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Wake Up To Politics - February 9, 2015

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Monday, February 9, 2015
638 Days Until Election Day 2016It's Monday, February 9, 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!!!
To send me questions, comments, tips, new subscribers, and more: email me at wakeuptopolitics@gmail.com. To learn more about WUTP or subscribe, visit the site: wakeuptopolitics.com, or read my tweets and follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/Wakeup2Politics or read stories on Wake Up To Politics by clicking the media logos at the bottom.
White House Watch

  • The President’s Schedule At 10:25 AM, President Obama will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
  • The two will hold a joint press conference at 11:40 AM, and a working lunch at 12:45 PM.
  • The item on top of the agenda for the Merkel-Obama meeting will be Ukraine. “Merkel will brief President Obama at the White House today on peace talks for Ukraine…Obama has held off deciding whether to arm Ukrainian forces fighting Russian-backed separatists until after the meeting with…Merkel, who opposes sending weapons,” according to the New York Times.
  • Other issues include counterterrorism, ISIL, Afghanistan, Iran, economic growth, international trade, and climate change.Capitol Hill News
  • Senate: Status Update The Senate will vote today on confirmation of Michael Botticelli to be Director of the White House Office of National Drug Policy. The agency has been without a director for nearly a year, since March 2014; Botticelli is currently the deputy director, previously having served in the Massachusetts Department of Health.
  • Botticelli will be the first “drug czar” to be in recovery for substance abuse, and his confirmation would also make him one of the nation’s highest-ranking openly LGBT officials. The Office of National Drug Control Policy director, commonly known as the “drug czar,” is a former cabinet-level position.
  • House: Status Update The House will hold no votes today, and meet just for a pro forma session.
  • The funeral for the late Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R-MS) is today. Nunnelee had served in Congress since 2011, until his death on Friday due to complications from brain surgery. The funeral will be held in Tupelo, Mississippi.
  • House Speaker John Boehner, who ordered the Capitol flags to be flown at half-staff, released this statement after Nunnelee’s death: “Alan Nunnelee served this House with grace and distinction.  He was the rare calming presence in the cauldron of politics.  He never let cancer get the best of him.  We know this because, at the end of his life, all Alan asked of us was whether he made a difference.  Indeed he did, very much so.  But there is more to it than that.  Because when you think about all the good Alan did and all the lives he touched, it is plain that he will continue to make a difference.  So we mourn now, for we will miss Alan, but we also celebrate the gift of his life and service, and all he meant to us as a friend and colleague.  Let us pray that God holds Alan’s family close and gives them comfort in these difficult hours.”

2016 Central

  • 2016 Travel Watch: Christie in Iowa New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a likely Republican presidential candidate, will speak at an event in the key primary state of Iowa today for the Dallas County Republican Party in Des Moines.
  • 2016 Travel Watch: Walker in England Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker leaves for a visit to England today. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, another potential Republican presidential candidate, was in the country last week. Why would these governors, expected to vie for America's presidency, be spending so much time in England? This is what I wrote after Christie's visit in the Wake Up last week: “Such trips help candidates form relationships with top allies for if they are in the White House come 2017, but are helpful for the 2016 election as well. The Republican nominee in next year’s presidential race will likely face Democrat Hillary Clinton, who visited 82 countries as First Lady and 112 as Secretary of State. In an attempt to match Clinton’s foreign affairs portfolio, the 2016 GOP nominee will have to also have some travel under his/her belt. Many potential candidates are already doing so. Christie has also visited Mexico and Canada in the past year, Bobby Jindal recently returned from Europe, and Scott Walker is headed for London next week as well. In the past two years, Rick Perry has visited Switzerland, China, Japan, and gone on a European tour. Israel has also drawn a number of potential candidates, including Christie, Mike Pence in December, and Mike Huckabee later this month.”

Q&A with Gabe

Question of the Day

  • Today’s Question In the “2016 Central” column, I tackle the question, Why would potential presidential candidates visit foreign countries? Even after my explanation, you may still be thinking, Isn't it a waste of time to visit a country that won't be voting for them? However, some in England will be voting for Christie, Walker, and other presidential candidates. What law allows U.S. citizens residing in foreign countries (“expatriates”) to vote in U.S. federal elections?
  • Friday’s Answer On Friday (Reagan’s birthday), the question was…Ronald Reagan was the first President to head a union. Which union was it?
  • The answer was the Screen Actors Guild, which Reagan served as president of before getting into politics.
  • GREAT JOB…Rick Isserman, Marlee Millman, Joe Bookman, Randy Fleisher, Steve Gitnik, Madge Treeger, and @davidwsweeney, who answered via Twitter!!!

Do you have trouble keeping track of names in big books?
Well, here’s a handy guide of the Key Players in Days of Fire:

Team Bush

  • George W. Bush: President of the United States (2001-2009)
  • Karl Rove: Senior Advisor to the President and Deputy White House Chief of Staff (2001-2007)
  • Joshua Bolten: Deputy White House Chief of Staff (2001-2003), Director of the Office of Management and Budget (2003-2006), White House Chief of Staff (2006-2009)
  • Andy Card: White House Chief of Staff (2001-2006)
  • Dan Bartlett: White House Communications Director (2002-2005), Counselor to the President (2005-2007)
  • Ari Fleischer: White House Press Secretary (2001-2003)
  • Scott McClellan: White House Press Secretary (2003-2006)
  • Karen Hughes: Counselor to the President (2001-2002), Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (2005-2007)
  • Michael Gerson: Senior Policy Advisor to the President and Chief White House Speechwriter (2001-2006)

Team Cheney

  • Dick Cheney: Vice President of the United States (2001-2009)
  • Scooter Libby: National Security Advisor and Chief of Staff to the Vice President (2001-2005)
  • David Addington: Counsel to the Vice President (2001-2005), Chief of Staff to the Vice President (2005-2009)
  • John Hannah: National Security Advisor to the Vice President (2005-2009)

National Security Principals

  • Condoleezza Rice: U.S. National Security Advisor (2001-2005), U.S. Secretary of State (2005-2009)
  • Donald Rumsfeld: U.S. Secretary of Defense (2001-2006)
  • Robert Gates: U.S. Secretary of Defense (2006-2011)
  • Colin Powell: U.S. Secretary of State (2001-2005)
  • Michael Hayden: Director of the National Security Agency (1999-2005), Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (2006-2009)
  • George Tenet: U.S. Director of Central Intelligence (1996-2004)
  • Stephen Hadley: U.S. National Security Advisor (2005-2009)
  • Alberto Gonzales: White House Counsel (2001-2005), U.S. Attorney General (2005-2007)

Economic Team

  • Paul O’Neil: U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (2001-2002)
  • Henry Paulson: U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (2006-2009)

Question of the Day

  • Today’s Question Ronald Reagan, who would have turned 104 today, was the only U.S. President to head a union. Which union was it?
  • Yesterday’s Answer As two GOP senators introduced a bill to abolish filibusters on Supreme Court nominees, Thursday’s trivia question was, “Who is the only Supreme Court nominee to be filibustered?”
  • The answer is Abe Fortas, who was Associate Justice when President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated him to be elevated to be Chief Justice.
  • Despite warnings of a filibuster, President Johnson, a skilled Senate vote-counter, believed Fortas had enough votes. This was a miscalculation on the part of the president, as Fortas was successfully filibustered by the U.S. Senate in October 1968. Johnson then withdrew the nomination.
  • GOOD JOB…Steve Gitnik, Rick Isserman, and Joe Bookman!!!