including continued U.S. support to Iraq to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL, the Government of Iraq’s actions to address the needs of the Iraqi people and to strengthen cooperation between all communities in Iraq, and advancing a broad U.S.-Iraqi partnership through expanded political, commercial, and cultural relations under the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement.
- At 7:25 PM, the President and First Lady will host the 14th event in their “In Performance at the White House” series, this one on Gospel music. A number of music legends have been invited to perform the event, and will “pay tribute to the fundamental role gospel music has played in the American musical tradition and the important artists and repertoire that have marked its vibrant history,” White House guidance says.
Question of the Day
- Friday’s Question As President Obama traveled to Panama on Friday, the trivia question was: Which U.S. President went to Panama, becoming the first sitting Commander-in-Chief to travel to a foreign country. The answer…Theodore Roosevelt, who traveled to Panama in September 1904 to oversee construction of the Panama Canal.
- GREAT JOB to the trivia winners...Steve Gitnik, David Zimmerman, Brad Chotiner, Marlee Millman, Jeff Melanson, Janice Goodman, and Marilyn Schapiro, as well as @jrosenbaum and @BeyondKenny, who answered via Twitter.