Wake Up To Politics - February 19, 2015
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Thursday, February 19, 2015
628 Days Until Election Day 2016It's Thursday, February 19, 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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White House Watch
- Clancy Tapped as Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy, a 29-year veteran of the Secret Service, was announced as the new permanent director of the troubled agency Wednesday. The new director is a familiar and trusted face for Obama: Clancy served as head of Obama’s detail for two years.
- Clancy has also served as acting director of the agency since October, when he was chosen to succeed Julia Pierson, who resigned following a number of stumbles made by the First Family protective detail, on an interim basis.
- Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced Clancy’s appointment as permanent director in a statement, saying “Ultimately, Joe Clancy struck the right balance of familiarity with the Secret Service and its missions, respect from within the workforce, and a demonstrated determination to make hard choices and foster needed change.”
- The appointment of a new director does not put the Secret Service’s troubles entirely behind the agency, though. According to the Washington Post, “The first piece of mail that Clancy received Wednesday after being named director was a letter from the House Oversight Committee demanding reams of internal documents, video footage and misconduct investigations. The committee…said it wants all records detailing the agency’s internal reviews and handling of all security breaches and misconduct cases, including the 2012 prostitution scandal in Colombia, a 2011 operation to divert White House agents to protect a staff member’s private home and the ability this past fall of an armed contractor to ride on an elevator with the president.”
- The President’s Schedule At 10:30 AM, President Obama will speak to the representatives of 60+ foreign nations, as well as United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, gathered at the State Department for the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism.
- The summit is being held to “highlight domestic and international efforts to prevent violent extremists and their supporters from radicalizing, recruiting, or inspiring individuals or groups in the United States and abroad to commit acts of violence,” in light of recent terrorist attacks in Ottawa, Canada; Sydney, Australia; Paris, France; and Copenhagen, Denmark, as well as attacks across the Middle East by the Islamic State group.
- At 11:20 AM, President Obama will designate three National Monuments. The Antiquities Act of 1906 grants the President authority to give National Park Service protection to land without congressional approval, making the sites National Parks in everything but title. With today’s three, Obama has protected 16 sites across the United States as National Monuments.
- Today, the three he will designate are Honouliuli National Monument, a Hawaii internment camp that held Japanese-Americans during World War II; Browns Canyon National Monument, a Colorado whitewater rafting site along the Arkansas River; and the Pullman National Monument in Chicago, commemorating African-American railroad workers who played a role in the civil rights movement.
- At 11:50 AM Eastern Time, the President departs the White House for Chicago, where he will arrive at 12:55 PM Central Time.
- At 1:55 PM, Obama speaks at Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy in Chicago, about his designation of the Pullman National Monument. Obama is expected to appear with his former Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, who is currently in a heated re-election race as mayor of Chicago.
- Follow his remarks, President Obama will leave Chicago at 6:10 PM Central Time, arriving at the White House at 9 PM Eastern Time.
- Biden’s Day Vice President Joe Biden is in South Carolina today to discuss investing in infrastructure.
- While this is an official White House trip, it causes chatter since South Carolina is one of the important early presidential primary states, along with Iowa, where Biden went last week, and New Hampshire, which has yet to receive a visit from the vice president.
- Hahn to Retire from Congress, Run for Local Position Rep. Janice Hahn (D-CA) announced Wednesday she will not seek re-election next year for a third House term. Hahn is not, however, leaving politics entirely, instead planning to run for a different post. What job would a U.S. Representative vie for next? Governor, or Senator, perhaps – especially since California has open races for both positions next year. Janice Hahn, however, is leaving the United States Congress to run for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, a local position.
- This may sound strange; indeed, it is an interesting statement about what it is like to be a member of Congress today. Partisan gridlock in Washington has become a major source of frustration for lawmakers, so much so that many have retired because of it. Some, like Hahn, have left for seemingly less important positions, desiring to get something done.
