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Tuesday, April 21, 2015
567 Days Until Election Day 2016It's Tuesday, April 21, 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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Race to 45
- Kasich Forms 527 Group, Step Toward Presidential Bid Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) formed a 527 organization Monday, New Day for America, which can serve as a vehicle for his political activities as Kasich considers a run for the White House.
- “It’s time for a New Day for America,” Kasich said in a video announcing the group’s formation. “It’s time to put aside the petty differences that divide us and rediscover the values we all share. There’s so much more that brings us together than divides us.”
- On the website, NewDayForAmerica.com, former Sen. John E. Sununu, a member of one of New Hampshire’s most prominent political families and a huge endorsement in the New Hampshire primary, is listed as a member of the group’s board of directors.
- Kasich has served as Ohio Governor since 2011, previously serving 18 years as a U.S. congressman, and running for president in 2000. Now, he’s making noise about a second presidential bid, and has visited early primary states, such as New Hampshire, where he was this past weekend. The formation of a 527 organization is his biggest step towards a run.
- On NBC’s “Meet the Press” last Sunday, Kasich explained the two considerations he has before deciding on a presidential bid: “My family is a consideration,” he said. “Number two, the most important thing is, what does the Lord want me to do with my life?”
- The Bigwhig Primary In any primary process, endorsements are of crucial importance, and the right “get” can swing the balance in some states. In the Republican Party, some of the highly sought-after “bigwhigs” – elder statesmen, top donors, and respected media figures – are starting to pick sides ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
- The Koch Primary Charles and David Koch are two of the biggest donors on the right, with their influence coming from their large network of super PACs and other groups – which yield millions of dollars they willingly disperse to lucky candidates.
- In 2012, Koch groups raised over $400 million, and they plan to raise $900 million in the upcoming cycle. Usually, the Koch brothers stay out of GOP primaries, but the New York Times is reporting this year may be different.
- The Times reported Monday that at a New York fundraising event that night, David Koch signaled his support for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in the 2016 presidential race.
- An endorsement from the Koch brothers means the backing of their whole network, and more importantly, the backing of their money, and could be huge for Walker.
- In a statement, Koch said, “While I think Governor Walker is terrific, let me be clear, I am not endorsing or supporting any candidate for President at this point in time.”
- The Ailes Primary If a Koch endorsement is important because of money, support (or lack thereof) from Roger Ailes has very different influence. Ailes is president of Fox News, the TV network of choice for many Republican voters, and having his support comes with the obvious benefit of getting time on TV.
- It looks like Ted Cruz is not doing well in the Ailes Primary, and the Fox chief compared the Texas senator to Warren Harding (which is never good) in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter.
- The question was whether Ailes thought Cruz could become the GOP nominee. His answer: “Listen, we elected Warren G. Harding. Anybody has a chance. You don't know who you're going to be running against. If the other guy falls on his rear end, you could win."
- If comparisons to Lincoln and Reagan are gold among conservatives, a Harding comparison is about as desirable as comparison to Clinton or Obama (needless to say, unpopular figures among Republicans) – the 29th president known for an administration tainted by scandal, chief among them the Teapot Dome scandal.
- Roger Ailes says Ted Cruz could be the GOP nominee: anyone can win the nomination, Warren Harding did it.
- But Roger Ailes may not know that Harding’s route to the nomination was very unorthodox (are you taking notes Ted Cruz?)
- The 1920 Republican National Convention was so deadlocked that after a full day of voting, a presidential nominee had still not been chosen. That night, in a “smoke-filled room,” supporters of Ohio Sen. Warren Harding engineered his win as a compromise candidate – allowing for an early-morning Harding win on the tenth ballot.
- Harding went on win the general election, although he died just two years after taking office.
- Travel Tracker Today is the second and final day of Hillary Clinton’s New Hampshire swing.
- Clinton will tour the New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord, before participating in a roundtable with students and educators focused on community colleges.
- According to her campaign, throughout the New Hampshire trip, Clinton will be having “many conversations with Granite Staters about how to make the economy work for everyday Americans.”
- Like her Iowa trip, Clinton will be “thinking small,” visiting small businesses unannounced to meet with “regular people”. However, the Granite State swing is different than Iowa for Clinton, because of the nostalgia she has for the state: Clinton’s 2008 primary win in the state re-launched her campaign after defeat in Iowa.
White House Watch
- The President’s Schedule At 11:40 AM, President Obama will head to Fairfax, Virginia for an interview taping with Chris Matthews.
- Matthews will also be the moderator in a discussion today with the President, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), and small business leaders at the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce.
- Both the interview and the roundtable discussion will air tonight on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” and will focus on free trade and the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, as President Obama pitches the Trade Promotion Authority.
- At 2:40 PM, the President will return to the White House to honor Kevin Harvick and his Stewart-Haas Racing Team, the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship team.
- At 4:25 PM, Obama sits down with Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.
- At 5:15 PM, the President will hold a Rose Garden reception for the bipartisan lawmakers who helped with passage of H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015.
Capitol Hill News
- Senate: Status Update The Senate will continue debate of the Justice for Victims of Human Trafficking Act today.
- While the title suggests this would be a noncontroversial piece of legislation, debate on it has dragged on for months, because of a provision relating to abortion.
- Democrats and Republicans will meet separately for their caucus lunches today, and a deal could emerge on the bill this afternoon. So far, each time Republicans have brought it up for a vote, Democrats have filibustered.
- After, and only after, the sex trafficking bill is passed, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will bring Loretta Lynch’s nomination to be U.S. Attorney General up for a vote.