- In fact, Hahn is the second California congresswoman to retire from Congress to run for a county board of supervisors in as many years. In 2014, Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-CA) left her House seat to run for the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors. In recent years, members of Congress representing California have stepped down to run for mayor, take positions in the Cabinet, sub-Cabinet, and Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
- Hahn’s announcement is also a testament to the power of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, whose membership is known as the “five little kings” and currently includes Hilda Solis, President Obama’s first Labor Secretary, and a former California congresswoman herself, who also left Washington for the board. The board governs Los Angeles County, the most populous U.S. county at 10 million residents – more than 43 individual states. The county is larger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined, and has the world’s largest sheriff’s department, nation’s largest jail system and second-largest health system. The Board of Supervisors involved in each of these systems, as well as executive, legislative, and judicial actions.
- Just hours after Hahn’s announcement, state Sen. Isadore Hall jumped into the race to succeed her – and was promptly endorsed by Hahn, a longtime friend. The seat (California’s 44th) is safely Democratic: Hahn was elected last year with 87% of the vote; in 2012, President Barack Obama received 85% of the vote in the district, which was ranked the 15th most Democratic out of the 435 congressional districts in the Cook Political Report’s 2014 Partisan Voting Index.
- So far in the 2016 election cycle, two Republican congressmen and one Democratic senator have announced plans to retire, while a Republican senator (and Hahn) have announced campaigns for other offices.
- Race to 45: Travel Watch – Sanders and Graham in Iowa, Biden and Rubio in South Carolina A slew of potential presidential candidates are visiting early primary states today, including Vice President Joe Biden, who is in South Carolina (see White House Watch).
- Also visiting South Carolina, key to presidential races as the first-in-the-South primary, today is Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). Rubio is in Greenville, South Carolina for his book tour, selling “American Dreams,” which was published last month. The book tour has looked a bit like a campaigning trip, hitting Iowa, Nevada, South Carolina, and New Hampshire as its first stops – also the first to vote in presidential primary season, the deciding states for Rubio and his fellow 2016ers.
- Meanwhile, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who has formed an exploratory committee to test the waters of a presidential bid, makes his first visit to Iowa today. While in the state, Graham will meet with key leaders, and attend a meet-and-greet hosted by Ret. Lt. Gen. Ron Dardis.
- Finally, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), considering a run for the Democratic nation, will be in Iowa the next three days with a schedule that looks like a presidential campaign. In the next three days, Sanders will hold two meetings at the University of Iowa and Drake University; keynote the Iowa Citizen Action Network annual meeting and the Story County Democratic Party Soup Supper ; meet with the Linn Phoenix Club; meet with the Cedar County Democratic Party. The Vermonter’s trip will include stops in Iowa City, Des Moines, Johnston, Cedar Rapids, Tipton, and Ames.
- Joe Biden was swearing someone in Tuesday, so of course he did something hilarious…and a bit inappropriate. On Tuesday, the swearing-in was of Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, and the hilarious/inappropriate photo came of him awkwardly touching Carter’s wife.
- I wrote back in January, thanking the Internet for the countless hours of Biden swearing-in videos, GIFs, and articles it gave me…and this week, the Internet did not disappoint.
- I present…Joe Biden’s interactions with other women, with his face Photoshopped on the womens’: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/02/18/through-the-magic-of-photoshop-biden-bidening-biden/
- Thank you, Internet.
Capitol Hill News
- Tuesday’s Answer The question Tuesday was…Who was the main drafter of the Missouri Compromise?
- The answer: the “Great Compromiser,” Henry Clay, who served five terms in the Senate (with three gaps in between them, and just one of them completed), four years as Secretary of State, five terms as Speaker of the House (with two gaps in between them), and six terms in the House (with a gap in between). In short, Clay reached the highest depths of a Washington career, and is remembered as the greatest compromiser and legislator of American history – although he never became President, despite running three times.
- GREAT JOB…Linda Randall, Marilyn Schapiro, Lyle Hendricks, Brad Chotiner, Rick Isserman, and S. Greenberg.